Emma Salt

Emma Salt


I joined the School of English as a PhD student in October 2019, working on 21st century young adult fiction. During my time as a secondary school teacher, I became interested in the proliferation of young adult literature since the 1960s. 

My doctoral research is fully funded by the Joseph Wright scholarship.

Prior to starting my PhD, I completed my MA and BA in English at the University of Hull. In 2014 I also gained a Post-graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Huddersfield.

Research interests

  • 21st century young adult fiction

  • Medical humanities and contemporary fiction

  • Contemporary mental health life writing

  • Representations of disability and mental health for a young adult reader 

My research examines how the young adult novel as a form has responded to an increasing mental health crisis in young people, particularly since the beginning of the 21st century. Focusing on the increasing popularity of young adult fiction, my work will track the progression of this genre since its establishment in the 1960s. Furthermore, my work seeks to understand the contours of the way young adult literature combines with a mental health narrative. Central to my work will be research on disability theory and health narratives from the 1990s to the present day. 

I am particularly interested in the way the adolescent novel responds to the mental health crisis through a range of different subgenres. Throughout my study I will closely analyse the inventive use of form and vernacular language associated with the genre and the interesting, blurred relationship between life writing and fiction.  Authors whose work I analyse may include: John Green, Patrick Ness, Holly Bourne, Ned Vizzini and Patricia McCormick.


  • MA: English, University of Hull (Distinction)
  • PGCE: University of Huddersfield
  • BA: English, University of Hull (First-class Honours)

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Medical Humanities