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Dr Hannah Murray

Hannah Lauren Murray-426-croppedTeaching Fellow in Early American Studies

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 6551
Address Department of English
King's College London
Room 6.21, Virginia Woolf Building
London WC2B 6LE



After completing my PhD in early national American literature at University of Nottingham, I joined King’s in September 2017. I previously studied at University of Leeds and Pennsylvania State University. Before joining King’s I taught American literature at University of Nottingham and University of Leicester.

Research interests
  • Early national and antebellum American fiction
  • Critical whiteness studies
  • The Gothic
  • The voice
  • Robert Montgomery Bird

My current project, Inexplicable Voices, examines a recurring motif in antebellum American fiction: the repeated appearance of liminal voices that sit on the boundary between life and death. I argue that these voices, speaking when and where they should not, act as powerful articulations of marginalised whiteness in the antebellum period. Across texts by Charles Brockden Brown, Robert Montgomery Bird, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, the liminal white figure’s voice acts as a powerful articulation of liminal whiteness that questions, contests or negates antebellum ideals of the autonomous, rational, industrious, social and respectable white citizen.

Selected publications
  • ‘Brown Studies Now and in Transition’, The Oxford Handbook on Charles Brockden Brown ed. by Philip Barnard, Hilary Emmett, Stephen Shapiro, Oxford University Press, 2019.  
  • ‘“I say to you I am dead!”: Medical Experiment and the Limits of Personhood in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”’, Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, 16, 2017. 
  • Roundtable (with J. Michelle Coghlan, Stephanie Palmer and Tom Wright): Turns of Event: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies in Motion ed. Hester Blum, Journal of American Studies, 51.3, 2017.
  • Co-author: Year in Conferences, ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, 63.1, 2017.

I teach American literature and culture from the colonial period to the twenty-first century. I currently convene the second-year module Early American Literature and the first-year elective An American Book.

Expertise and public engagement

My public engagement work to date has been in Widening Participation.  I have taught A Level workshops on American Gothic and race in American culture and acted as a mentor for Sutton Trust and Fulbright Commission.





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