School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Emily Anderson

Emily Anderson

PhD Student in Literature


Supervisors: Dr Anne Whitehead, Dr Martin Dubois, Professor Frances Brearton (Queen's University, Belfast)

Research Project

Humour in British Writing of the First World War: A Literary Analysis

I study the way that writers used humour to convey their experiences of the First World War from 1914-1918. My work covers a range of genres and types of publication, most prominently poetry, plays, short stories, and trench journals.

This research is funded by AHRC Northern Bridge.

Research Interests

My research interests include literary nonsense, absurdist literature, theories of humour, the representation of war, anthropomorphism, and parody in the early twentieth century.

Research Activities

Selected publications:

Anderson, Emily, ‘The 1916 Shakespeare Tercentenary in Scotland: Concepts of Nation-Ness and Cultural Prestige in Anniversary Tributes to the Playwright’, Shakespeare, 12 (2016), 185–210

---, ‘Here Is the Secret. He Is – “The Growler”’: A Northumberland Fusiliers Trench Newspaper’, World War I Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings, 2016 <>

---, ‘Re-Enchanting Nature’, Rev. of Landmarks, by Robert Macfarlane, The Oxonian Review, 29 (2015), n.pag

Selected Conference Papers:

Anderson, Emily, ‘Absurdity and Comic Absurdity in British First World War Literature’, Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Convention (NeMLA 2017), Baltimore (March 2017)

---, ‘No Time But the Present: representations of tragi-comic time in First World War Poetry’, 9th Conference of the International Society for First World War Studies: War Time, the University of Oxford (November 2016)

---, ‘“A great joke”? The Role of Humour in Robert Graves’ Representation of the First World War’, 13th International Robert Graves Society Conference, St John’s College, the University of Oxford (September 2016)

---, (Poster) ‘Humour and the Home Front: A Laughing Matter?’ Dissenting Voices and the Everyday in the First World War, the National Archives, London (September 2016)

---, ‘Soldiers as Comic Heroes in British First World War Texts’, Globalising and Localising the Great War Graduate Conference, the University of Oxford (March 2016)


I teach on Newcastle’s ‘Introduction to Literary Studies 1,’ a module for first year undergraduates offering an introduction to a variety of nineteenth and twentieth century texts and literary movements.

Research and School Engagement:

I am a student representative for the North East Forum for First World War Studies (NERFFS), and organise research forums and conferences for NERFFS members.

I am a student representative on the SELL Staff-Student Committee and on the SELL Postgraduate Tutors Committee.

Academic Background

MSc in Comparative and General Literature at The University of Edinburgh

BA (Hons) in English at the University of Cambridge

Emily Anderson