Emma Parker


Having completed previous degrees at Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Oxford, I arrived at Leeds in 2016 to research the memoirs and autobiographies of Doris Lessing, Penelope Lively and Janet Frame. My PhD thesis examines their neglected non-fictional writings as 'life writing after empire'. I am also an undergraduate tutor on 'Poetry: Reading and Interpretation' (2017-18) and 'Postcolonial Literature' (2018-19). 

Research interests

My reseach interests include various forms of literary non-fiction, postcolonial writing, contemporary literature and graphic narratives. 

I am currently co-organising After Empire?, a two-day conference which investigates the legacies of Britain's colonial past and is supported by grants from the Royal Historical Society, The Economic History Society, The ICPS, The Imperial Afterlives Project and WRoCAH

As a steering group member of the Postgraduate Contemporary Women's Writing NetworkI solicit articles and reviews for our website and contribute to all the group's activities. I was research assistant on the AHRC project ‘Mobilising Multidirectional Memory to Build More Resilient Communities in South Africa' (2017-18) as part of the Transnational Holocaust Memory network. I also co-directed (2017-18) the critical theory reading group Quilting Points, exploring the work of Sara Ahmed and hosted Ahmed for a public lecture at the University of Leeds in May 2018. I co-organised a symposium on ‘Life Narratives and Human Rights’ (2017) and knowledge exchange workshop at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, conducting a keynote interview with South African author Mark Gevisser


Reviews and Interviews 

Talks and Conference Papers: I have been an invited speaker at the University of Sheffield Research Seminar (lecture on 'Doris Lessing's Global Life Writing'), the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, SA (talk on 'Dark Pasts and Mobilising Multidirectional Memory') and at the Postcolonial Studies Network, Nottingham Trent University (talk on 'Life Writing After Empire'). 

My presentations at conferences, seminars and symposiums include: After Empire? The Contested Histories of Race, Migration and Decolonisation in Modern Britain (University of Leeds, 2018), International Auto/Biography Association World Conference (University of Soao Jao del Rei, Brazil, 2018) Archives of Resistance Conference (University of Leeds, 2018) Literature and the Human Body Conference (University of Oxford, 2018), The Postcolonial Studies Association Conference (University of London, 2017), Documenting Trauma: Comics & the Politics of Memory Symposium (University of Oxford, 2017), Life Narratives and Human Rights Symposium, (Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, 2017), European Association for Commonwealth Language And Literature Studies Conference (University of Oviedo, 2017), Postcolonial Postgraduate Forum, (University of York, 2016).


  • M.St in English Literature 1900-Present, University of Oxford
  • BA (hons) in English Literature, Queen Mary, University of London