Dr Monica Germana

Senior Lecturer

+44 20 7911 5000 ext 68962
309 Regent Street London W1B 2HW

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English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies | Department

Monica Germana's research focuses on contemporary fiction, the Gothic, and popular culture.

I graduated from the University of Viterbo (Italy) with a first-class degree in Modern Languages, with a dissertation focusing on the shared supernatural elements in James Hogg's Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1847). In 1997 I began my postgraduate career at the University of Glasgow and in 1999 I graduated with an MPhil in Scottish Studies with distinction. As part of the course, I spent a term on a research fellowship at St Mary's University, Nova Scotia. This gave me the opportunity to undertake some archival research into the representations of Scottish identity in Canada, which formed the basis for my postgraduate dissertation. I continued to work in the area of Scottish studies when I started my PhD in Scottish Literature, with a thesis on the function of traditional supernatural elements in contemporary Scottish Women's writing.

Before joining Westminster in September 2008, I was a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Derby (2006–08) and an associate lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at Roehampton University (2004–06). While studying for my doctoral degree at the University of Glasgow (1999–2003), I also worked as tutor in several departments and was one of the founders and former editors of esharp, an established peer-reviewed postgraduate journal based at the University of Glasgow.

I joined the University of Westminster in 2008 and I became Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2009.

My teaching falls into two subject areas in the department: English Literature and Creative Writing. In English Literature I teach Reading Gender, a module which seeks to interrogate and challenge representations of gender in literature, film and popular culture, and Other Worlds, a module which considers the construction of alternative worlds in literature and film from Shakespeare's The Tempest (1611) to Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010).

In Creative Writing, I teach Writing London, a module which introduces the fundamental principles of short-story writing, such as setting, character, plot and structure. I'm also responsible for coordinating Professional Writing, a module which introduces third-year students to the rewards and challenges of the writing industry.

At postgraduate level, I contribute to the MA English Literature by delivering seminars in the programme's core module (Subjectivities in Contemporary Fiction).

In Creative Writing, I'm the Course Leader for the MA Creative Writing: Writing the City. This programme encourages students to respond to the city in their fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Within this programme, I'm also in charge of 'The Writing Business', a professional development module which allows students to learn about various aspects of the writing industry whilst also practicing their skills in the management of new postgraduate online journal.

My research to date has had a strong focus on 20th- and 21st-century writing, gender and the Gothic tradition. I have co-edited (with Emily Horton) a collection of essays on Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Ali Smith (Bloomsbury, 2013). Stemming from the same research area in Gothic culture is also a collection of essays on Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture (co-edited with Aris Mousoutzanis), which includes contributions by Lee Quinby, Adam Roberts and Avril Horner (Routledge, 2014).

My current research is also branching out to integrate the interdisciplinary areas of text, space and material cultures. I am currently working on my second monograph (Bond Girls: Body, Dress, Gender; Bloomsbury), an interdisciplinary project investigating the critical intersections of fashion and gender in relation to the treatment of Bond Girls in Ian Fleming's novels and subsequent cinematic adaptations. My interest in the interdisciplinary intersections between fashion and literature has underpinned my recent publications in Postcolonial Spaces: The Politics of Place in Contemporary Culture (ed. Andrew Teverson and Sara Upstone, Palgrave 2011) and Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Sarah Waters (ed. Kaye Mitchell, Bloomsbury, 2013). Besides fashion, the interdisciplinary scope of my research in the fields of visual cultures and graphic fiction has also emerged in publications included in Alan Moore and The Gothic Tradition (ed. Matt Green, MUP, 2013) and The Bloomsbury Introduction to Popular Fiction (ed. Christine Berberich, forthcoming).

Previous research

My previous research has focused mainly on contemporary Scottish fiction. My first monograph, now republished in paperback, Scottish Women's Gothic and Fantastic Writing: Fiction since 1978 (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) investigates the persistence of supernatural motifs in contemporary Western cultures and produces the first study of Scottish women's fantasy writing of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The book has inspired a special 1-day conference on 'Scottish women's Gothic and Fantastic Writing' co-organised by the Institute of Advanced Studies (Edinburgh University) and Scottish PEN (Edinburgh, 8 March 2013). I have edited a special issue of Gothic Studies on Contemporary Scottish Gothic (2011) and published articles and chapters on Emma Tennant, Janice Galloway, A.L. Kennedy, James Kelman, Iain Banks and Alasdair Gray.

Research students

I have successfully supervised Dr Aisling McKeown's doctoral thesis on 'The Representation of Migrancy and Otherness in Contemporary Irish Narrative' (2013) and I am currently supervising Kate Turner's doctoral thesis on 'The Queer Moment in Contemporary Scottish Fiction'. I would be interested in supervising research projects on contemporary Scottish literature, and particularly within the Gothic genre, as well as interdisciplinary projects on film and costume.

Membership of professional bodies

I have been serving as Executive Secretary of the International Gothic Association since 2011.

2016

Community Spirit? Haunting Secrets and Displaced Selves in Contemporary Scottish Fiction (2016)
Germanà, M. 2016. Community Spirit? Haunting Secrets and Displaced Selves in Contemporary Scottish Fiction. in: Lyall, S. (ed.) Community in Modern Scottish Literature Leiden Brill. pp. 235-253

2015

The Coming of Age of Graphic Narratives (2015)
Germanà, M. 2015. The Coming of Age of Graphic Narratives . in: Berberich, C. (ed.) The Bloomsbury Introduction to Popular Fiction London Bloomsbury. pp. 163-181

2014

“What Are All Those Things He Once Thought He Knew, and Where Have They Gone?”: The End of the Wor(l)d in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2003) (2014)
Germanà, M. 2014. “What Are All Those Things He Once Thought He Knew, and Where Have They Gone?”: The End of the Wor(l)d in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake
. in: Germanà, M. and Mousoutzanis, A. (ed.) Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture: Post-Millennial Perspectives of the End of the World New York Routledge. pp. 206-219
The Awakening of Caledonias? Scottish Literature in the 1980s (2014)
Germanà, M. 2014. The Awakening of Caledonias? Scottish Literature in the 1980s. in: Wilson, L.G., Horton, E. and Tew, P. (ed.) 1980s: A Decade of Contemporary British Fiction London Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 51-74
Brownies (2014)
Germanà, M. 2014. Brownies. in: Weinstock, J. (ed.) Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters Ashgate. pp. 61-66

2013

The Death of the Lady: Haunted Garments and (Re-)Possession in Sarah Waters’s The Little Stranger’ (2013)
Germanà, M. 2013. The Death of the Lady: Haunted Garments and (Re-)Possession in Sarah Waters’s The Little Stranger’. in: Mitchell, K. (ed.) Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Sarah Waters London Bloomsbury. pp. 114-128
Madness and the city: the collapse of reason and sanity in Alan Moore’s From Hell (2013)
Germanà, M. 2013. Madness and the city: the collapse of reason and sanity in Alan Moore’s From Hell. in: Green, M. (ed.) Alan Moore and the gothic tradition Manchester Manchester University Press.
‘The Uncanny can happen’: Desire and Belief in Ali Smith’s The Seer’ (2013)
Germanà, M. 2013. ‘The Uncanny can happen’: Desire and Belief in Ali Smith’s The Seer’. in: Germanà, M. and Horton, E. (ed.) Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Ali Smith London Bloomsbury. pp. 115-129

2012

Contemporary fiction (2012)
Germanà, M. 2012. Contemporary fiction. in: Norquay, G. (ed.) The Edinburgh companion to Scottish women's writing Edinburgh University Press.
Being human? Twenty-first century monsters (2012)
Germanà, M. 2012. Being human? Twenty-first century monsters. in: Edwards, J.D. and Soltysik Monnet, A. (ed.) The Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture: Pop Goth Routledge.

2011

Beyond the gaps: postmodernist representations of the metropolis (2011)
Germanà, M. 2011. Beyond the gaps: postmodernist representations of the metropolis. in: Berberich, C., Hudson, R. and Campbell, N. (ed.) Land and identity: theory, memory and practice Amsterdam Rodopi.
From hijab to sweatshops: segregated bodies and contested space in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane (2011)
Germanà, M. 2011. From hijab to sweatshops: segregated bodies and contested space in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. in: Teverson, A. and Upstone, S. (ed.) Postcolonial spaces: the politics of place in contemporary culture London Palgrave Macmillan.
The dear green place (2011)
Germanà, M. 2011. The dear green place. in: Book Ashby-de-la-Zouch Inkermen Press.

2009

Red stiletto (2009)
Germanà, M. 2009. Red stiletto. in: Cold turkey: a Christmas selection Ashby-de-la-Zouch Inkermen Press.
Lost and found (2009)
Germanà, M. 2009. Lost and found. in: Loss Ashby-de-la-Zouch Inkermen Press.

2008

In and outside post-devolution Scotland: Scottish national identity and women writers (2008)
Germanà, M. 2008. In and outside post-devolution Scotland: Scottish national identity and women writers. in: Lunan, L., Macdonald, K.A. and Sassi, C. (ed.) Re-Visioning Scotland: new readings of the cultural canon Frankfurt am Main ; Oxford Peter Lang.
Crossing dream boundaries: decoding nonsense and fantastic ambiguities in Naomi Mitchison’s beyond this limit (2008)
Germanà, M. 2008. Crossing dream boundaries: decoding nonsense and fantastic ambiguities in Naomi Mitchison’s beyond this limit. in: MacPherson, P., Murray, C., Spark, G. and Corstorphine, K. (ed.) Sub-versions: cultural status, genre and critique Newcastle Cambridge Scholars. pp. 135-148

2014

Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture: Post-Millennial Perspectives of the End of the World (2014)
Germanà, M. and Mousoutzanis, A. (ed.) 2014. Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture: Post-Millennial Perspectives of the End of the World. Abingdon Routledge.

2013

Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Ali Smith (2013)
Germanà, M. and Horton, E. (ed.) 2013. Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Ali Smith. London Bloomsbury Press.

2010

Scottish women's gothic and fantastic writing: fiction since 1978 (2010)
Germanà, M. 2010. Scottish women's gothic and fantastic writing: fiction since 1978. Edinburgh Edinburgh University Press.

2011

Introduction: the sick body and the fractured self: (contemporary) Scottish gothic (2011)
Germanà, M. 2011. Introduction: the sick body and the fractured self: (contemporary) Scottish gothic. Gothic Studies. 13 (2), pp. 1-8.
Becoming Hyde: excess, pleasure and cloning (2011)
Germanà, M. 2011. Becoming Hyde: excess, pleasure and cloning. Gothic Studies. 13 (2), pp. 98-115.

2008

Plagiarising the Ettrick shepherd? A note on the manuscript of Charlotte Brontë's tales of the islanders and Winifred Gérin's Emily Brontë (2008)
Germanà, M. 2008. Plagiarising the Ettrick shepherd? A note on the manuscript of Charlotte Brontë's tales of the islanders and Winifred Gérin's Emily Brontë. Notes and Queries. 55 (4), pp. 461-463.

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