Dr Clara Jones
Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature
I joined the English department at King’s in September 2014 after completing a PhD at Queen Mary University of London.
Research Interests and PhD Supervision
- Virginia Woolf studies
- The Politics of Modernism
- Twentieth-century women's organisations
- Interwar women writers
My research on Virginia Woolf focuses on the relationship between her political and literary practice. My monograph, Virginia Woolf: Ambivalent Activist (EUP 2016), rescues the details of Woolf's political activism and social participation with organisations including the People's Suffrage Federation and the Women’s Co-operative Guild. Articles about my discovery of two of unpublished sketches by Woolf held in the New York Morgan Library - 'The Cook Sketch' and 'The Villa Jones'- have appeared in Woolf Studies Annual.
My current book project builds on my interest in interwar women writers and activists, including Rosamond Lehmann, Ellen Wilkinson, Elizbeth Bowen, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Amabel Williams-Ellis. British Interwar Women Writers: Class, Gender Genre situates these writers' treatment of maternity, marriage, work, sex, and domesticity in terms of contemporary socio-political debates, as well as their own involvement with organisations, including the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and the Communist Party of Great Britain. By focusing on their shared preference for mid-and-low-status genres, like the romance and the thriller, the book also explores how these writers’ work with genre was responsive to and in some cases contiguous with their extra-literary commitments and political engagements.
My next major research project, 'Committee Woman', is a literary and cultural history of women’s administrative labour in twentieth-century organisations, including the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child, the Labour Party, the BBC, the GLC, the National Association for the Teaching of English and the National Childbirth Trust. A forthcoming article in Modernism/modernity on the work of the all-woman Prix Femina Anglais committee from 1919-1940 sets out some of the ideas that are central to this new project.
For more details, please see my full research profile.
In 2017-18 I will be teaching on the following modules:
- Activist Texts: Literature and Politics, 1910-1938
- Mapping Modernism
- Text, Culture, Theory
Expertise and Public Engagement
Virginia Woolf walking tours of London for Persephone Books, Women’s History Month and the Literary London Reading Group.