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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) explores 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.

Her most recent book is Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing, an investigation of political, cultural, sexual and psychological freedom centred on the life and work of Lessing. 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 is enabled by a five-year European Research Council Starting Grant (see and a three year Phillip Leverhulme Prize. Dr Feigel is also the co-director (with Erica Carter) of the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture and runs the Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Experiment (

Her official website:

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • The engagement between literature and cinema in the 1930s and 40s
  • Second World War lives and literature
  • Culture in the Occupation of Germany
  • The idea of freedom in mid-century British Culture 

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