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Personal profile

Biography

Rev Prof Jane de Gay is Professor of English Literature at Leeds Trinity University and honorary Associate Priest and Lecturer at Leeds Minster.

Jane's research combines literary scholarship with theology and religious studies. Her  monograph, Virginia Woolf and Christian Culture (Edinburgh University Press, 2018), is wide-ranging, comprehensive study which reveals that Virginia Woolf was profoundly interested in, and knowledgeable about, Christianity as a faith and as a socio-political movement. Recent publications arising from this research include an invited chapter in The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism, Myth and Religion (Edinburgh University Press, 2023).

The second strand of Jane's research is allusion and intertextuality. Her first monograph, Virginia Woolf’s Novels and the Literary Past (Edinburgh University Press, 2006), was the first book to explore Woolf’s preoccupation with the literary past and its profound impact on the content and structure of her novels. Publications from this project include an invited chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Virginia Woolf (2021). She was organizer of the 26th International Virginia Woolf Conference: Virginia Woolf and Heritage (16-19 June 2016), which brought over 220 international scholars to campus.

At Leeds Trinity, she is Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research and Co-Director of the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies with Professor Karen Sayer

Before coming to Leeds Trinity in 1999, Jane was a researcher at the Open University, working on the Gender, Politics and Performance Project. As part of the project, she co-edited four books with Professor Lizbeth Goodman, including Feminist Stages (Harwood, 1996), a collection of interviews with feminist theatre-makers at a critical moment when they were moving from grassroots theatre into the mainstream.

Jane was ordained deacon in 2008 and priest in 2009. She served her title at St Martin’s Potternewton in Leeds and was Associate Priest at St Martin's until her move to Leeds Minster in 2023. She contributes to the Church of England as a Senior Reviewer of Theological Courses and Colleges and to the diocese as Diocesan Advisor for candidates for ordination. She enjoys working ecumenically and contributes to the life of the Chaplaincy at Leeds Trinity.
 

Research interests

My research continues to focus on Virginia Woolf's literary, cultural and intellectual heritage, including her intertexual and allusive practices and her engagement with questions of faith.

Besides my work on Virginia Woolf, I have an interest in literary texts that explore questions of the afterlife: the first output from this project is an article on Graham Swift’s Last Orders.

Teaching and Administration

Level 5:
ENG5503: Literature, Empowerment, Employment

Level 6:
ENG6302: Authors in Depth (regular contribution of a half module on Virginia Woolf); supervising research reports and dissertations

MA:
VIC7003: The Victorians (Literature and Culture seminars); VIC7063: Literature; supervising dissertations

PhD completions:

Marion Dell, ‘“Born into a Large Connection”: Virginia Woolf’s Legacies from Three Nineteenth-Century Forebears: Julia Margaret Cameron, Anne Thackeray Ritchie and Julia Prinsep Stephen.’ (Open University. 2012) Published as Virginia Woolf’s Influential Forebears (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

Anne Reus, ‘Virginia Woolf’s Rewriting of Victorian Women Writers’ Lives’ (Leeds Trinity University, 2018) Lead supervisor

Tom Breckin, ‘“[H]e comes back more as a contemporary”: The intertextual relationship of Virginia Woolf and Leslie Stephen’ (Leeds Trinity University, 2018) Lead supervisor

Gary McKee, ‘Benjamin Bailey and the CMS in the Ecclesiastical Development of Kerala’ (Leeds Trinity University, 2018)

3 current students

 


Administration
Jane is Programme Leader for the MA in Victorian Studies and research lead and REF co-ordinator for the English subject area.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The Open University

PGCertLTHE, The Open University

Master of Arts, University of Leeds

Bachelor of Arts, University of Oxford

REF 2029 UOA

  • UOA27 - English Language and Literature

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