Jess H. Anderson


I joined the School of English as a PhD student in October 2018, where I work on anxiety and the image of the corpse in late 20th and early 21st-century US memoir. My doctoral project is fully funded by the John Barnard doctoral scholarship.

I hold a Scottish MA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Aberdeen, and an M.Phil in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. 

Research interests

My thesis focuses on the workings of genre within the late 20th and early 21st century American 'murder memoir', a genre I define as one which concerns two parallel narratives: an interrogation of an author's childhood trauma, and a murder investigation conducted by that author. I analyse multiple examples of this new genre within my thesis, including work by Maggie Nelson, James Ellroy, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich and Sarah Perry, among others. By establishing the framework of the murder memoir, my thesis interrogates the anxieties surrounding the production of the contemporary memoir, and the corpse as both the archive of, and mediation point for, traumatic memory and experience.

More widely, my research interests include US memoir, true crime, detective fiction, the misery memoir, noir fiction, whiteness in US literature, archive theory, genre theory, and theories of cognitive mapping. I'm also interested in new forms of non-fiction storytelling, such as the podcast and the online fan forum.


Autumn 2019: Foundations of English Studies


Review: Jess H. Anderson, “My Friend Dahmer, dir. by Marc Meyers (FilmRise, 2017)”, The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, 17 (2018), pp.139-142


"Genre Trouble: True Crime and Protective Mechanisms in Maggie Nelson’s The Red Parts" at Delicate Infractions: The VIII International Crime Genre Research Group Conference, Maynooth University, June 14th-15th 2019

“Blood and Gutters: Reading Violence and the Archive in Brian Michael Bendis’ and Marc Andreyko’s Torso” at Criminal Heritage: Crime, Fiction and History, Leeds Beckett University, 5th September 2017



  • MA (Hons) English Literature, University of Aberdeen
  • M.Phil Popular Literature, Trinity College Dublin