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Janet Wilson

Prof, Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies

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Personal profile


Professor Wilson leads on Research in English and Creative Writing, Faculty of Education and Humanities,   at the University of Northampton, where she is also Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies. She has a DPhil from Oxford (St Catherine’s College); an MA in Medieval English from the University of Sydney, Australia; and an MA in English from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. From 1988-1998 she taught at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She was Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford (2008-09) and Associate Fellow (until 2011); Visiting Fellow in New Zealand Studies at Birkbeck, University of London (2010-11), and Vice-Chair of the New Zealand Studies Network 2010-14. She is currently (February 2019) Adjunct Visiting Professor at Auro University, Surat, India. She is vice-president of  the National Conference of University Professors and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Research Interests

Janet Wilson's research interests are in the literary and visual cultures of the white settler societies of New Zealand and Australia, and diaspora and postcolonial writing more generally.  She has published on New Zealand diaspora writers such as Janet Frame, Fleur Adcock, Katherine Mansfield, and Dan Davin, and  on other topics such as literature and fundamentalism, slum and refugee narratives, Asian-Australian writing, New Zealand and Pacific/Oceania writing and globalisation, British Asian writing and cinema, liminality and transnationalism. 

Janet has supervised doctoral dissertations in postcolonial, diaspora and global cultures as well as critical discourse analysis, nation, narration and representation, modernist writing, sociolinguistics and EFL. Topics include Place and Space in Postcolonial Cinema, Catalan and Spanish cinemas, the discourse of Chinese advertising, Modernism and Mysticism, Katherine Mansfield: Identity, Self and Consciousness;  Beckett and Emptiness, contemporary Egyptian literature, representations of Mothering in South Asian film and narrative, Arabic translations into English, the Irish diaspora in Northampton, slum upgrades in Nigeria, Critical Discourse Analysis and news reporting. She welcomes applications for doctoral research in all these areas, especially those relevant to research interests in Katherine Mansfield and modernism, postcolonial and diaspora writing, poverty and precarity.

From 2011-15 she  represented the University of Northampton in the EU Marie Curie-funded Initial Training Network, Constructions of Home and Belonging (CoHaB) in collaboration with the universities of Munster, Stockholm, Mumbai, SOAS, and Oxford, during which time she supervised to completion two doctorates by Early Stage Researchers.

In Northampton’s English & Creative Writing cluster, Janet directs the Centre for Critical and Creative Writing; she previously coordinated the research group in Postcolonial Visual Culture and Narrative which hosted collaborative research projects with colleagues and partners in Spanish Universities (Vigo, Zaragoza and the Balearic Isles), some of which were supported by Santander funding.

Janet has recently convened the following conferences and events:

  • 27-28 January 2019. 'Challenging Precarity' conference, Auro University, Surat, India. Cohosted with Auro University and Trinity College Dublin.
  • 1-3 February 2018. 'Precarity, Populism and Post-Truth Politics'. University of Cordova, Spain, Co-hosted with Univeristy of Cordova and Sri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Lucknow, India.
  • 28-29 June 2018. 'Katherine Mansfield: New Directions.' Birkbeck, University of London.
  • 29 June- 1 July 2017. 'Islands For Sale: New and the Pacific Arts in the Global Marketplace'. Co-hosted with the New Zealand Studies Network. Regent's University London.
  • 8-9 July 2016. '"All That Glitters is not Gold": Critiques of GLobalisation in New Zealand and the Pacific'. With support of the New Zealand Studies Centre and  EACLALS. Regent's University, London
  • 21 May 2016. 'Fleur Adcock Symposium.' Cohosted with the University of Winchester, University of Winchester.
  • 3-4 July 2014. 'New Zealand and the First World War'. The Second Conference of the New Zealand Studies Network, Birkbeck, University of London. 
  • 13 October 2013: The Annual Katherine Mansfield Birthday Lecture, Birkbeck University of London, co-hosted by the University of Northampton and the Open University.
  • 21-26 March 2013: The Inaugural CoHaB Summer School, University of Northampton.
  • 2 November 2013: Ten Years On: A Symposium on the Works of Janet Frame; Birkbeck, University of London, co-convened by the New Zealand Studies Network and the University of Northampton
  • 25 May 2012.  A symposium on ‘”Seeing and Being Seen”: Postcolonial Visual Culture and Performance’, School of the Arts, University of Northampton.
  • 6-7 July 2012. The Inaugural Conference of the New Zealand Studies Network, “New Zealand’s Cultures: Sources, Histories, Futures”. Birkbeck University of London co-hosted with the University of Northampton.
  • 14 October 2012: The Annual Katherine Mansfield, Birthday Lecture, Birkbeck University of London, co-hosted by the University of Northampton and the Open University.
  • 25-26 October 2012 'Narratives of ‘Difference’ in the Global Marketplace.' Coconvened with Belen Martin Lucas, University of Vigo, Spain.

From 2008-11 Janet Wilson was Chair of the European Association of Commonwealth Language and Literature Studies (EACALS). She is currently chair of the 'Challenging Precarity: Global Network', vice-chair of the Katherine Mansfield Society, coeditor of the series Studies in World Literature (Ibidem), and since 2001, has been editor of World Literature Written in English, renamed in 2005 as Journal of Postcolonial Writing of which she is now co-editor. She is a member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK) College of Peer Reviewers. 

Teaching Interests

Until recently Janet coordinated and taught the MA in English Language at the University of Northampton. Her current teaching includes modules in Postcolonial Literature, and Trauma and Literature on the MA in English (Contemporary Literature), the  undergraduate module 'Languiage and Creativity', and undergraduate dissertations. She has also taught the MA module,  Research Methods and Techniques.  Her undergraduate teaching has covered topics such as New Zealand and Australian cinema, Victorian literature, and English Language. In 2012 she taught Diaspora Studies in the School of Social Sciences to Canadian exchange students on the Canadian Government EU-Can, Transatlantic Exchange Programme.


Current supervisions

Soumeya Amatou Slimani, 'Images of Algeria'

Yasmina Bia, ' '19th and 20th Century French Travel Literature'

Carlos Ruis Brussain, 'Hyperdream: A Play-based Creative Framework for Self-Motivated Fantasy Authorial Illustration Practice'

Cresencia Uleme, 'Slum Upgrading and Rental Housing'

Souad Smaili,  'Writing for the Stage: Algerian EFL Students' Multiple Identity'

Messaouda Annab, 'A Sociolingistic Study of Lexical Borrowing among Algerian Students'

Nadia Hasoon, 'Sectarianism and Media: Critical Discourse Analysis of news sites reportage'

Elhadj Benmoussa, 'Teaching LIterature using Critical Thinking and Communicative Approaches'

Hanaa Ayoub, 'Arabic Fiction in English in the 1990s'

Ghazala Butt, ' Family Matters: Performativity and a (Re)reading of Hanif Kureishi'


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Oxford

Master, University of Sydney

Master, Victoria University of Wellington

External positions

Adjunct Professor , University of Auro

1 Feb 201926 Feb 2019

Visiting Fellow in New Zealand LIterature, Birkbeck University of London

1 Oct 201130 Jun 2012

Visiting Fellow, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford

1 Oct 200830 Sep 2009

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Janet Wilson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

diaspora Social Sciences
New Zealand Arts & Humanities
Katherine Mansfield Arts & Humanities
refugee Social Sciences
migrant Social Sciences
globalization Social Sciences
Writer Arts & Humanities
feature film Social Sciences

Projects 2018 2020

Research Output 2001 2020

Open Access

Pacific waves: Reverberations from Oceania

Scanlan, E. & Wilson, J. M., 7 Feb 2019, In : Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 54, 5, p. 577-584 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

international migration

Such ‘rich unlawful gold’: Mansfield’s Semiotic Manoeuvres in ‘An Indiscreet Journey’

Wilson, J., 18 Nov 2019, (Accepted/In press) Katherine Mansfield and Bliss and Other Stories, edited by Enda Duffy, Gerri Kimber and Todd Martin. Published Sept 2020.. Edinburgh University Press

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

The General and the Nightingale: Dan Davin's War Stories

Davin, D. & Wilson, J. (ed.), 27 May 2019, (Accepted/In press) Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press. 364 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

New Zealand
Short Story
Historical Context

A present absence: Fleur Adcock today

Wilson, J. M., 1 Nov 2018, In : Journal of New Zealand Literature. 36, 1, p. 9-19 11 p., 1.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

New Zealand

"Kew Gardens" and "Miss Brill": Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield as short story writers

Wilson, J. M., 27 Apr 2018, Re-forming World Literature: Katherine Mansfield and the Modernist Short Story. Wilson, J. & Kimber, G. (eds.). Stuttgart: Ibidem, Vol. 6. p. 113-138 325 p. (Studies in world literature).

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

Kew Gardens
Virginia Woolf
Katherine Mansfield
Short Story

Mediating Literary Borders: Asian Australian Writing

Wilson, J. M. (ed.) & Lokuge, C. (ed.), 23 Jan 2018, 1 ed. Routledge. 114 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Literary Works

Re-forming World Literature: Katherine Mansfield and the Modernist Short Story

Kimber, G. (ed.) & Wilson, J. M. (ed.), 27 Apr 2018, Ibidem. 328 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

World Literature
Katherine Mansfield
Short Story

Activities 2019 2019

  • 1 Heritage Events

Avon Cemetery

Janet Wilson (Visiting researcher)
12 Oct 2019

Activity: Public Engagement and OutreachHeritage Events



Critical discourse analysis of Chinese household appliance advertisements from 1981 to 1996

Author: Chong, W., 2015

Supervisor: Burnapp, D. (Supervisor) & Wilson, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Culture versus Commerce: New Strategies for the Internationalization of Catalan Cinema

Author: Jiménez, M., 6 Jul 2016

Supervisor: Wilson, J. (Supervisor), Jowett, L. E. (Supervisor) & Keane, S. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


IN FLUX: Land, Photography and Temporality

Author: Sunderland, J. S., 2015

Supervisor: Wilson, J. (Supervisor), Sear, H. (Supervisor) & Leet, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Katherine Mansfield and Conceptualisations of the Self

Author: Edensor, L., May 2019

Supervisor: Wilson, J. (Supervisor), Kimber, G. (External person) (Supervisor) & Canning, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Representations of the muse in the writings of Robert Graves: a study of five prose texts (1944-1950)

Author: Karayalcin, S., 2011

Supervisor: Quinn, P. (Supervisor), Bennett, C. (Supervisor) & Wilson, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Texts between Two Cultures: Challenges of Cross-Cultural Translation in the Arabic Versions of Jane Eyre and Frankenstein

Author: Jan, H., May 2019

Supervisor: Wilson, J. (Supervisor), Bennett, P. (Supervisor) & Sadiq, E. A. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis