School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Marie Stern-Peltz

Marie Cecilie Stern-Peltz

Doctoral Student in English Literature



  • Dr Anne Whitehead
  • Dr James Procter

Thesis Title

Coming of (the) Age: Retelling the First World War

My project looks at contemporary representations of the First World War (between 1989-now), particularly as figured through discourses of coming of age and loss of innocence. Working in both adult and young adult literature, as well as researching curricula and educational practices as sites of influence, my project investigates the intersection between cultural heritage and contemporary concerns, particularly surrounding issues of citizenship, nation and identity - including gender. The First World War remains a significant cultural moment for British identity, as evident in recent discussions surrounding the Centenary Commemorations, the new English curriculum and the new Citizenship test, and is commonly figured as a moment of transformation, a rite of passage, however negative that change may have been. Arguing that this is commonly figured as a coming-of-age narrative, I examine intersections of youth, origin and identity in these novels.

Research Interests

I am interested in constructions of nation and gender in contemporary literature; I am particularly interested in the intersection of discourse of citizenship with narratives of belonging and home. I also work with representations of war and conflict, and particularly the intersections of history and literature in this context, which intersects with memory and heritage studies. My work is also influenced by gender and queer theory, with particular focus on representations of masculinity, and particularly the tension between unconventional masculinities in conventionally masculine spaces.

Research Activities


  • Gender Research Group
  • Postcolonial Reading Group


  • Taught Introduction to Literary Studies 1
  • Taught as part of the Partners Summer School


  • April 2012 - Presented at PG Speaker Series: "War's a Queer Time": Destabilising History & Time in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction about the First World War
  • November 2012 - Presented at War and Life Writing at Oxford University : 'Something written even in secret is no longer hidden': Life-writing as critique in Jennifer Johnston's This is Not a Novel
  • February 2013 - Organised (Un)Doing Gender, a one-day symposium for Postgraduate research as part of the Gender Research Group
  • March 2013 - Presented at PG Speaker Series: 'On the brink of understanding some great truth': Reading the War in Remembrance and The Shell House
  • March 2013 - Presented at Approaching War at Newcastle University: 'On the brink of understanding some great truth': Reading the War in Remembrance and The Shell House
  • August 2013 - Organising In Search of Man-Making Words: Masculinities, Citizenship and the Nation, 1750 - 1945 - a GRG funded conference


  • Postgraduate Blog administrator
  • Gender Research Group - Postgraduate Steering Committee

Academic Background

  • MA in Gender Studies at Sussex University
  • BA (Hons) in English Literature at University of Leicester