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Dr Annabel Williams

Teaching Fellow

BA (Hons) Bristol; MSt (Oxon); DPhil (Oxon)

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Teaching Fellow in the Department of English Studies  



Before joining the Department of English Studies as a Teaching Fellow, I was an IASH fellow at the University of Edinburgh (2020-2021). Prior to this, I taught in areas of modern and contemporary literature at various colleges at the University of Oxford (2016-2020) and King's College London (2019). I completed my DPhil in English at Merton College, Oxford in 2018.

I am a member of Durham's Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures, which investigates how intellectuals, writers and artists have engaged with major conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Research Interests

My research broadly engages with modern literature's approaches to the crossing or contestation of distance (both figurative and literal), particularly in relation to political and transnational contexts, and the philosophy of mind.

My first monograph, Late Modernist Homing: Travel, War, and British Literature, which I am currently completing, explores how late modernist writers responded to the loss of home as a result of gepolitical crises in the 1930s and 1940s. My second monograph project, Remote-Control Culture: Minds, Machines, and Modern Literature, identifies a preoccupation in post-1945 experimental literature with the refiguring of the distance between minds, machines, and the world. I ask how writers' encounters with mental illness, magical thinking, and political indoctrination mediate their creation of narrative worlds and remote minds.

I am currently co-editing a volume on Telepoetics: Writing the Phone in Literature, Culture and Theory, with Dr Sarah Jackson and Professor Philip Leonard. The book explores the social and cultural transformations that the intersections of literature and telephony invite, compel and complicate.

I have also been involved in recent years as a Research Assistant on the project 'Berlin through English Eyes', charting British writers' encounters with the city in the early twentieth century. The project was led by Dr Stefano Evangelista and Professor Gesa Stedman; its webpage can be accessed here, and my podcast on political Berlin and British writers here.

Research interests

  • Modernism
  • Mid-Century Literature
  • War Writing
  • Travel Writing
  • Literature and Science
  • Philosophy of Mind

Esteem Indicators

  • 2020: Andrew J. Kappel Prize in Literary Criticism: Awarded by ;Twentieth-Century Literature
  • 2020: IASH Library Fellowship: University of Edinburgh
  • 2016: British Association for Modernist Studies Essay Prize:


Chapter in book

  • Williams, Annabel (2021). Touring Political Berlin: Revolution, War, and Fascism. In Happy in Berlin? English Writers in the City: The 1920s and Beyond. Evangelista, Stefano & Stedman, Gesa Wallstein Verlag.
  • Williams, Annabel (2020). Hearing the Dead. In On Commemoration: Global Reflections upon Remembering War. Gilbert, Catherine, McLoughlin, Kate & Munro, Niall Peter Lang.

Journal Article

  • Williams, Annabel (2021). Modernity's Rolling Stock: Henry James, Rebecca West, and Transatlantic Travel. Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations 25(1): 117-135.
  • Williams, Annabel (2020). Fantasias on National Themes: Fantasy, Space, and Imperialism in Rebecca West. Twentieth-Century Literature 66(4): 405.
  • Williams, Annabel (2018). ‘Vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts’ locating home in Evelyn Waugh’s travel writing. Textual Practice 32(1): 41.
  • Williams, Annabel (2017). ‘The pilot's periplus’ Ezra Pound, Cyril Connolly, and the Forms of Late Modernist Travel. Modernist Cultures 12(2): 275.
  • Williams, Annabel (2016). A Conversation with Martin Stannard and Barbara Cooke. Exchanges 4: 1-13.