Staff profile

Jane de Gay

Professor, Rev Jane de Gay


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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

Professional Qualifications

  • Accredited Teacher in Higher Education, Staff and Educational Development Association,

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy,

  • Northern Ordination Course certificate,


Jane de Gay is Professor of English Literature at Leeds Trinity University. Her new monograph, Virginia Woolf and Christian Culture (Edinburgh University Press in June 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. 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.

Jane has published widely on Woolf and regularly gives academic papers and public talks, most notably the Virginia Woolf Birthday Lecture for 2009 and a plenary talk at the 17th Annual Virginia Woolf Conference in Oxford, Ohio. 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 also Programme Leader for the MA Victorian Studies.

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 as an Anglican Priest in 2009. She serves as Associate Priest at St Martin’s Potternewton in Leeds and contributes to the wider church as a Senior Reviewer of Theological Courses and Colleges and an academic advisor.

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 4: 
ENG4562: Words on the Page (Poetry); contributions to ENG4772: Roots of Stories 

Level 5:
ENG5732: Constructions of Gender; ENG5412: Twentieth-Century Literature; supervising professional placements. 

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

VIC7003: The Victorians (Literature and Culture seminars); VIC7063: Victorian Words: Texts and Contexts; 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)

2 current students

1 current student

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

Willingness to take PhD students