Personal profile


Marielle O’Neill is a PhD candidate at Leeds Trinity University. Her research focuses on the political activism of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, contextualising their work within the co-operative, anti-imperialist and anti-fascist movements of the period, as well as exploring their place in the socio-political milieu and their relationships with key political figures. She was awarded a scholarship from Leeds Trinity University to fund her studies.

From 2021 to 2024, she served on the Executive Council of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain (VWSGB) where she facilitated and co-organised online events and managed social media accounts to help grow the Society's digital presence and increase membership. Her work with VWSGB included leading the successful Leonard Woolf bus campaign in which she garnered support from politicians and stakeholder organisations to name a Brighton and Hove bus after Leonard Woolf. She also served on the advisory group working with Camden Council on their ‘Re-Presenting Virginia Woolf’ project to decolonise Virginia Woolf’s legacy.

Marielle co-produced the 2022 Outside/rs conference at University of Brighton, which explored the challenges of ‘outsider’ experiences and positions related to gender, sex and sexuality. She co-edited Special Issue: Excursions x Outside/rs, which featured essays from the conference and was published by the University of Sussex (April 2023). Her work has been published in specialist Virginia Woolf journals (The Virginia Woolf Bulletin and The Virginia Woolf Miscellany) and she has lectured internationally on the Woolfs as well as featuring on The Virginia Woolf Podcast hosted by Karina Jakubowicz on an episode on Leonard Woolf’s Legacies (

Prior to entering academia, Marielle worked in local government for several years in Kirklees and Brighton and Hove. She has been politically active on both sides of the Atlantic, working on Capitol Hill, and in the Houses of Parliament. In 2016, she was selected as one of 10 Young Fabians to research and observe the 2016 US presidential election during which she also campaigned for Hillary Clinton, and in 2012 she worked on Barack Obama’s campaign.

Beyond the Woolfs, her research interests include 20th and 21st century British and American political history, the works of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, the Golden Age of Hollywood filmmaking, and film noir.