Dr Melissa Fegan

Associate Professor in Nineteenth-Century Literature; Programme leader for the MA in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture and Programme Leader for MRes in English.


BA, MSt, DPhil, PGC Learning and Teaching (HE), FHEA


Melissa is an Associate Professor in English Literature, specialising in nineteenth-century literature and Irish literature. 

She completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford on representations of the Great Famine in nineteenth-century Irish, British and American literature.


Melissa teaches on the BA in English and the MA in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. Modules she teaches or lectures on include:

  • Approaches to Literature
  • Romantic Literature
  • Victorian Literature
  • Gothic Literature
  • Modernism and After
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature
  • Nineteenth-Century Culture
  • Irish Literature


Postgraduate supervision:

Melissa has supervised PhD students working on nineteenth-century Irish literature, and nineteenth-century travel literature. She welcomes enquiries about research projects on:

  • Nineteenth-century literature
  • Irish literature
  • Gothic literature
  • Literature and history
  • Neo-Victorian fiction
  • Travel literature


Melissa is currently working on twentieth- and twenty-first-century representations of the Great Famine in literature, and the Irish hotel in early nineteenth-century Irish fiction and travel books.


Published work



Literature and the Irish Famine 1845-1919 (Clarendon Press, 2002).

Wuthering Heights: Character Studies (Continuum, 2008).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

  • ‘The Moral Economy of the Irish Hotel from the Union to the Famine’, in Susanne Schmid and Monika Elbert (eds) Anglo-American Travelers and the Hotel Experience in Nineteenth Century Literature: Nation, Hospitality, Travel Writing (Routledge, 2017)
  • “Of every land the guest”: Aubrey de Vere’s travels’, Studies in Travel Writing, 20:2 (2016), 135-148.
  • ‘“The Tottering, Fluttering, Palpitating Mass”: Power, Hunger and Representation in Nineteenth-Century Literary Responses to the Great Famine’, in Enda Delaney and Breandán Mac Suibhne (eds) Ireland’s Great Famine and Popular Politics (New York and London: Routledge, 2016), 34-58.
  • ‘Waking the Bones: the Famine in Contemporary Irish Literature’, in Ruud van den Beuken, Marguérite Corporaal, Christopher Cusack and Lindsay Janssen (eds) Global Legacies of the Great Irish Famine (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2014), 157-174.
  • ‘“Every Irishman is an Arab”: James Clarence Mangan’s Eastern “Translations”’, Translation and Literature, 22:2 (Summer 2013), 195-214.
  • ‘William Carleton and Famine’, William Carleton Summer School, August 2012 http://www.williamcarletonsociety.org/site/talks/talksunderconstruction.html
  • ‘"That heartbroken island of incestuous hatreds": Famine and Family in Joseph O'Connor's Star of the Sea', in Neo-Victorian Families, eds. Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben (Rodopi, 2011).
  • ‘The Great Famine in Literature, 1845-1896', in Julia M. Wright (ed.), A Companion to Irish Literature, vol. 1 (Blackwell, 2010).
  • ‘"Like a wail from the tomb, / But of world-waking power": James Clarence Mangan's "A Vision: A. D. 1848", The Great Famine and the Young Ireland Rising', in 1848: The Year the World Turned?, eds. Kay Boardman and Christine Kinealy (Cambridge Scholars, 2007).
  • ‘"Something so utterly unprecedented in the annals of human life": William Carleton and the Great Famine', in Peter Gray (ed.), Victoria's Ireland?: Ireland and Britishness, 1837-1901 (Four Courts Press, 2004).
  • ‘"Isn't it your own country?": The Stranger in Nineteenth-Century Irish Literature', Yearbook of English Studies, 34 (2004), 31-45.
  • ‘The Traveller's Experience of Famine Ireland', Irish Studies Review, 9:3 (2001), 361-71.

Melissa has reviewed for journals including: Irish Studies Review, English Historical Review, Journal of British Studies, Media History, Modernism/Modernity, Journal of Tourism History and Victoriographies.