Ms Gemma Holgate

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Personal profile

I am an AHRC Techne funded doctoral student. My research explores the relationship between politics, gender and emotion in the activism and fiction of socialist women between 1880 and 1939, with a particular interest in the politics of sympathy. I work on a range of socialist writers, including Margaret Harkness, Beatrice Webb, Katharine Bruce Glasier, Isabella Ford, and others. More broadly, my research interests include the relationship between socialism and feminism in the nineteenth century and beyond, class and the novel form, and the fin de siècle.

Prior to my PhD, I completed my BA and MA in English Literature at the University of Warwick. My MA dissertation was a study of the trade union activist and social reformer Clementina Black.

Other Activities

As of January 2021, I am Deputy Editor of the Romance, Revolution and Reform journal, based out of the Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research. The journal is open-access ( and calls for articles/ reviews are advertised on our Twitter (@RRRJournal).

From June 2020 - September 2021 I was founding co-chair of the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar Graduate Strand, a group which runs training, social events and an annual conference for PGRs/ECRs working on the long nineteenth century. More information can be found on their website or on Twitter (@LNCSSGS).

I currently work as a Scholars Programme Tutor for widening participation charity The Brilliant Club, through which I teach university-style courses to secondary school pupils. 


In 2021-22, I am teaching on EN1107: Re-Orienting the Novel. Students can contact me at or attend my office hour on MS Teams, Thursday 5-6pm. Please book an appointment here.


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