Dr Louise Benson James is a Senior FWO postdoctoral fellow. Her project 'Reader's Digest: The Gastrointestinal in Popular Fiction' examines the material and metaphorical role of the digestive system in British and North American popular fiction and cultural imagination from the 1870s to the 1930s.
Her previous Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral project INTRARIB - ‘Intracorporeal Narratives: Reading Internal Biology in Women’s Literature, 1880s-1930s’ - examined British and American women’s fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for its depictions of internal anatomy: organs, viscera, and systems. It was also at Ghent university.
Louise is the coordinator of the Ghent Research Centre for the Study of 19th-Century Literature (CEL19), co-editor-in-chief of DiGeSt - Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies, and Member-at-Large of the British Society of Literature and Science (BSLS) Executive Committee. She supervises several BA and MA dissertations in English for the Department of Literary Studies at Ghent. She was previously a lecturer in 19th and 20th century litearature at the University of Bristol, and is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.
Her PhD 'Hysterical Bodies and Narratives: Medical Gothic and Women’s Fiction, Victorian to Contemporary' (awarded March 2020) explored links between medicine and women’s fiction, examining the materiality of the body in women’s writing and medical texts published between 1850 and the early 2000s, with a focus on hysteria and nervous disorder. A monograph based on this project is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press, in the series Gender and the Body in Literature and Culture.