Amanda Dillon

Amanda Dillon


  • AHB 3.07

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Academic Background

I began my academic career as a literary scholar before moving into history in 2013. I received my PhD in literature, drama and creative writing in 2012 at UEA, working on genre, postmodernism, and literary theory. I completed UEA's now defunct Studies in Fiction MA in 2008, and my disseration was on Gothic fiction, Shirley Jackson, and the postmodern and I retain interests in these areas as well as early modern fictional representations of alchemy.

I teach largely on Victorian Britain and visual representations of history. My main historical interests lie in the creation of historical narratives and historical theory, Victorian popular entertainment, and sex and gender in the Victorian period more broadly. I would be happy to supervise BA and MA disserations on any of these and connected topics. My interests and teaching approaches are intensely interdisciplinary. I welcome PhD applicants on interdiscplinary aspects of these topics, as well as on my literary specialisms. 

A version of my PhD thesis was recently comissioned as a book for Liverpool University Press as Metafiction and Narrative Worlds in Science Fiction. Though I mostly work in history these days, I remain with a foot firmly in each discipline, and future research projects include shorter work on Christopher Nolan's The Prestige, and the Star Trek reboot and world-building. My next book-length project ties together both disciplines and will be a study of woman-authored, woman-centred time travel narratives that work as 'alternate histories'. 

In addition to my teaching in history, I also occasionally moonlight in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA on various modules relevant to my research interests. 

Key Research Interests

My key research interests, in both history and literature, have to do with the interaction between narrative and the world. I am fascinated by the use of language and imagery to create worlds (whether fictional or historical), and see this as essential to our writing of history. I am also interested, broadly, in the arcane and the offbeat, particuarly where it intersects with these questions of world and narrative creation.

Specifically, my research interests are:

History: late Victorian Britain, the Victorian music hall and theatre, Victorian sex and sexuality, the Victorian asylum, penny dreadfuls/penny bloods/etc.; women in Victorian society and more broadly; feminism; historical theory (especially postmodernism); film and history; and medical humanities

Literature: genre (science fiction, fantasy, the gothic, the romance, historical fiction, time travel fiction), literary theory, metafictionality, postmodernism; narratology; reader-response theory; world building; possible worlds theory; the representation of alchemy and related subjects in early modern fiction; film and literature

Teaching Interests

I have taught across a wide variety of modules related to my research interests:


HIS-4003A - Introduction to Modern History

HIS-4005B - The Holocaust in History (defunct)

HIS-4006B - The Age of Extremes

HIS-4007B - Visual(ising) History

HIS-4008B - History, Controversy and Debate (module organiser) (defunct)

HIS-4013B - Doing History (module organiser)

HIS-5012A - Victorian Britain

HIS-5055B - Women, Power and Politics II

HIS-6026A - Victorian Underworlds

HIS-6070Y - We are Not Amused

HIS-7024Y - Historical Research Skills: Demystifying Academic Publishing

HIS-7025Y - Specialist Tutorials: Women, Fiction, and (Re)Writing History 



LDCL-4008A - Literature in History I

LDCL-6116/17B - New Worlds: Science Fiction and Beyond


Foundation Year:

History and Society

Key Concepts



Areas of Expertise


Victorian social history

Victorian sexuality

19th C 'women's history'

Victorian entertainments

history of psychiatry/ Victorian asylums

history of sexuality

historical fiction

historical theory

historical film



genre studies

science fiction



gothic fiction




literary theory

historical fiction

time travel



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 19 Jul 2012

Master of Arts, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 17 Jul 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Radford University

Award Date: 16 Dec 2005