Dr Helen Charman, Clare




Biographical Information

I am a Fellow and College Teaching Officer in English at Clare College. Before joining Clare, I spent three years as a Teaching Fellow in English Studies at Durham University, and I have taught both English and Creative Writing at Glasgow University, Glasgow School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University and Camberwell College of Arts. I completed my BA and MPhil degrees at Emmanuel College, and my PhD at Trinity Hall. 

Research Interests

My research is broadly focused on the relationship between literary representation, social history—particularly history from below—and psychoanalysis, from the nineteenth century to the present day. My first book, Mother State, which is forthcoming from Allen Lane in 2024, combines a variety of interpretative modes to consider mothering as an explicitly political and public act, from 1970 to the present. My current project, ‘Deep Down Below the Memory’, which is in its early stages, is concerned with the ​r​elationship between George Eliot’s 1876 novel Daniel Deronda, ​the representation of psychic fragmentation in post-war anglophone literary culture​, and Sigmund Freud’s case studies. I also have a particular interest in experimental modern lyric poetry​.

I’ve recently written or presented work at conferences on: consciousness raising and the talking cure in feminist fiction of the 1970s; Lydia Davis and child analysis; Denise Riley's publication histories; nineteenth-century pleasure dairies; and the relationship between feminist publishing and the British welfare state​. I also regularly write critical essays about literature, film and visual art for The White ReviewAnother Gaze and Frieze, among others. I held a Creative Scotland-funded editorial residency at MAP magazine from 2020-2021.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I'd be very happy to supervise work in areas related to my research interests.