Jess H. Anderson


I joined the School of English as a PhD student in October 2018, where I work on late 20th and early 21st-century US true crime 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 PhD thesis, entitled Reading Genre in the Contemporary US Murder Memoir, focuses on the ‘murder memoir’, a subgenre of true crime writing that combines a memoir narrative with a true crime narrative. The thesis examines the ways in which the form intersects and intertwines the memoir and true crime genres and assesses what is produced from these intersections. In doing so, the thesis considers what happens to the process of identity formation in memoir when the true crime genre’s structures are used as a framework for understanding the individuated past. I focus on case studies of US murder memoirs from 1996–2017, examining work by Maggie Nelson, James Ellroy, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, and Claudia Rowe.

More widely, my research interests include US memoir, true crime, detective fiction, the misery memoir, video gaming, and theories of the popular. I'm also interested in new forms of non-fiction storytelling, such as the podcast and the online fan forum.


  • Autumn 2019/20, 2021/22, 2022/23: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Foundations of English Studies
  • Spring 2020/21: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, American Words, American Worlds
  • Summer 2022: Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes (Leeds Language Centre)

I was an Education Outreach Fellow with the Leeds Arts Outreach team (2019–2021), where I designed and led workshops for school pupils in West Yorkshire and beyond.


  • Co-editor (with Carl White), Reading Disco Elysium, Post45 Contemporaries (forthcoming 2023)
  • Jess H. Anderson, “I Know What I Want Is Impossible”: The Contemporary U.S. Murder Memoir and Protective Mechanisms in True Crime”, Studies in Crime Writing, 3 (2022)


  • 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

Selected Conference Papers

  • '"Benign" Emotions, Outsider Voices: Reading the Victim Impact Statement in the Contemporary US Murder Memoir' at Following the Affective Turn (Postgraduate Symposium), University of Brighton, September 13–17 2021
  • "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 14–15 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, September 5 2017


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