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Personal profile


Please note: Nola Merckel is on leave for Autumn semester 2021-22 (1st September 2021-31st January 2022).


I began teaching at UEA in 1998, while working on an AHRC-funded PhD (awarded in 2003) on Gustave Flaubert's drama and nineteenth-century theatrical culture entitled The Uses of Failure.  From 1998 to 2009, I also taught at Norwich University of the Arts where I was part of the course team for the BA in Cultural Studies and the BA in Creative Writing. I have been a Lecturer in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing since 2009.

My BA (1995) and MA (1997) degrees were in Comparative Literature and French. Before taking my first degree, I spent a number of years working in the legal profession, joining a law office straight out of school and making myself useful, gaining experience of different departments and working environments in the UK and France. After a few years of this work, I concluded the law was not for me and embarked on a first degree which led to postgraduate study and an academic teaching career. I have also worked as a bookseller and maintain an ongoing involvement as a performer in a number of theatre companies and projects.  

My teaching and research interests are interdisciplinary. I work across literature, drama, visual art and culture of the nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. I have a particular interest in place and representation, as well as the ways in which words and images can work together.  

At UEA in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, I have designed, organised and taught a range of undergraduate modules on cultural theory and analysis; nineteenth-century European drama; comedy and the absurd in literature, theory and and drama; fin-de-siècle literature and visual culture (painting and photography - Impressionism, Symbolism, Aestheticism and Decadence); twentieth/twenty-first-century European writing; and 'Urban Visions' - representations of the city in literature and visual culture.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Interdisciplinary/comparative approaches to 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century European literature, drama, visual arts and culture; comedy; Oscar Wilde; fin-de-siecle culture; Flaubert; Zola; place and representation. 

Teaching Interests

Past and present modules organised/taught/contributed to:

(3rd Year) Urban Visions: The City in Literature and Visual Culture; Post-1789 Literature dissertation supervision

(2nd Year) Comedy and the Absurd in Drama; Theatres of Revolt: Nineteenth-Century European Drama; Cultural Theory and Analysis; Literature and Visual Culture: At the Fin de Siecle; European Literature; Art and Writing; Modern English Fiction (James to Huxley)Great Expectations and Lost Illusions: the European Bildungsroman; Nineteenth-Century French Fiction: Self and Society; A Book of One’s Own: Diary Fictions

(1st Year) Reading Texts 1 and 2; Literature in History 2; Introduction to World Dramatic Literatures; Theatre Theories and Spaces