Rebecca Elton



I commenced my PhD in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies in 2018 funded by an LCS Studentship Award for Excellence. From the beginning of my BA studies, I have taken an interest in both languages and literature, and I have found that comparative literary studies combine these two interests well. My thesis explores depictions of masculinity in French and English children's literature from the 1930s to 80s. It examines portrayals of masculinity in a time of significant change for men in Britain and France and views them in light of such context as the trauma of war, the rise of Second Wave feminism, and empire.

I previously completed my BA in French and English at the University of Hull, receiving first class honours and a distinction in oral French. I also completed my MA by Thesis in Modern Languages at the University of Hull. My thesis explored the internationally-renowned A Song of Ice and Fire series (1996-present) by George R.R. Martin, better known as Game of Thrones and a French series that influenced it, named Les Rois maudits (1955-77) by Maurice Druon.

My research interests relate predominantly to comparative literature, 20th and 21st century Francophone and Anglophone literature, genre, popular culture, and gender. I also work as a support exam invigilator for the university as of November 2019.

Presentations and Talks

'Reimagining Masculinity and the Natural World in Post World War Two British and French Children's Literature'. New Voices, New Perspectives. University of Leeds. 3rd May 2019.

'Free Folk: Progressive Body Politics in Game of Thrones's Wildlings?' Subjectivity and Sovereignty: Tracing the Modern through Time and Space, 1850 - Present. University of York. 28th May 2019.

'Mother of Dragons: Motherhood and the Subversion of Patriarchy in A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-).' PGRNS Intersections. University of Edinburgh. 5th June 2019.

'Maternal Bodies and Patriarchal Subversion in Les Rois maudits (1955-77) and A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-).' Oxford Medieval and Modern Languages Graduate Conference: Body and Embodiment. University of Oxford. 24th June 2019.

‘Imperialist Legacies and Popular 20th Century Children’s Fiction’. Popular Culture and World Politics V12: Popular Culture Matters! University of Leeds. 16th-17th January 2020. 

Talk at Huddersfield New College for a series entitled Aspire, which advises high achieving students on future career and education opportunities. As part of Aspire, I will give a 40-50 minute lecture on my research to A-level students. 20th January 2020.

UPCOMING. ‘A History of French Children’s and Young Adult Fantasy Literature, 19th Century to Present’. GIFCon: Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations. University of Glasgow. 28th-29th May 2020.


I was recently part of a special memorial issue of Crossing Borders, or the Journal of Early Career Researchers for Humanities and Social Sciences. This special issue, which can be found here, was published in memory of Ben Clark, a member of the conference committee for a conference I attended at the University of York in May 2019. He was an enthusiastic music scholar who sadly passed away shortly after the conference. My paper, ‘Free Folk: Female Sexual Autonomy and Wildling Society in A Song of Ice and Fire’ is published in his memory.

(Elton, Rebecca, 2019. ‘Free Folk: Female Sexual Autonomy and Wildling Society in A Song of Ice and Fire’. Crossing Borders, [e-journal] Ben Clark special issue.)

Research interests

I have a wide range of research interests, relating to:

  • 20th and 21st century literature
  • Popular culture
  • Comparative literature (Francophone and Anglophone)
  • Genre (particularly speculative fiction and children's literature)
  • Gender and feminism (power, patriarchy, violence, femininity and masculinity, motherhood


  • MA by Thesis Modern Languages (University of Hull)
  • BA French and English (University of Hull)

Research groups and institutes

  • French
  • Cultural studies
  • Gender
  • Literary studies
  • Popular Culture Research Network
  • Centre for World Literatures