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Personal profile

Key Responsibilities

2021- ongoing: UOAC 27

2021 and 2022: Director of Research

2021 - ongoing: I sit on LDC promotions Committee

2016- present: Head of Modern and Contemporary Literature Research Group

2017: Director of LDC Research 

2012-2015: Deputy Head of School in LDC

2011-2012: Associate Dean for Admissions in HUM Faculty

Research Group or Lab Membership

Rachel directs the Modern and Contemporary Research Group in LDC. She ran the AHRC project on 'The Impact of Non-Governmental Writers' Organisations on Freedom of Expression' and organised its associated conferences, websites and activities. 

Areas of Expertise

Modernist literature and culture; women's writing and feminism; the history of literary censorship and freedom of expression; the history of writers' organisations; the cultural cold war


Rachel completed her PhD at King's College, Cambridge, where she also studied for her undergraduate degree.  Prior to her PhD she took the MA in 'Critical Theory' at the University of Sussex. Before joining UEA in September, 2007, she taught for seven years at Queen Mary, University of London.


She has supervised a large number of PhD students on a wide range of topics connected to modernist literature and culture, as well as literary censorship and freedom of speech.


Key Research Interests

Anglo-American modernist literature; early twentieth century cultural history; modernism and censorship; free speech.

Rachel Potter’s main research interests lie in the areas of modernist literature and early twentieth-century culture. She is the author of Obscene Modernism: Literary Censorship and Experiment 1900-1940 (OUP, 2013), The Edinburgh Guide to Modernist Literature (EUP, 2012), and Modernism and Democracy: Literary Culture 1900-1930 (OUP, 2006). She has also co-edited Prudes on the Prowl: Fiction and Obscenity in England 1850-the present (OUP, 2013) and The Salt Companion to Mina Loy (Salt, 2010), as well as three special editions of Critical Quarterly. Her new research project is a study of literature, internationalism and free speech 1921-1948, with a particular focus on the role of non-governmental writers' organisation, International P.E.N..


External Activities

  • Rachel sits on the AHRC peer review college, on the UKRI Talent Peer Review College and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) panel of peer reviewers. 
  • Rachel is on the editorial board of Palgrave Studies in Literature, Culture and Human Rights and Textual Practice.
  • She has peer-reviewed manuscripts for the following publishers: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Blackwell Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Bloomsbury
  • She has peer-reviewed essays for the following journals: Textual Practice, Modernism/modernity, Studies in Fiction, Women: A Cultural Review, Review of English StudiesEnglish, Literature Compass, Review of English StudiesFeminist Review, The LibraryModern Philology, and Literature and History. 
  • She has peer-reviewed for the following grant-awarding bodies: Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, National University of Ireland; AHRC Peer Review College, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study. 
  • She has reviewed for Modernism/modernity, Textual Practice and for the British Society for Literature and Science online journal.
  • She has acted as an external examiner for PhDs at the following Universities: Oxford University, Cambridge University, Sussex University and Queen Mary, University of London, Kings College London.
  • She has acted as external examiner for undergraduate programmes at Birkbeck, University of London and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland.
  • She has delivered conference plenary lectures and panels at the following conferences: 'Obscenity and Literature', University of Toulouse (2018), 'Forbidden Access', Senate House, 6-7 November 2014; 'Moving Modernisms', Oxford University March 2012; 'Transgression and Its Limits', Stirling University, May 2010.
  • Rachel was a co-organiser of The Modernism Seminar at the Institute for English Studies, University of London from 1997-2004
  • She co-organised 'Opening the PEN Archive, 1921-2021' conference, February, 2022; with Tim Armstrong, a one-day conference on the modernist poet, Mina Loy, at the Institute for English Studies, University of London, 2000 and the international conference, Modernism in History/History in Modernism, held at the University of Cambridge, June 1999.
  • She appeared as a featured speaker on ABC Radio in Australia for 'The History Listen' with Kristi Melville (20210, in the Sky Arts programme, 'T. S. Eliot: The Search for Happiness' (2019), 'Wogan on Wodehouse' which aired on BBC 2 in September 2011.

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 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions