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Dr Natasha Periyan

Lecturer in Modern English Literature


I read English at Oxford for my undergraduate degree, before completing my MA (1850-present) at King’s and my PhD at Royal Holloway. Prior to my appointment at King’s, I held teaching positions at Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, Falmouth University and the New College of the Humanities. I was a Research Associate on the AHRC funded project ‘Literary Culture, Meritocracy and the Assessment of Intelligence in Britain and America, 1880-1920’ at the University of Kent, led by Sara Lyons (PI) and Mike Collins (Co-I). I am a Postdoctoral Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies and hold a Harry Ransom Center Fellowship.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Literature and education
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Modernism
  • Interwar women writers
  • The child in modernism

My first book, The Politics of 1930s British Literature: Education, Gender and Class (London: Bloomsbury, 2018) won the International Standing Conference for the History of Education First Book Award, and I have published articles and book chapters on a wide range of authors including Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, D.H. Lawrence, Naomi Mitchison, Vera Brittain and Storm Jameson. I am currently working on two interlinked books: the first on Virginia Woolf and biopolitics, the second on interwar women writers and the concept of intelligence.

Selected publications

  • The Politics of 1930s British Literature: Education, Gender and Class (London: Bloomsbury, 2018)
  • ‘“Altering the structure of society”: an institutional focus on Virginia Woolf and working-class education in the 1930s’, Textual Practice 32 Issue 8 (2018), 1301-1323
  • ‘Virginia Woolf’s The Waves and hero-worship: Identity, masculinity and education’, Literature & History, Volume 28 Issue 2, November 2019, 137-155.
  • Women in Love and Education: D. H. Lawrence’s Epistemological Critique’, Modernist Cultures3 (2019): 357–374.
  • Women: A Cultural Review, Vol. 31 Issue 4, 2020, ‘The Interwar Woman Writer: Politics and Aesthetics’ (co-edited with Clara Jones).


I teach across the English Department’s provision in modernist literature, leading seminars and lectures at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I have also taught poetry to first year students at KCL and I lead one-to-one writing tutorials for all degree stages.

Expertise and public engagement

I have spoken at public engagement events at Morley College, Conway Hall and The Beaney on ‘Examining Intelligence: Novelists on Education and Mental Ability’, as well as at the Working Class Movement Library on Walter Greenwood and ‘Labour Women’. I co-organised, with Dr Clara Jones and Professor Anna Snaith, a Modernist Revue for the BAMS 2019 conference ‘Troublesome Modernisms’, which featured performance art, ballet and musical recitals.