Dr Eileen Pollard

Lecturer in English Literature; Programme Leader, MRes in English.

Qualifications

BA (Hons) (Liverpool), MA (Liverpool), PhD (Manchester Metropolitan), PGCAP (Manchester Metropolitan), SFHEA.

Overview

Eileen was awarded her PhD on the writing of Hilary Mantel in 2013. She was appointed as a Lecturer in English at the University of Chester in 2015, before that working as an Associate Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University since 2012. As well as researching literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Eileen is interested in the theory and practice of HE teaching and has published on the benefits of what she has termed ‘live’ pedagogy. Eileen has previously acted as Senior University Teaching Fellow for the Humanities at the University of Chester (2016-17) and continues to promote the sharing of good teaching practice across the School and wider Faculty.

Teaching


Undergraduate:

Eileen has taught literature produced from the Renaissance to the present day, especially English Literature of the nineteenth century, fin de siècle, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as creative writing courses, widening participation classes and supervising undergraduate dissertations. She specialises in twentieth and twenty-first century literature, especially the writing of Hilary Mantel, as well as critical and cultural theory. Modules she teaches or lectures on include:

  • EN4001 Studying Literature
  • EN4002 Approaches to Literature
  • EN4003 Contemporary Literature
  • EN4006 Fiction
  • EN5013 Reading Contemporary Fiction and Film through Theory
  • EN5202 Research Methods
  • EN5205 Chester Retold: Unspoken Stories, Put into Words
  • EN6001 Renaissance Literature
  • EN6003 Modernism and After
  • EN6004 Dissertation
  • EN6022 Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Eileen also taught a range of undergraduate units at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Postgraduate:

Eileen is the Programme Leader for the MRes in English and Module Leader for the EN7004 Research Methods and EN7005 Research Dissertation modules.

She is currently developing a new programme called MRes in Storytelling for delivery from October 2018 with a range of external practitioners.

Eileen also teaches on the following modules on the MA in Modern and Contemporary Fiction:

  • EN7302 Novel Histories
  • EN7305 Research Methods

Eileen has previously delivered two postgraduate level continuing professional development talks and courses:

  • ‘Doing a PhD: A Guide to the Proposal and Writing Process’, Campus Days Talk, MMU (June 25, 2015)
  • ‘Writing Skills for Researchers’, Continuing Professional Development Unit, MMU (February 3 to February 24, 2015 and February 4 to February 25, 2016)

Eileen is currently supervising two MRes students working on posthuman literature and theory. She has also previously supervised taught MA dissertations and acted as department Postgraduate Tutor.

Research

Eileen’s PhD thesis challenged current readings of Hilary Mantel’s writing that privilege an origin as the fetishised natural site or location of meaning. In particular, Eileen problematised material within the academy and journalism that tethers Mantel’s fiction and memoir to Gothicism/historicism, autobiography or the body, as centres that anchor a singular meaning. Using the writings of both Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy on ellipsis, her thesis advanced on the possibilities of the elliptical for deconstructive practice by considering the resistance of Mantel’s work to any conceptual solidity. Ultimately, the thesis concluded with Eileen’s own interpretation of Mantel’s texts as always already elliptically circling the west, as a troubled, yet hallowed, locus throughout Mantel’s implied corpus.

Eileen published an interview she conducted with Mantel in 2012 in the journal Textual Practice (2015). She also has a book agreement for the monograph of her thesis - Origin and Ellipsis in the Writing of Hilary Mantel - with Routledge (forthcoming 2019).

 

Current work-in-progress:

‘“Its own pure simulacrum”: Reading Representations of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe’, journal article.

Forthcoming:

Co-edited with Berthold Schoene, Accelerated Times: British Literature in Transition, 1980-2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (2018)

Co-editor with Ginette Carpenter, Hilary Mantel: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (London: Bloomsbury) (2018)

 

Conference contribution:

‘The Visible and the Invisible Hilary Mantel’ invited talk to BA students and ‘Hilary Mantel, the PhD and Me’ invited talk to MA and PhD students, University of Malaga, Spain (March 17, 2016)

‘How to put an author “on trial” in an English literature classroom’ (paper presented at HEA Inspire – sharing great practice in Arts and Humanities teaching and learning, Brighton, UK, March 3, 2016)

‘Mad and Bad Bodies at the Fin de Siècle and the New Millennium’ (paper presented at Talking Bodies: Identity, Sexuality, Representation, Chester, UK, April 1, 2015)

‘“It goes on in the reader’s mind” (Mantel 2012): The epiphany of ellipsis in the writing of Hilary Mantel’ (paper presented at What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English, Lincoln, UK, July 14, 2014) 

‘“We are truly missing something”: If Jean-Luc Nancy read Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies’ (paper presented at International Conference on Narrative, Manchester, UK, June 28, 2013)

‘“We are truly missing something”: If Jean-Luc Nancy read Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies’ (paper presented at London Conference in Critical Thought, Egham, UK, June 6, 2013)

‘“Trust me, I’m telling you my life story”: Queer Sisterhood in the memoirs of Jeanette Winterson and Jackie Kay’ (paper presented at Queer Sisterhood in Contemporary Women’s Writing: A Postgraduate Symposium, Belfast, Northern Ireland, February 29, 2012)

‘“Are you local?” – Alienation in The League of Gentlemen’ (paper presented at MMU Philosophy Co-operative, Manchester, UK, November 21, 2011)

‘“But at second sight the words seemed not so simple” (Woolf 1929): Thickening and rotting hysteria in the writing of Hilary Mantel and Virginia Woolf’ (paper presented at Contradictory Woolf: 21st Annual International Virginia Woolf Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, June 10, 2011)

‘“The revenant is going to come”: Sex and rottenness in the communities of Hilary Mantel and Nicola Barker’ (paper presented at Evil, Women and the Feminine: 3rd Global Conference, Warsaw, Poland, May 14, 2011)

‘“I got serious”: Jeanette Winterson and parody as catharsis’ (paper presented at Postgraduate Seminar Series, Liverpool, UK, February 2, 2007)

Conference organisation:

‘“Privileging the Unseen”: A one-day symposium on the writing of Hilary Mantel’ (series of papers presented at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester, UK, June 9, 2015)

‘Jean-Luc Nancy in Fragments’ (stream organised and presented at London Conference in Critical Thought, Egham, UK, June 6 and June 7, 2013)

Expert reviewer:

Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies (The Ohio State University)

Textual Practice

C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century writings

Routledge

British Federation of Women Graduates

 

Grants:

Research Grants

University of Malaga (2016) ‘The Visible and the Invisible Hilary Mantel’ invited talk to BA students and ‘Hilary Mantel, the PhD and Me’ invited talk to MA and PhD students, University of Malaga

Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research, MMU (2014) (£1300) to organise and deliver: 

‘“Privileging the Unseen”: A one-day symposium on the writing of Hilary Mantel’ (June 2015) and ‘An Evening with Hilary Mantel’ (September 2015)

Contemporary Women’s Writing Association, small conference grant (2014) (£200)

Conference Attendance Funding

Two MMU Faculty awards for conference attendance (2011) (£500 and £250)

PhD Studentship

AHRC Block Grant Partnership (2010-2013) (£45,000)

School of English Bursary

MA scholarship awarded on basis of academic merit, University of Liverpool (2006) (£1500)

University Undergraduate Scholarship

Awarded for 1st and 2nd year examination results, University of Liverpool (2004-2005) (£50 and £50)

Projects and Initiatives:

‘Guest Lecture on Sarah Water’s The Paying Guests’, Studying English Literature: Short Course, University Centre Shrewsbury, UK (July 12, 2017)

‘In Your Corner: Raising Awareness of Mental Health Problems’, Month of Wellbeing, University of Chester, UK (May 19 and May 24, 2017)

‘Aspects and Benefits of “Live” Pedagogy’, TeachMeet, Tarporley C of E Primary School, UK (March 16, 2017) http://tonypickford.wixsite.com/teachmeet/copy-of-teachmeetep

‘Writing and Delivering Conference Papers’, Faculty of Humanities, University of Chester, UK (February 15, 2017)

‘Aspects and Benefits of “Live” Pedagogy’, Pedagogy Soundbites: Student Wellbeing, Faculty of Education and Children’s Services, University of Chester, UK (January 24, 2017)
https://issuu.com/edtech0/docs/psb_student_wellbeing

‘Shakexmas: Shakespeare at Christmas’, readings for the general public, University of Chester, UK (December 12, 2016)

‘Guest Seminar on Hilary Mantel’s Fludd’, All Points North: Literature and the North of England, University of Liverpool, UK (December 6, 2016)

The 3rd Degree contestant, quiz show hosted by Steve Punt from UK universities, BBC Radio 4, University of Chester (broadcast May 2016).

‘An Evening with Hilary Mantel’, a reading with one of Britain’s most accomplished authors for academics, students and members of the general public, MMU (September 30, 2015)

‘Viva Survivors Podcast’, interviewed by Dr Nathan Ryder (August 10, 2015)

‘Schools Liaison Training: The Monstrous Nineteenth Century’, Xaverian College (February 13, 2015)

Giving Up the Ghost and Learning to Talk by Hilary Mantel’, reading group facilitator, Arley Hall, Northwich (June 6, 2014)

‘Community’ (stand-up comedy routine presented at Bright Club Manchester 7: Obsession, Manchester, UK, June 24, 2011)

Membership of professional associations:

Society of Authors, Member (2015)

Higher Education Academy, Fellow (2015) Senior Fellow (2017)

Contemporary Women’s Writing Association, Member (2014)

Published work

Journal articles:

‘“When the Reservoir Comes”: Drowned Villages, Community and Nostalgia in Contemporary British Fiction’, C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century writings, 5 (2017), 1-21 http://doi.org/10.16995/c21.9

‘“People will never forget how you made them feel”’, Learning and Teaching in Action, 10 (2015), 33-46

‘“Mind what gap?”: An Interview with Hilary Mantel’, Textual Practice, 29 (2015), 1035-1044 <doi: 10.1080/0950236X.2015.1024729>

‘“Trust me, I’m telling you my life story”: Queer Return in the memoirs of Jeanette Winterson and Jackie Kay’, Forum: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts, 15 (2012)

‘“But at second sight the words seemed not so simple” (Woolf 1929): Thickening and rotting hysteria in the writing of Hilary Mantel and Virginia Woolf’, The Virginia Woolf Miscellany, 80 (2011), 24-26

Chapters in book:

REPRINT ‘“Trust me, I'm telling you my life story”: Queer Return in the memoirs of Jeanette Winterson and Jackie Kay’, in Contemporary Literary Criticism, ed. by Lawrence J. Trudeau (Detroit: Gale, 2015), CCCLXIX, pp. 206-210

REPRINT ‘“But at second sight the words seemed not so simple” (Woolf 1929): Thickening and rotting hysteria in the writing of Hilary Mantel and Virginia Woolf’, in Contemporary Literary Criticism Yearbook 2012, ed. by Lawrence J. Trudeau (Detroit: Gale, 2014), pp. 128-131

‘“The revenant is going to come”: Sex and rottenness in the communities of Hilary Mantel and Nicola Barker’, in The Evil Body, ed. by April Anson (Ebook: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011), pp. 143-151

Miscellaneous:

 

Bring Up the Bodies’, The Literary Encyclopedia, October 12, 2017
https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=34709

 

‘Meditation on a Bus Seat’, Asylum, 24 (Summer 2017), 24

 

The 2000s: A Decade of Contemporary British Fiction by Nick Bentley, Nick Hubble and Leigh Wilson (eds.)’, Review of English Studies, 68 (2017), 200-201 <https://doi.org/10.1093/res/hgw111>

The Secret Games of Words: Stories by Karen Stefano’, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 8 (2015), 85-86

‘Editorial: But it is a “theatre”, not just in name alone’, Journal of Academic Development and Education, 4 (2015), 5-7

The Unruly PhD by Rebecca Peabody’, Times Higher Education, 8 January 2015, Books section, pp. 52-53

‘Stage fright can be good for you’, Times Higher Education, 4 December 2014, Careers Intelligence section, p. 24

‘PETER CHILDS and JAMES GREEN Aesthetics and Ethics in Twenty-First Century British Novels, Review of English Studies, 65 (2014), 957-959

Bernard Stiegler dictionary entry, The Routledge Companion to Critical and Cultural Theory, 2nd edn, ed. by Paul Wake and Simon Malpas (London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 299-300

‘What are you reading? – Derrida: A Biography by Benoît Peeters’, Times Higher Education, 7 March 2013, Books section, p. 53

‘Notes on a Scandal’, Moveable Type, 3 (2007), 135-138

‘The Unreality of his Words’, The Reader, 25 (2007), 72-73

‘The Art of Wooing Nature: Eileen Pollard interviews Susan Duncan’, The Reader, 23 (2006), 65-69

‘Mentioning the War’, The Reader, 22 (2006), 90-92

 

Eileen has been described by a peer reviewer as ‘one of the foremost Mantel scholars working in academia at present’. She is currently working on the monograph of her thesis for Routledge and also preparing the first collection of essays on Mantel’s writing, with Ginette Carpenter (arising from the ‘Privileging the Unseen’ symposium) contracted for the Contemporary Critical Perspectives series published by Bloomsbury (forthcoming 2018). In May 2017, Eileen received a personal invitation to attend the recording of Mantel’s first BBC Reith Lecture, ‘Resurrection: Art and Craft’ at Hallé St Peter’s in Manchester.