The Victorian Studies Centre


People are central to the Victorian Studies Centre, making it a home to a diverse, widespread and welcoming research community. 

Julian North - Director of Victorian Studies Centre

'As the Director of the Victorian Studies Centre, I have the pleasure of leading a wonderful team of scholars and students. We work together organising our 'Global Victorians' research seminar series, our annual public lecture, our 'Research Cafe' for postgraduates, and many other events. We also like to get together at our local Indian Restaurant whenever we can. As well as organising activities, I teach on our MA in Victorian Studies and have been privileged to supervise some great PhD projects on topics including Queen Victoria's reading; the power of faerie in the work of Charlotte Bronte; a biographical study of the Jordain sisters; late-Victorian biography and psychology; and the plain woman in Victorian fiction. My own research has focused on Victorian 'Life Writing' (biography and autobiography) and I'm currently writing a book on images of the writer in Victorian Britain - looking at portraits and photographs of authors including Dickens, Charlotte Bronte and Mary Seacole. I've experienced the VSC as a place of intellectual discovery and friendship. I feel lucky to be part of it.'

Claire Brock - Director of Victorian Studies MA

'In my role as Director of the Victorian Studies MA, I am delighted to lead a course internationally renowned for its outstanding interdisciplinarity. So many wonderful students from across the world have joined us – and, in some cases, stayed. We have taught fantastic postgraduates from America, China, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and all over Europe and the UK. It’s a real privilege to work with such an exciting global community. In addition to running the programme, I also teach on it, introducing students to aspects of the Victorian and Edwardian periods with which they might not be so familiar. For example, in my option ‘Bodies, 1850-1918’, we learn about surgical developments, the X-ray, and the Great War’s physical and mental mutilations. I have a large number of PhD students in the VSC, who work on fascinating topics - from pregnancy, empire, and family networks, to writing about illness, care, and institutional experience in the Victorian period.

When I teach, I enjoy drawing on and sharing my own research into the history of surgery. I’ve written a book about women surgeons between 1860 and 1918, and am currently working on another about what it was like to be a surgical patient in the age of experimentation and specialisation between 1880 and 1930. The VSC is a really supportive environment for my work, and one where I learn a great deal from my engaging students, as well as my dedicated colleagues.'

Academic staff 

You can view a list of our academic staff, who also have individual profiles giving more information about their research and teaching areas. 

PhD students

Amber Vella - current student

'Having studied at Leicester since 2016, it felt natural to continue my PhD research here in the Victorian Studies Centre. Throughout my undergraduate, postgraduate, and now doctoral study, I’ve benefitted from staff expertise across a range of disciplines in the Victorian period, including gender, the history of science, and life-writing. Option modules offered are interdisciplinary and engaging, while tutors are enthusiastic and supportive. I can’t imagine doing research anywhere else!'

We have a vibrant and diverse community of Postgraduate Research Students.

You can also browse a list of our and Visiting Scholars.

Back to top