Dr Naomi Hetherington


Department for Lifelong Learning

University Tutor: Foundation Programme

Member of the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies

DLL Naomi
DLL Naomi H


I joined the Department for Lifelong Learning in September 2014. Before taking up my current position, I taught for five years in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, where I received a Birkbeck Distinguished Teaching and Scholarship Award.

I have also taught at the University of Hertfordshire, Roehampton University, Queen Mary, University of London, and London Metropolitan University, where I held a Visiting Research Fellowship at The Women’s Library (then at Old Castle Street).

I am a full member of the Higher Education Academy. In addition to my academic work, I have a background in supported housing and hold a Combined Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory (Central School of Counselling and Therapy, London).

I convene the department Learning and Teaching seminar and contribute to foundation admissions and the Discover Course introducing adult learners to the possibility of university level study.

I am also a member of the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) and co-lead the SIIBS Gothic Bible Project.

  • BA Theology and Religious Studies (Newnham College, Cambridge)
  • MA Victorian Literature (Manchester)
  • PhD New Women, New Testaments: Christian narrative and New Woman fiction (Southampton)
Research interests

My research interests are in religion and popular literature and culture, particularly in the late Victorian period, but I also have an ongoing interest in representations of religion and the Bible in the popular TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003).

I am currently General Editor for Nineteenth Century Religion, Literature and Society, a 4-vol annotated set of rare primary texts available in print and online forthcoming with Routledge in December 2020.

I am also writing a book length study of the figure of the female freethinker in New Woman fiction. It asks how and why the literary figure of the New Woman came to associate sexual transgression in the public mind with unbelief and heterodox forms of religion. In so doing, it sheds new light on the role which gender has played in the process of long-term religious change.

I co-organised Buffy and the Bible, a two-day interdisciplinary conference taking place at the University of Sheffield on 4-5 July 2019 and funded by WRoCAH and the International Gothic Association as part of the Gothic Bible Project.

I am one of the Social Media Officers for the Victorian Popular Fiction Association. Together with Dr Clare Stainthorp (UCL), I am co-organising a study day on Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture funded by VPFA and the British Association of Victorian Studies. Originally scheduled for May 2020, the study day has been postponed until spring 2021 due to Covid-19. But you can whet your appetite for the day by browsing our Twitter Taster . (can you add in a hyperlink for the Twitter Taster as well on the words 'Twitter Taster': https://victorianpopularfiction.org/studyday/vpfareligion-twitter-taster-2020/).

I am on the editorial board of the Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (JIBS), Victorian Popular Fictions Journal, Key Popular Women Writers (Edward Everett Root Publishers) and New Paths in Victorian Literature and Culture (Edward Everett Root Publishers).

You can find further details of these and other projects on my personal website.

Teaching activities
  • ACE0348 Foundations of English (module convenor)
  • ACE 0351 Introduction to the Humanities
  • ACE0340 Academic Literacy and Communication Skills
  • ACE0349 Extended Project
  • ACE0346 Foundations of History


  • Amy Levy: Critical Essays, co-edited with Nadia Valman (Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2010).

Special Issues

  • Victorian Review 37.3 (2011), co-edited with Joy Dixon, special issue entitled ‘Late Nineteenth-Century Religion and Sexuality’.
  • Women: A Cultural Review 21.3 (2010), co-edited with the History of Feminism Collective, special issue entitled ‘Rethinking the History of Feminism’.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • ‘Freethought, feminism and sexual subjectivity in colonial New Woman fiction: Olive Schreiner and Kathleen Mannington Caffyn’, Victorian Review 37.3 (2011), pp. 47-59.
  • ‘The Seventh Wave of Humanity: Hysteria and Moral Evolution in Sarah Grand’s The Heavenly Twins’ in Writing Women of the Fin de Siècle: Authors of Change ed. Adrienne Gavin & Carolyn Oulton (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 153 165.
  • ‘Rethinking the History of Feminism’ (co-authored with the History of Feminism Collective), Women: A Cultural Review 21:3 (2010), pp. 266-278.
  • ‘“A Jewish Robert Elsmere”? Amy Levy, Israel Zangwill and the post-emancipation Jewish novel’ in Amy Levy: Critical Essays ed. Naomi Hetherington & Nadia Valman (Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2010), pp. 180-197.
  • ‘New Woman, “New Boots”: Amy Levy as Child Journalist’ in The Child Writer from Austen to Woolf ed. Christine Alexander & Juliet McMaster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp 254-268.
  • ‘Creator and Created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’, Keats-Shelley Review, Mary Shelley Centenary Edition 11 (1997), pp. 1-39.
  • ‘Israeli Holocaust Fiction: Aaron Appelfeld’s Badenheim 1939 and Amos Oz’s Touch the Water, Touch the Wind’, Journal of Holocaust Education 5.1 (1996), pp. 49-60.