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Dr Sarah Ilott

Dr Sarah Ilott

Associate Lecturer, Sessional - Research, Sessional - Clerical/Admin

County College
Lancaster University
United Kingdom


Linguistics and English Language
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Recruitment, Admissions & Int'l Dev't

postcolonialism; Gothic; comedy; Britishness; genre fiction; contemporary literature

Thesis Title

Desiring Postcolonial Britain: Genre Fiction since The Satanic Verses

Current Teaching

I currently teach on the following courses:

Hist278: Sex and Violence in Imperial India, 1857-1919.

Engl301: Dissertation Supervision

Engl308: Contemporary Literature in English

Engl378: Children in Horror Fiction and Film

Career Details

University of Birmingham

January 2013 – March 2013, Visiting Lecturer (Sick Leave Cover)

I lectured and taught on a second year course entitled ‘Literature in Britain since 1945.'  This involved running two hour workshops for two groups of around 26 students.  During the workshops I marked group presentations, delivered a lecture on theory and ran workshop activities.  I was also responsible for marking formative essays and for uploading lecture slides onto the virtual learning website. 

Lancaster University

October 2012 – Present, Associate Lecturer (Part II)

I prepared and taught five seminars per week for the course ‘Decadence to Modernism: 1890-1945.'  I also delivered a lecture on The Buddha of Suburbia for the ‘Contemporary Literature in English' course.  This role involved my attendance at meetings, email contact with students, administrators and secretaries, and assessment of essays and exams.

October 2010 – March 2013, Researcher and E-Catalogue Author for AHRC-funded ‘Moving Manchester/Mediating Marginalities' Project

I wrote synopses of novels, poetry anthologies and short story collections for the e-catalogue and checked the catalogue for consistency and errors.  At the end of the project I compiled evidence for the IMPACT report.  I had to track down contact details for fifty authors that had been involved in the project in order to deliver them a questionnaire composed in collaboration by the PI and myself.  I then analysed the qualitative and quantitative data received and produced graphs and supporting statements to be used as evidence for the written report.  I recently compiled the index for the main academic output of the project: Postcolonial Manchester.

August – September 2011, Tutor for International Summer Programme

I prepared, taught and created resources for two seminars per week on the literature, language and history of the North-West of England from 1800 – present to a group of ten American students.  Along with two other tutors I attended meetings, accompanied thirty students on field trips and provided supplementary exercises.  I also gave a lecture on ‘Postcolonial British Literature'. 

July 2010, Tutor for Gothic Creative Writing Summer School

I pitched the idea for a summer school suitable for a group of ‘Gifted and Talented' students aged 14-17 to the Department of Continuing Education.  Upon acceptance, I prepared lessons, activities, resources and field trips for a week long course, then taught the course with the assistance of another tutor. 

October 2009 – June 2011, Associate Lecturer (Part I)

I taught on a first year survey course of the English canon, from Renaissance sonneteers to contemporary performance poets.  This involved preparing and teaching two seminars per week, attending lectures and meetings, marking essays, presentations and exams and corresponding with students and other tutors via e-mail and a virtual learning environment.


Web Links

My page can be found here:

Current Research

My current project is on Postcolonial British Comedy.  Working on postcolonial British fiction and film from 1979 to the present day, this project aims to draw attention to the links between comedy and political zeitgeist as the social dominant shifts according to government, international affairs and new modes of exclusion.  In doing so I often read comedies against the grain, revealing what is repressed or sacrificed in utopian representations of multicultural Britain.  I argue that although postcolonial comedy started out by seeking to challenge the residual stereotypes and hierarchies of the colonial era it has evolved to address neo-colonial concerns and new yet associated modes of exclusion based on prejudices linked to class and religion. 

Thesis Outline

My thesis was entitled ‘Desiring Postcolonial Britain: Genre Fiction since The Satanic Verses.' In it, I explored ways in which genre studies and postcolonial criticism can usefully be brought to bear upon one another in order to interrogate constructions of Britishness from positions of canonical and ethnic marginality. The overarching questions that I asked of texts and films regarded the negotiation, repression and expression of desires related to hopes and fears about postcolonial Britain and variously expressed through the genres of Bildungsroman, Gothic, comedy, national romance and subcultural urban fiction.


Reading new India: post-millennial Indian fiction in English by E. Dawson Varughese

Ilott, S. 7/03/2014 In: Interventions: International Journal of Post-Colonial Studies. 16, 2, p. 292-294 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

'We are here to speak the unspeakable': voicing abjection in Raj Kamal Jha's Fireproof

Ilott, S. 2014 In: Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Generic frameworks and active readership in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Ilott, S. 2013 In: Journal of Postcolonial Writing. p. 1-13 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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