Skip to main content

Dr Emma Short

Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature

Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature in the Department of English Studies


I joined the Department of English at Durham in 2018, having previously worked as a Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University. My research and teaching interests span from the late nineteenth century to the present day, and focus on the intersections of space, mobility, embodiment, and gender in literature and culture. 

My monograph, Mobility and the Hotel in Modern Literature: Passing Through, was published with Palgrave in 2019, and considers the complex ways in which the hotel functions to express the shifting experiences of modernity in the works of such authors as Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells, Dorothy Richardson, Virginia Woolf, and Elizabeth Bowen. The book contributes to the critical debates on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature concerning space, movement, and mobility, arguing that the hotel reconfigures boundaries of modernist, middlebrow, and popular fiction. Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary theoretical and analytical perspectives, my book provides a critical and cultural history of the hotel in British literature, charting its changing nature and usage from the mid-nineteenth century up until the interwar period.

My current research focuses on British traveller Gertrude Bell, and explores the complex and lasting impact of Bell’s own literary and cultural imagination to British understandings of the Middle East up to the present day. I am also working on ecocritical approaches to literature and landscape. 

In 2023/24, I am teaching on the following modules:

ENGL2821: Hotel Stories 

I convene this second-year special topic module on which we explore the space of the hotel in all its complexities across modern and contemporary literature. 

ENGL2081: Literature of the Modern Period (co-convening in 2023/24)

ENGL3131: American Fiction 

I also supervise undergraduate dissertation students and postgraduate students working on modern and contemporary literature. 

For 2023/24, my office hours will take place on Wednesdays, 12pm-1pm, via Zoom. Please email me for a timeslot and meeting URL.


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Supervision students