Vicky Margree lectures in literature, cultural studies and critical theory, with research specialisms in late-Victorian and Edwardian literature and culture.
Her work is informed by literary theory, psychoanalysis, feminism and postcolonial studies. She is particularly interested in the short story form, and in popular fiction, including gothic horror literature and crime fiction.
Dr Vicky Margree works in the fields of literature, cultural studies and critical theory, and has research specialisms in late-Victorian literature and culture, particularly popular fiction and Gothic. She is Course Coordinator for the BA (Hons) History, Literature and Culture degree within the Humanities Programme.
Margree completed a BA Honours degree in Philosophy and Literature at the University of Sussex in 1995. Having discovered that her major philosophical interests lay with ‘continental philosophy’ and Critical Theory, she went on to take a Master’s Degree in English Literature: Critical Theory, at Sussex in 1996. In 1998 she obtained AHRB funding to complete a DPhil in English Literature at Sussex, exploring constructions of ‘madness’ and ‘abnormality’ in the theoretical work of French philosophers Gaston Bachelard and Georges Canguilhem, and in literary fictions by Maurice Blanchot and Bessie Head.
Following the completion of her DPhil in 2002, Margree worked as a Visiting Lecturer for a number of institutions (the University of Sussex, the Open University, the University of London Royal Holloway, and the University of Brighton). In September 2006 she took up her full-time post at the University of Brighton.
Dr Margree’s interdisciplinary research draws upon literary studies, critical theory and cultural history. Her main area of research examines the resurgence of Gothic fiction at the Victorian fin de siècle. In common with many commentators she sees the fantastic mode as providing the late-Victorians with a means indirectly to articulate a series of anxieties ensuing from the cultural crises of this period; a period in which the end of Victorianism and the birth of the new century were anticipated with a mixture of hopefulness and dread. Margree’s research focuses on exploring Gothic production beyond the now-canonical texts and authors of the period (Stoker, Wells, Stevenson, Wilde) to explore how scholarly conceptions of the fin de siècle may be productively unsettled by reading authors once popular but now critically neglected.
One such author is Richard Marsh, an immensely successful writer from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods whose 1897 spinechiller The Beetle initially outsoldDracula. Margree’s 2007 article on The Beetle explored this novel’s negotiation of contemporary anxieties around class and gender in the context of late-Victorian fears about the decline of empire. She hosted a one-day symposium on Marsh at the University of Brighton in July 2012, and is co-editing a collection of essays on his significance as a turn-of-the-century writer.
A second strand of her work on the Victorian fin de siècle concerns neglected fictions by women writers. The critical focus upon now-canonical works by male authors has led to a tendency to see the period as being characterised by specifically male anxieties. In fact, a reading of the vast output of Gothic fiction produced by women writers reveals a different story. The children’s author Edith Nesbit, for example, also produced many extremely effective Gothic short stories in which the supernatural is used to explore the systematic dismissal of women’s perspectives by men in a patriarchal society. The writer Charlotte Riddell employs the ghost story to interrogate the economic vulnerability of women to men in the light of Victorian property laws. Margree has explored these themes in a recent co-authored chapter (with Dr Bryony Randall) in the Edinburgh Companion to the Victorian Gothic (2012), and has articles forthcoming on both Nesbit and Riddell.
The Victorian fin de siècle is frequently regarded as holding up a mirror to our own society at the turn of the 21st century. By exploring how Victorian literature negotiated cultural anxieties surrounding gender, race, immigration and empire, Margree hopes to shed light upon analogous processes in evidence today in a society similarly preoccupied by themes of terror and the ending of eras, and similarly indebted to the fantastic mode. As such, she also works on the cultural politics and imaginative fiction of the 21st century - having co-authored articles on identity politics and the ongoing legacies of slavery and colonialism - and is also interested in fictional representations of 9/11 and its legacies.
A one-day symposium organised by Victoria Margree seeks to re-evaluate the work of Victorian author Richard Marsh.
Victoria Margree's research continues from an original co-authored chapter for the Edinburgh Companion to the Victorian Gothic (April 2012).
Margree, Victoria (2016) Metanarratives of Authorship in Fin de Siecle Popular Fiction: "Is That All You Do, Write Stories?" English Literature in Transition, 59 (3). pp. 362-389. ISSN 0013-8339
Margree, Victoria (2014) Otherworldly goods: gender, money and property in the ghost stories of Charlotte Riddell Gothic Studies, 16 (2). pp. 66-85. ISSN 1362-7937
Margree, Victoria (2013) The feminist orientation in Edith Nesbit's gothic short fiction Women's Writing, 21 (4). pp. 425-443. ISSN 0969-9082
Margree, Victoria and Randall, Bryony (2012) Fin de siècle gothic In: Smith, Andrew and Hughes, William, eds. The Victorian gothic: an Edinburgh companion. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 217-233. ISBN 9780748642496
Margree, Victoria and Bhambra, Gurminder K. (2011) Tocqueville, Beaumont and the silences in histories of the United States: an interdisciplinary endeavour across literature and sociology Journal of Historical Sociology, 24 (1). pp. 116-131. ISSN 0952-1909
Bhambra, Gurminder K. and Margree, Victoria (2010) Identity politics and the need for a tomorrow Economic and Political Weekly, 45 (2). pp. 59-66. ISSN 0012-9976
Margree, Victoria (2007) Both in Men's Clothing: Gender, sovereignty and insecurity in Richard Marsh's The Beetle Critical Survey, 19 (2). pp. 63-81. ISSN 17522293
'(Other)Worldy Goods: Gender, Money and Property in the Ghost Stories of Charlotte Riddell'. Journal article.
‘Fin de Siècle Gothic’ in The Edinburgh Companion to the Victorian Gothic. Eds. Andrew Smith and William Hughes. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 2012. Co-authored with Bryony Randall.
‘Identity Politics and the Need for a Tomorrow’ in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 45, No. 2, April 2010, 59-66. Co-authored with Gurminder K. Bhambra.
‘“Both in Men’s Clothing”: Gender, Sovereignty and Insecurity in Richard Marsh’s The Beetle’ in Critical Survey, Vol. 19, No. 2, August 2007, 63-81.
The Facts on File Companion to the British Short Story. Ed. Andrew Maunder. Articles of varying length (up to 1,000 words) on ‘The Old Chief Mschlanga’, ‘Story of a Non-Marrying Man’ and ‘The Antheap’ by Doris Lessing; The Turn of the Screw by Henry James; and ‘Omnisicent Narrator’, ‘First Person Narration’ and ‘Unreliable Narrator’. March 2007.
1001 Novels You Must Read Before You Die. Ed. Peter Boxall. Short pieces (300 words) on Bessie Head’s A Question of Power, Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singingand J.M. Coetzee’s The Heart of the Country. March 2006.
‘Wild Flowers: Bessie Head on Life, Health and Botany’ in Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory, Vol. 27, No. 3, November 2004, 16-31.
‘Normal and Abnormal: Georges Canguilhem and the Question of Mental Pathology’ in Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 2002, 299-312.
‘Canguilhem and Social Pathology’ in Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 2002, 317-319.
'Gothic Technologies in Edith Nesbit's Short Fiction', University of Surrey, August 2013. Conference paper for the International Gothic Association's biennial conference.
'Gender Representations in the Fiction of Richard Marsh', Crawley Library, May 2013. Invited talk at the launch event for The Mysterious Mr Marsh Exhibition, co-hosted by Crawley Library, the University of Sussex, and the AHRC
'(Other)Wordly Goods: Gothic Inheritances in the Ghost Stories of Charlotte Riddell', St Mary's University College, Twickenham, March 2013. Conference paper for 'Gothic: Culture, Subculture, Counterculture - A Two-Day Conference', co-hosted by St Mary's and Strawberry Hill House.
‘The Disappointments of the 9/11 Novel’, University of Brighton, September 2011. Conference paper delivered at the conference ‘Rethinking Reality: The 9/11 Decade’, co-hosted by CAPPE (Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics).
‘“The Tie, the Bond, the Alliance, the Relation”: Rethinking ‘Connectedness’ for a Counter-Imperialist Feminism’, University of Warwick, December 2010. Paper delivered at symposium held by the research network ‘Rethinking the Global: Connected Histories and Connected Sociologies’.
‘Rediscovering the African Presence in Europe Through Literature’, University of Warwick, July 2010. Paper and workshop delivered at Early Career Summer School, ‘Theory for a Global Age: the Place of Africa’.
‘Translating Justice Across Boundaries’, University of Warwick, December 2009. Paper co-authored and co-presented (with Gurminder Bhambra) at symposium held as part of the research network ‘Rethinking the Global: Connected Histories and Connected Sociologies’.
‘Normality and Normalisation: Canguilhem and Psychiatry’, University of Tampere, Finland, September 2008. Conference Paper at the conference ‘Power: Forms, Consequences, Dynamics’.
May 2013. 'Gender Representations in the Fiction of Richard Marsh'. Invited talk at the launch event for The Mysterious Mr Marsh exhibition, hosted/funded by Crawley Library, Sussex University, and the AHRC.
March 2011. Delivered Guest Lectures to undergraduate students in the Classics department of the University of Warwick.
July 2010. Delivered paper and workshop at the Early Career Summer School, ‘Theory for a Global Age: the Place of Africa,’ at the University of Warwick.
December 2009. Invited to present co-authored paper (with Dr Gurminder K. Bhambra) at symposium ‘Translating Justice Across Boundaries’, hosted by EHRC-funded research network ‘Rethinking the Global: Connected Histories and Connected Sociologies’ at the University of Warwick.
February 2011. For Papers on Language and Literature (Southern Illinois University, Edswardsville).
May 2010. For Victorian Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Victorian Studies(Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada / University of Victoria).
1998 to 2001. ARHB funding for full-time DPhil at the University of Sussex