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Dr Madeleine Davies – University of Reading

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Dr Madeleine Davies

Dr Madeleine Davies
Job Title:
Associate Professor



Areas of Interest

Research groups / Centres




My research-led teaching focuses on Women's Writing and Feminist Theory, particularly the work of Virginia Woolf and Margaret Atwood Maddi Davies Publications . I have published widely on Margaret Atwood in particular and I have also published work on Contemporary British Drama and Television Drama. Maddi Davies Research . My early publication career focused on drama (my monograph discusses the theatre of Peter Shaffer), when I was also post-doctoral research fellow on 'The BBC Wednesday Play' project (HEFCE funded). My more recent work focuses on feminisms and I am a peer reviewer for the journal, Contemporary Women's Writing (OUP).


My first monograph, Peter Shaffer:Maddi11

Theatre and Drama. Peter Shaffer generously contributed much of his time to talking with me as I was writing the book.





Myself and Emerita Professor Coral Anne Howells, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood (right), in which my essay 'Margaret Atwood's Female Bodies' is published.








The Postmodernist Biofictions Conference included guests such as authors David Lodge (right, with VC Sir David Bell, left) Susan Sellers and Maggie Gee.Maddi16








I am involved in the Inter-Disciplinary Research Network, 'The Monroe Group'. This network has been developed to explore all aspects of politics in the American continent and its inaugural event is 'Trump's First 100 Days' on 2 May 2017. The keynote speech will be delivered by Professor Andrew Rudalavige (political scientist, and Washington Post columnist). The research network is designed to encourage dialogue between scholars in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences, working on all aspects of politics in the American continent. The group will be running a half-day, multidisciplinary event on 27 June 2017 for UofR based staff already working in this area. I will be convening a one-day Symposium for the Network in the Spring Term, 2018: this event will be focused on issues of gender, diversity and inclusion and will be hosted from the Department of English Literature.











I co-convened the 'Postmodernist Biofictions' Conference in March 2017 where we welcomed a range of academic colleagues, students, and writers including Maggie Gee, Susan Sellers and David Lodge (see photograph above). This conference was supported by the UofR Endowment Fund and we were very pleased to welcome our Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, at the event. Conference papers will be published through Cambridge Scholars.


I am also involved in the HCI Action lab on LGBTQ+ history, rights, and representations. My work on modules including Critical Issues and 'Virginia Woolf' has led to a growing interest in 'Queer Theory' and my activity organising 'Gender, Sexuality and Identities' forums and International Women's Day events, as combined with my longstanding engagement with issues of equality and social justice, has generated a desire to develop new work in this area in collaboration with colleagues.


I am involved in the organisation of the Virginia Woolf International Conference (June/JulMaddi20y 2017). Our high-profile speakers include Nicola Beauman, Professor Ted Bishop, Uzma Hameed and Professor Susheila Nasta. The conference also involves an exhibition of Hogarth Press materials at Special Collections (June-September 2017).





My current research projects include work on 'visual framing' in the novels of Margaret Atwood, and an analysis of herstorical biofiction in connection with texts produced by of Atwood, Woolf and Mantel. Connecting with a range of theorists of the postmodern, this research asks whether what is historically 'known' can only be understood in terms of the biofictional interrogation of the 'fact'/'fiction' interface.



HEA (Senior Fellow)


The Margaret Atwood Society

The Virginia Woolf Society

The Fawcett Society

Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)


The Monroe Group


Teaching and Convening

Iconvene the Part 2 'Critical Issues' module and I have initiatMaddi22ed innovative pedagogic practise in its redevelopment. I also convene Part 3 modules on Margaret Atwood and Virginia Woolf and both modules meet with enthusiastic student response, For more details of my teaching please see Maddi Davies Teaching and Convening











In 2017 I was delighted to win the RUSU Award Teaching Excellence.









Awards, Recognition, Funding

I succeeded in my application to the HEA for Senior Fellowship.

I have received funding from the Endowment Fund for the Postmodernist Biofictions conference and also for the Jess Phillips talk and debate at the University (October 2017).

The 'Diversifying Assessment' project that I co-lead has also received TLDF funding (August 2017-April 2018).

RUSU Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts Social Sciences and Humanities 2017.

Administration and T&L Initiatives

I am Department Director of Academic Tutoring for English Literature and I am involved in a wide range of activities and initiatives. As Senior Fellow of the HEA I sit on the FLAIR 'College of Assessors', and I am currently co-leading the TLDF-funded 'Diversifying Assessments' project in the Department of English Literature. I lead an annual student-facing International Women's Day event, initiated the 'Gender, Sexuality and Identities' Forum, and sit on the SSLC, the SBTL and the Senior Tutor Community of Practise.

I initiated and continue to lead the 'Resilience Master Class' series in my School: this collaborative Programme involves three Master Classes developed to enhance students' wellbeing, personal and academic effectiveness, and employability. The Programme has been Showcased University-wide (May 2017). I also contribute to the 'Professional Track' programme in my School, leading an 'Assertiveness in Writing' class, and I will be assisting RUSU in training new course reps from October 2017.









Dissemination and Outreach

As well as publishing research-led work, I contribute articles about pedagogic innovation to a range of UofR blogs (including Diversity and Inclusion, T&L Exchange, SLL blog, and T&L blog) and I have written articles for 'Spark' (the student newspaper) when invited to do so. I have also contributed to films for the University (see IWD), my department, and for RUSU, and I contribute to radio interviews when requested. I participate in Outreach activities such as the Wokingham Schools 'Federation Day' (February 2017).

Below is a selection of the blogs and newspaper articles, I have published on UofR T&L sites and in 'Spark' between 2016-17:


I wrote this double-page article for ‘Spark’ in March 2017. It aimed to raise awareness around issues of equality, to encourage participation in the annual IWD event, and to attract students to the new ‘Gender and Identities Forum’ I initiated in 2017. Both events were also disseminated on the ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ blog the T&L blog, and the DEL blog.









PhD supervision and examination:

I have examined PhD theses on a variety of topics including the following:

  • 'Caught in the Narrative Act: Journalists and Journalism in Graham Green's Fiction' (Chakrabarti, 2004).
  • 'National Identity in Canadian and Australian Science Fiction' (Reid, 2004).
  • '"The Value, Beauty, and Malarkey of Words": Constructions of the Subject in Lorrie Moore' (Kelly, 2006).
  • '"Books of Life": A Reassessment of the Work of Carol Shields' (Ramon, 2006).
  • 'From Contact to Collision: Western Women in China 1880-1900' (McGovern, 2006).
  • '"Maybe I'm Tired of Being Human, if Human is what I am": Sentimental Posthumanism in the Work of Martin Amis' (Wilson Hughes, 2014).

I have supervised dissertations to completion at Masters and PhD level in the fields of Canadian writing and Virginia Woolf (for example, 'Culture with Honour: The Arts in Britain from Munich to the Blitz - Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Michael Tippett', Platt, 2008). In October 2017 I will have three PhD students in supervision with me. I have also enjoyed working with Visiting Scholars, most recently Varalda (University of Rome), working on biofictions of Woolf.

I welcome future graduate researchers in the field of women's writing, particularly Virginia Woolf and Margaret Atwood. I am currently developing pedagogic publications whilst continuing to publish articles on Margaret Atwood and also Postmodernist Biofictions (see above, 'Areas of Interest and Research').

University of Reading




















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