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Dr Rachel Crossland

Senior Lecturer in English Literature | 01243 816 178

Dr Rachel Crossland joined the Department of English and Creative Writing as a Senior Lecturer in January 2015. She completed a BA in English and Hispanic Studies at the University of Liverpool, followed by a Masters and DPhil at St John's College, Oxford. She has taught for various colleges at the University of Oxford, including Merton, St Anne's and Trinity. In 2012 she held a Research Fellowship in Biology and the Humanities at the University of Reading, and in 2014 a Lectureship in early twentieth-century English literature at King's College London.

Rachel's first book, Modernist Physics: Waves, Particles, and Relativities in the Writings of Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence, was published by Oxford University Press in March 2018.

Rachel is a member of the British Society for Literature and Science, the Commission on Science and Literature and the British Association for Modernist Studies.


Rachel currently teaches on Victorian Literature, Page to Stage and Genre: Prose Fiction.

She is module coordinator for Modernism to the Present and for her own module on 20th/21st Century Literature: Science, Literature and Society.

She is also the undergraduate dissertations coordinator.

At postgraduate level, Rachel teaches on Literature in the Present Moment and Visions of the Real and coordinates Activating Research, as well as supervising MA dissertations and a PhD student.




  • 'Exposing the Bones of Desire: Virginia Woolf's X-ray Visions', Virginia Woolf Miscellany, 85 (2014), 18-20.
  • '“[M]ultitudinous and minute”: Early Twentieth-Century Scientific, Literary and Psychological Representations of the Mass', Journal of Literature and Science, 6/2 (2013), 1-16. Winner of the 2013 British Society for Literature and Science and Journal of Literature and Science Prize for the best new essay by an early career scholar.
  • 'Cultivating Common Ground: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Biological Research', New Phytologist, 197/2 (January 2013), 362-5.
  • 'What D. H. Lawrence Understood of “the Einstein theory”: Relativity in Fantasia of the Unconscious and Kangaroo', MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 7 (2012).

Book Chapter

  • 'Scientific Formations and Transformations', in Laura Marcus, Michèle Mendelssohn and Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr, eds., Late Victorian into Modern (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 249-62

Scoping Study

  • With Nicholas Battey, John Holmes, Françoise Le Saux, Karín Lesnik-Oberstein and David Stack, The Value of the Literary and Historical Study of Biology to Biologists: A Scoping Study (2012).

Book Reviews

  • Review of Christina Walter, Optical Impersonality: Science, Images, and Literary Modernism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), Literature & History, 24/2 (November 2015), 105-6
  • Review of Katy Price, Loving Faster than Light: Romance and Readers in Einstein's Universe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), Review of English Studies, 64/267 (November 2013), 911-13.
  • Review of Lorraine Sim, Virginia Woolf: The Patterns of Ordinary Experience (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), Notes and Queries, 60/3 (September 2013), 460-62.
  • Review of E. M. Forster, The Creator as Critic and Other Writings by E. M. Forster, ed. Jeffrey M. Heath (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008), Notes and Queries, 59/2 (June 2012), 287-8.        
  • Review of Christina Alt, Virginia Woolf and the Study of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), The British Society for Literature and Science (
  • Review of Peter J. Bowler, Science for All: The Popularisation of Science in Early Twentieth-Century Britain (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), The British Society for Literature and Science (

Conference Reports

  • 'Cultivating Common Ground: Biology and the Humanities', Viewpoint: Magazine of the British Society for the History of Science, 99 (October 2012), 11.                                              
  • 5th Annual Conference of the British Society for Literature and Science, Viewpoint: Magazine of the British Society for the History of Science, 92 (June 2010), 10-11.


Rachel's main areas of interest are links between literature and science in the early twentieth century and popular science in this period.

She is also interested in modernist writing more broadly, in particular the works of Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence.