Lisa Feklistova, Newnham

Degree: PhD
Course: 1830-PD
Supervisor: Dr Rod Mengham
Dissertation Title:

'Going through the Motions' - Portrayals of Mobility in the Modern Short Story

Biographical Information

I read English Literature and Film & Television Studies at Glasgow University, graduating in 2016 with a dissertation on atavistic anxieties in late-Victorian Gothic tales. I went on to obtain an MSc in Literature and Modernity from Edinburgh University in 2017, where my dissertation focused on literary and cinematic portrayals of the metropolis against the backdrop of utopian city planning discourses at the turn of the twentieth century. I subsequently worked for the Berlin-based publisher Inkitt as a scout for literary talent, and ended up helping over 100 promising debut authors - the majority of them young women - launch their writing careers. I left Inkitt in October 2018 to embark on my doctoral project at the University of Cambridge. My doctoral work examines how the increasing accessibility of travel at the turn of the twentieth century affected the development of the modern European short story. In 2020, I was one of the convenors of the 20th Century and Contemporary Graduate Seminar series at Cambridge Univesity. I am currently a member of the European Network for Short Fiction Research (ENSFR). 

Research Interests

When it comes to the experiences of tourism and migration, what can the short story convey that the novel cannot? 

From Thomas Hardy's carousels to D. H. Lawrence's rocking-horses to Jean Rhys' aimless wanderers, images of characters who move without making progress abound in short stories written between the 1880s and the 1930s. My doctoral dissertation examines how the short story articulated concerns about uprootedness, at a time when railway networks expanded, voyages on cruise-ships became increasingly accessible, and motor-cars, omni-busses and bicycles revolutionized travel. 

Further research interests include:

Houses of fiction; Gothic and horror fiction; cities of literature and film; literature and visual culture; Expressionism; psychogeography; fin de siècle literature and culture; writing by 'New Women'; modernist prose (especially short prose); modernist manifestos; writing of the First World War and the Interwar period; children's literature from the Victorian era to the present; folk tales and ballads; short story theory; novellas. 

Favourite authors include Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Jean Rhys, Daphne du Maurier, Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse, Aldous Huxley, Vladimir Nabokov, Sylvia Plath, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Julian Barnes. 

Areas of Supervision

I have taught classes on 'Bad Books - Can Literature be Immoral?' for the Sutton Trust, and have supervised undergraduate dissertations on Jean Rhys, Patrick Hamilton, Katherine Mansfield and H. G. Wells. 

I have furthermore taught classes for practical criticism, Paper 7A, and the Visual Culture Paper. 

Selected Publications


'The Singular Effect of Brevity - Why Katherine Mansfield's "The Fly" Could Not Have Been a Novel.' Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, vol. 10, no. 2, October 2020, pp. 149-159.

'Joseph Conrad and the Concept-City - Reconstructing London in The Secret Agent.' The Conradian, vol. 44, no. 2, Autumn 2019, pp. 1-18.

Short Fiction:

'Phenomenology.' Black Middens - New Writing Scotland 31, edited by Carl MacDougall and Zoë Strachan, Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2013. 


I furthermore appeared on Episode 18 of the Modernist Podcast to talk about Jean Rhys' short stories: