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Biography

Professor Lara Feigel works on twentieth-century literature and culture. She is both a literary critic and a cultural historian and she is invested in finding new ways to represent the complex relationships between life, literature and history. As a result, much of her work crosses genres and disciplines. Her first monograph entitled Literature, Cinema, Politics, 1930-1945, Reading Between the Frames (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) tells the story that unfolded between 1920s cinematic modernism and postwar cinematic neorealism, exploring the rise and fall of a distinct genre of politically committed, cinematic literature.

Her second book entitled The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War (Bloomsbury, 2013) is an experiment in life-writing, exploring the wartime lives and writing of five writers (Elizabeth Bowen, Henry Green, Graham Greene, Rose Macaulay, Hilde Spiel). In The Bitter Taste of Victory: Life, Love and Art in the Ruins of the Reich she tells the complex story of how culture was used in the reconstruction of Germany, and of the effect postwar Germany had on the cultural ambassadors who were sent there.

Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing (Bloomsbury, 2018), is a work that fuses memoir, literary criticism and biography to investigate political, cultural, sexual and psychological freedom in Lessing’s life and work. In 2020, she published her first novel, The Group (John Murray), which is an essayistic investigation of contemporary women’s lives, loosely responding to Mary McCarthy’s The Group. She is currently working on a project about DH Lawrence, and his resonance in the twenty-first century.

She is also the co-editor (with John Sutherland) of the New Selected Journals of Stephen Spender (Faber, 2012) and (with Alexandra Harris) of a collection of essays exploring modernist aesthetic responses to the seaside (Modernism on Sea, Peter Lang, 2009). Her research has been enabled by a five-year European Research Council Starting Grant (see www.beyondenemylines.co.uk) and a three year Phillip Leverhulme Prize. Dr Feigel is also the co-director (with Ben Schofield) of the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture and runs the Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Experiment (www.ivanjuritzprize.co.uk).

Her official website: www.larafeigel.com

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • Second World War lives and literature
  • Culture and Occupation
  • Literature and politics in mid-century Anglophone Culture
  • Feminist writing from the 1950s to the present, with a particular focus on motherhood and writing the self
  • Life-writing and auto-fiction and the connections between experimental creative non-fiction and the novelistic tradition
  • Doris Lessing, DH Lawrence

Professor Feigel welcomes PhD applications related to any aspect of her research. For more details, please see Lara's full research profile.