Dr Katherine Ebury
School of English
Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature
+44 114 222 6295
Full contact details
School of English
1 Upper Hanover Street
I am a Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature. I have an established, international reputation as a literary historian and a scholar of modernism: since appointment at Sheffield in 2012, I have produced well-reviewed two monographs, one edited collection and several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. I was awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellowship for my research project ‘Literature, Psychoanalysis and the Death Penalty, 1900-1950’, which was the basis for my recent monograph in the area of law and literature, Modern Literature and the Death Penalty, 1890-1950. I also have a commitment to innovative teaching that treats the student as producer. In my administrative roles, I have been particularly committed to the Student Voice, mentoring colleagues, and to the curriculum design. I have mentored postdoctoral researchers funded by the AHRC and the Leverhulme Trust who have gone on to successful roles elsewhere.
- Research interests
I am primarily a literary historian, using historicist and archival methods to explore new and neglected contexts for late Victorian, Edwardian and Modernist works of literature. I am a sought-after research leader and collaborator with expertise on modernism, law and literature, critical theory, animal studies, and literature and science. Past public engagement projects have involved human rights charities such as Sheffield Amnesty and Reprieve as well as the Showroom Cinema.
My first book, Modernism and Cosmology, was published with Palgrave in 2014. It was extremely positively received nationally and internationally. I am the author of essays including in leading journals such as Journal of Modern Literature, Joyce Studies Annual, Irish Studies Review, Society and Animals, as well as chapters with prestigious presses. I am also the editor of an open access journal special issues with the international journal, Humanities, and with Open Library of Humanities, and the editor of the collection Joyce’s Non-Fiction Writings: Outside His Jurisfiction (with James Fraser).
My recent monograph Modern Literature and the Death Penalty, 1890-1950 (2021) was funded by the AHRC (Early Career Leadership Fellowship, 2018-2020) and was published in the Palgrave Studies in ‘Literature, Culture and Human Rights’ book series. This book received the following reviews and endorsements:
- Ravit Reichman (Brown University, US) responded to the book’s methodology which ‘sheds light on the submerged juridical and political charge in narrative, connecting it deftly to its historical moment and revealing the intimate ties between literature and law’;
- Katherine Baxter (University of Northumbria, UK) praised the book’s richness ‘leads us through a compelling discussion of the death penalty in literature […], drawing on a rich range of publications, from golden-age detective fiction to memoir to canonical works’;
- Lauren Arrington (Maynooth University, Ireland) noted to the book’s message about the public impact of literature: ‘In rigorous and fascinating detail, Katherine Ebury shows the profound influence that literature’s responses to the death penalty had on public debates about capital punishment’;
- Ruben Borg (Hebrew University Jerusalem) commended my work as a study of ‘the way three discourses interpenetrate and influence each other. The argument is pitched in the overlap of law, literature, and psychoanalysis, disciplines uniquely suited to process and examine a modernist preoccupation with death’.
- Modern Literature and the Death Penalty, 1890-1950. Palgrave.
- Modernism and Cosmology: Absurd Lights. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Joyce’s Non-Fiction Writings: 'Outside His Jurisfiction'. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Ethical Crossroads in Literary Modernism. Clemson and Liverpool UPs.
- Introduction. James Joyce Quarterly, 58(2), 11-17.
- Nonhuman Animal Pain and Capital Punishment in Beckett’s “Dante and the Lobster”. Society and Animals, 25(5), 436-455. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO ‘"Serve, Serve" it sang, and it sang that all day:" James Joyce and John Berryman’. Hypermedia Joyce Studies.
- “A new science”: Yeats's A Vision and relativistic cosmology. Irish Studies Review, 22(2), 167-183.
- ‘Mulrennan Spoke To Him About Universe And Stars’: Astronomy In A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man. Dublin James Joyce Journal, 6/7, 90-108.
- Joycean Unions: Post-Millennial Essays from East to West ed. by R. Brandon Kershner and Tekla Mecsnóber. James Joyce Quarterly, 50(3), 853-856.
- Science in Modern Poetry: New Directions ed. by John Holmes (review). Modernism/modernity, 20(1), 159-161.
- JOYCEAN UNIONS: POST-MILLENNIAL ESSAYS FROM EAST TO WEST. JAMES JOYCE QUARTERLY, 50(3), 853-856.
- Review: Science in Modern Poetry (Holmes). Modernism/modernity, 20(1), 159-161.
- Review essay on Brandon Kershner’s and Tekla Mecsnober’s, Joycean Unions. James Joyce Quarterly, 1 (Fall 2011)(49).
- Review: James Joyce: Texts and Contexts (Platt). James Joyce Literary Supplement, 1(27).
- Review of Cliett, Bill Cole, A Finnegans Wake Lextionary: Let James Joyce Jazz Up Your Voca(l)bulary. James Joyce Broadsheet(92), 2-2.
- '"In this valley of dying stars": Eliot's Cosmology'. Journal of Modern Literature, 3(35), 139-157.
- Article Review: David Ben-Merre, ‘“What Points of Contact Existed Between These Languages?’: James Joyce, Albert Einstein, and Interdisciplinary Study” (74-75). Journal of Literature and Science, 4(1), 74-75.
- 'Beyond the Rainbow: Spectroscopy in Finnegans Wake'. Joyce Studies Annual, 2011, 97-121.
- "Thinking of the Crater of Some Noted Volcano or the Dublin River: The Third James Joyce Research Colloquium.". James Joyce Literary Supplement, ii (Fall)(21), 8.
- Review: Joyce's Disciples Disciplined. James Joyce Broadsheet, (Winter)(88), 2.
- COMMEMORATION, MODERNISM AND SELF-IDENTITY IN CONTEMPORARY GRAPHIC MEMOIR. Textual Practice.
- New Contexts for Confession: Flann O’Brien, Golden Age Crime Fiction and Theodor Reik. The Parish Review: Journal of Flann O'Brien Studies, 4(2).
- Diagnosis Shell Shock in Representations of the Miltary Death Penalty in WWI Fiction and Life-writing (short article, 3000 words), 'Special Issue: Modernism and Diagnosis', Print+ open access. Modernism/Modernity Print+.
- ‘Joyce’s Nonhuman Ecologies’ In Flynn C (Ed.), New James Joyce Studies
- 'Nothing in the World Would Save Me from the Gallows': O'Nolan and the Death Penalty' In Borg R & Fagan P (Ed.), 'Flann O'Brien: Gallows Humour' (pp. 34-47). Cork University Press
- Science, the Occult and Irish Drama: Ghosts in Yeats and Beckett In Conrad K, Parsons C & Weng J (Ed.), Science, Technology and Irish Modernism (pp. 229-247). Syracuse University Press
- Introduction In Ebury K & Fraser J (Ed.), Joyce’s Non-Fiction Writings: Outside His Jurisfiction Palgrave Macmillan
- Becoming-Animal in the Epiphanies: Joyce Between Fiction and Non-Fiction In Ebury K & Fraser J (Ed.), Joyce’s Non-Fiction Writings: Outside His Jurisfiction
- Physical comedy and the comedy of physics in The Third Policeman, The Dalkey Archive and Cruiskeen Lawn In Borg R, Fagan P & McCourt J (Ed.), Flann O'Brien: Problems With Authority Cork University Press
- ‘The sonnet might “lead to dishonesty”: John Berryman and Paul Muldoon as Sonneteers’ In Coleman P (Ed.), John Berryman at 100: Centenary Essays (pp. 195-214). Peter Lang
- ‘Ghost, Medium, Criminal, Genius: Lombrosian Types in Yeats’s Art and Philosophy’ In Gibson M & Mann N (Ed.), Yeats, Philosophy and the Occult Clemson UP and Liverpool UP,
- ‘“Between the bang and the Whimper”: Eliot and Apocalypse’, Modernism, Christianity and Apocalypse BRILL
- Stars and Atoms in ‘The Trilogy’, Modernism and Cosmology (pp. 154-180). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Yeatsian Cosmology, Modernism and Cosmology (pp. 30-65). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Epilogue: International Modernism, Modernism and Cosmology (pp. 181-187). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Introduction: Cosmic Modernism, Modernism and Cosmology (pp. 1-29). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Joycean Cosmologies, Modernism and Cosmology (pp. 66-99). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- The Beckettian Cosmos, Modernism and Cosmology (pp. 128-153). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Beyond the Rainbow: Spectroscopy in the Wake, Modernism and Cosmology (pp. 100-127). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Introduction: Cosmic Modernism, MODERNISM AND COSMOLOGY: ABSURD LIGHTS (pp. 1-+).
- Joyce, James (1882–1941), Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism Routledge
- Rhetorics of Sacrifice: Sex, Gender & the Death Penalty in the 1916 Generation In fagan P, greaney J & radak T (Ed.), Irish Modernisms: Gaps, Conjectures, Possibilities
- ‘Vivisection in Modernist Culture and Popular Fiction, 1890-1945’ In Miller J, McKay R & McHugh S (Ed.), Palgrave Handbook of Animal Studies
- ‘How Murderers Die: The Impact of the 1868 Abolition of Public Execution on Life-writing by Executioners’, In Low P, Rutherford H & Sandford-Couch C (Ed.), Execution Culture and Penal Practice in the Nineteenth Century
- Law and the Unconscious: A Psychoanalytic Perspective by Anne C. Dailey. American Imago, 76(2), 269-273.
- MODERNISM AND THE LAW. JAMES JOYCE QUARTERLY, 56(1-2), 177-179.
- James Joyce, Science, and Modernist Print Culture: "The Einstein of English Fiction". MODERNISM-MODERNITY, 23(3), 698-699.
- http://blogs.bcu.ac.uk/virtualtheorist/ 'Psychoanalytic Theory' and 'Analysis of Goblin Market'.. Retrieved from
- Research group
In the past I have supervised BA and MA dissertations on topics including modernism, psychoanalysis, the middlebrow and contemporary popular culture. My PhD students have worked on a diverse range of topics connected to my research practice including travel writing, gender and phenomenology, sexuality studies, WWI theatre, poetry and life-writing, chaos theory, Cold War culture and representations of violence in various contexts.
- Teaching activities
I first began teaching in 2010 and I have found in the past few years my pedagogy has matured substantially now that I have more than a decade’s worth of experience to draw upon. I recently achieved the status of Senior Fellow of the HEA because since the award of the FHEA I have developed further expertise in innovative module and programme design, incorporating wider research in learning and teaching into my practice. I have also developed wider skills to allow me to engage with every dimension of the HEA Professional Standards Framework, to successfully coordinate broad strategic initiatives and to support and mentor colleagues in relation to teaching and learning. I am an active supporter of other teachers, through both module convenorship and forms of both formal and informal mentorship, including supporting ECRs and postdocs to gain recognition for their teaching activities through the HEA.
My teaching and leadership has received consistently excellent feedback from students and moderators, as well as from mentees and colleagues. I am active in learning and teaching practice outside my institution and internationally; I am a Judge at the Global Undergraduate Awards and I am an MA external examiner for the University of Bristol. I regularly contribute to prestigious European summer schools in my field – in the past 5 years, I have taught at two James Joyce Summer Schools (one in Ireland, one in Italy), at the Yeats Summer School (in Ireland) and twice at the Vienna Irish Studies and Cultural Theory Summer School (in Austria).
List of recent courses taught
- Contemporary Literature, Level 1 Option Module
- Romanticism to Modernism, Level 2 Core Module
- Crime Writing, Level 2 Option
- Researching the Long Twentieth Century, Level 3 Option
- Memory and Narrative, MA Option
- Midcentury Modernism, MA Option
- Writing Identity, Online MA module