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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Leo Mellor

    Murray Edwards College
    CB3 0DF

    Roma Gill Fellow in English; Director of Studies



    Murray Edwards is an extraordinary College. It carries forwards a mission of helping young women achieve intellectual excellence in their academic studies and it prepares them for the many different kinds of work they will accomplish in life. It does so through bringing students from across the globe together in Cambridge - and showing them how to succeed and also, vitally, how to examine, analyse and question their beliefs. I enjoy the teaching of students across the undergraduate Tripos and working with them on famous novels and poems as well as those which are now more lost or forgotten; but I especially like discussions where students change how I see a text or make new connections suddenly visible. The supervision system in Cambridge uniquely allows for such intense and enlightening moments to emerge from dialogue – and the hard work it involves (for both supervisor and student) is more than justified.

    Degrees and honours

    BA, University of Cambridge, 1999

    MPhil, University of Sussex, 2001

    PhD, University of Cambridge, 2006

    Awards and prizes

    Newton Trust Sabbatical, 2014-15 (for research for The Long 1930s: Spaces and Places of British Literature, 1926-1952).

    Early Career Fellowship at CRASSH, 2009.

    Harper Wood Travelling Studentship for English Poetry, 2006.


    I read English for a BA at King's College, Cambridge. I then worked and studied in Sapporo (northern Japan), Berlin and Wales – before returning to Cambridge. My research is now focused on Anglo-Welsh writing, the fiction and poetry of the ‘long 1930s’, and the relationships between locale and literature. My first book - Reading the Ruins – was published by Cambridge University Press. I recently gave the Plenary lecture on Dylan Thomas at the international conference in Swansea to celebrate his centenary. I have also lectured or given seminar papers at many other universities in Germany, the US and Britain.

    I teach for both parts of the English Tripos. For Part I this includes paper 7a (1830- 1945), 7b (1890-present day) and paper 1 (Literary Criticism). For Part II this includes paper 1 (Practical Criticism), paper 9 (Lyric), paper 11 (Modernism and the Short Story), paper 12 (Contemporary Writing in English), paper 14 (American Literature), and paper 18 (Literature and Visual Culture). I also supervise undergraduate dissertations on many nineteenth- and twentieth-century topics.

    My graduate teaching includes the supervision of MPhil and PhD students who work on the following areas: nature writing; wars and rumours of wars; phenomenology; documentary film; and various kinds of literary experimentation. I am also a member of the Literature Technology Media research group in the English Faculty.



    The Long 1930s: Spaces and Places of British Literature, 1926-1952 (in preparation)

    Reading the Ruins: Modernism, Bombsites and British Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

    Book Chapters

    ● ‘Contemporary British Poetry’ in The Cambridge Global History of Literature and the Environment, ed. Louise Westling (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2016)

    ● ‘The 1930s, the Second World War, and Late Modernism’ in The Cambridge History of Modernism, ed. Vincent Sherry (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2016).

    ● ‘Trouble at the explosive plant: the wartime sublime in Ceri Richards and Dylan Thomas’, in Reading Thomas / Thomas Reading, ed. Ned Allen (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2016).

    ● ‘The lure of the wild’ in The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment, ed. Louise Westling (Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 104-120.

    ● ‘The unburied past & walking with ghosts’, in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry, ed. Peter Robinson (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 57-76.

    ● ‘London and modern prose, 1900-1950’, in The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of London, ed. Lawrence Manley (Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 201-221.

    Special Issues of journals

    ● Co-editor with Glyn Salton-Cox, ‘The long-1930s’; Special Issue of Critical Quarterly 57.3 (2015). Introduction, 1-9.

    Journal articles

    ● ‘Marching crowds and empty streets: flow and turbulence in the long-1930s’, in Critical Quarterly 58.2 (forthcoming, Summer 2016)

    ● ‘George Barker in the 1930s: an autodidact and the classical inheritance’.

    Modernist Cultures 10.2 (July 2015), 250-268.

    ● ‘Early Graham Greene’, Oxford Handbooks: a Scholarly Research Review (Oxford University Press, 2014)

    ● ‘Narcissus and a Trust Fund: George Barker and T.S. Eliot’, Journal of the TS Eliot Society 6 (2013), 27-37.