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Personal profile

Key Responsibilities

2012-2014: Deputy Head of School

2011-2012: Associate Dean for Admissions in HUM Faculty

Research Group or Lab Membership

Rachel co-founded and co-directs the Writing and Rights Project at the University of East Anglia. In the past, she helped run the Modernism Seminar in London for seven years, as well as organising the associated Modernist conferences. She also organised a conference on Mina Loy in 2000.

Areas of Expertise

Literature and culture of the early 20th century; literary censorship; free speech; the history of writers' organisations.


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 and Expertise

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 is on the editorial board of Textual Practice.
  • She has peer-reviewed manuscripts for the following publishers: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Blackwell Press, and Palgrave Macmillan.
  • She has peer-reviewed essays for the following journals: Textual Practice, Modernism/modernity, Studies in Fiction, Women: A Cultural Review, Review of English StudiesEnglish and Literature Compass.
  • She has peer-reviewed for the following grant-awarding bodies: Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, National University of Ireland.
  • 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.
  • She is 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: '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, 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 in '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