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Staff profile

Kate Lister

Dr Kate Lister


Phone: +44 (0)113 2837100 ext. 752

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Education / Academic qualification

  • Bachelor of Arts, Leeds Trinity University

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Leeds Trinity University

  • Master of Arts, University of Leeds


I completed my BA (hons) in English Literature at Leeds Trinity University in 2003, my MA in English Literature at the University of Leeds in 2005 and my PhD in early nineteenth-century literature, under the supervision of Professor Paul Hardwick, in February 2013.

Research interests

My doctoral research formed the foundation of my monograph entitled Equal at the Round Table: Women Authors and the Nineteenth-Century Arthurian Revival, which is currently under review with the University Wales Press. This research breaks new ground in the developing field of women writers and Victorian medievalism. The work on historicism, as well as literary and gender studies, to construct a critical model with which to interrogate early nineteenth-century female contributions to our modern Arthurian canon and challenge what critics imply when referring to ‘tradition’ in the humanities.

In addition to my monograph, I have published two papers based on my doctoral research; one in Victorian medical humanities with Oxford Interdisciplinary Press, and a book chapter on the femme fatale in Victorian medievalism with Cambridge Scholars. For my post-doctoral research, I have written the introduction and edited an international, interdisciplinary collection of articles on Victorian material culture with Routledge (2017), and am currently editing an interdisciplinary collection of essays on Vikings in film with Professor Paul Hardwick, for McFarland, to which I have contributed a chapter. I have published a book chapter with Routledge on Victorian media on the construction of the sex worker (2017). I have a journal article under review with Studies in Medievalism on sexual violence in Game of Thrones that was co-authored with researchers in psychology. I have formed external research collaborations with the Leeds-based charity, Basis Yorkshire (a charity that supports sex workers in the city of Leeds), and contributed an article on the history of sex work in Leeds in their Rosa funded publication Our Voices. I am formatting the work to be available as an eBook as part of the whores of yore project.

As part of my post-doctoral research, designed, coded and built the online interdisciplinary digital media project, Whores of Yore ( This is a public engagement project that works to make research on sexuality and the history of sex work accessible to the general public online by utilising social media. The Twitter feed has (at the time of writing) 93,000 followers and the website averages 60,000 independent visits every month. The website includes over 100 academic articles, archived images, extracts from medical texts, antique erotica, and independent blogs from Basis Yorkshire and resident licenced sexologists. The project was nominated for the Sexual Freedom Award, Ally of the Year 2016, has led to numerous television, radio and podcast appearances, has been the subject of several online articles and generated many academic invitations to deliver guest lectures (including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Bristol 5x15, and the Chalk Valley History Festival.)

I am a board member of the International Sex Work Research Hub and advise on the use of digital media. I am also a member of Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, BAVS, the International Arthurian Society and the Bibliographic Society and use these societies to network and forge research collaborations. I have twice been successful in applying to the British Association for Victorian Studies for funding to host a conference in Victorian studies.

Teaching and Administration


I worked as a Visiting Lecturer in higher education for seven years, gaining experience in several research institutions, before taking up my current post as a post-doctoral research associate at Leeds Trinity University. I have taught undergraduate and postgraduate students from a wide variety of backgrounds, and always strive to communicate complex information in an accessible mannerMost of my teaching has been based in literary studies and has used the study of history to contextualize literary texts. I am very confident teaching across a range of humanity modules. My teaching includes national literature and genres both within and outside my areas of research expertise, which makes me a valuable cross-team player. I have experience of convening literature and interdisciplinary modules on contemporary British fiction, nineteenth-century / Victorian literature and culture, eighteenth-century literature, literary theory (including feminist theories), gender studies, film studies, and medieval literature, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  


I am currently the module co-ordinator for the 'Continuing the Middle Ages' final year undergraduate module at Leeds Trinity University. I have redesigned the module to include more modern history texts that construct the medieval (Victorian through to modern day graphic novels.) I have also co-designed a module for the Victorian Studies MA on Victorian Identities, focusing particularly on female sexual identity, which was very successful this year. I have designed a new module for Leeds Trinity University that will begin 2017, bringing together literature students and journalism students, in a module on American Literary Journalism. Although my primary research is in English literature and gender studies, I have lectured in twentieth-century American literature; particularly, the literature of the Beat poets, the emergence of 'Gonzo' journalism, and the work of Hunter S. Thompson. My PhD also draws upon American literature, and several nineteenth-century American authors. 


I have also supervised Masters by research students, primarily in the field of gender studies and medievalism. As well as supervising and leading research students, this role has involved preparing masters students for PhD study.