Ms Theadora Jean

Supervised by

Research interests

My current creative-critical research project argues that Dracula is a novel one deeply engaged with, and responding to, the fin de siècle New Woman at the end of the Victorian period. While Stoker has largely been viewed as either conservative or, at best, ambivalent towards the ‘Woman Question’ of the period, I seek to explore more closely the relationship between Dracula and the New Woman discourse. I reconsider the New Woman as a more complex figure who often represented eugenic thought and traditional, even patriarchal values. The character Mina has been rejected from the term New Woman, by critics such as Carol Senf, due to her ‘decision to marry and her subsequent relationship with her husband, her desire to nurture and protect children’. However, these values map directly onto the New Woman arguments made by New Women writers themselves. Many significant New Women writers, including George Egerton and Sarah Grand, argued for motherhood and reproduction as an argument for women’s social emancipation. Seen through this lens, Bram Stoker’s Dracula offers a more complicated engagement and dialogue with the New Woman concept. The creative section of my thesis then reimagines the Dracula story in the 21st century, engaging with themes of adaptation, the #MeToo movement and social media. My research is funded by BAVS, FFWG and the Yorkshire Ladies' Council of Education.

I achieved a first class BA in English Literature at the University of Liverpool and later took my MA in Critical & Creative Writing at the University of Sussex. My short fiction and non-fiction have been published in a range of literary journals including Square Wheel Press, Queen Mob’s Teahouse and Xray, among others, under my pen name T.S.J. Harling. My print chapbook, Tower Block Ghost Story, is out now with Nightjar Press.

Research interests include the Gothic, C19th (and the fin de siècle), Romanticism, Mary Shelley, interdisciplinarity, anti-racism, decoloniality. 

Teaching

I have been seminar leader for HE modules on 'the novel', as well as taking an Associate Lectureship position at UCA on 'game theory'. I have also led several one-off creative writing workshops.

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