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Emily Chapman

Doctoral Student in Creative Writing - Emily’s thesis is entitled ‘Haunted Landscapes & Female Identity’.

Research Project Title:

Haunted Landscapes & Female Identity



Prof Jacob Polley and Prof Lars Iyer

Contact Details:



Research Interests:

  • New Weird Fiction
  • Gothic and Neo-Gothic Literature
  • Female Supernatural Writers, Victorian to Present Day
blurred handwriting in a notebook

Brief Outline of Research Project:

Since the birth of the Gothic and heyday of the ghost story, female writers have used this genre to examine the anxieties surrounding women’s growing power and autonomy.


Ghosts are figures of unrest, usually with a message for the living, a desire to revenge a lost future, or create a change in the future of the living. They possess the potential to disrupt and subvert the conventions that held them in life, but they have also been portrayed as figures whose voices and stories are not heard, whom the living attempt to exorcise from certain spaces. Ironically, many female writers of such fictions, though popular during the Victorian height of the ghost story, are generally not included in the canon today. Through the work of feminist researchers, these writers are being resurrected, and their texts make links between women and ghostliness that have contemporary relevance.


This project will explore the use of ghosts as metaphor in women’s fiction for its critical portion, whilst for the creative portion I will be drawing upon my own experiences to fashion short stories that examine how the figure of the ghost is still a relevant metaphor today.

Research Activities:

Academic Background:

  • BA English Literature with Creative Writing, Newcastle University (2017)
  • MA Creative Writing, Newcastle University (2019)