Katharine Cockin MSP_9071

Professor Katharine Cockin

Professor/ Undergraduate Programme Convener

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

School of Arts


01482 465611

Professor Cockin's research in the long 19th century and 20th century is interdisciplinary and focused on applied archival studies, theatre history and digital humanities.

Major externally-funded projects have involved research impact and public engagement in relation to citizenship and history (British women’s suffrage), regional identity (north and south of England) and applied archival studies (online theatre archive catalogue and family history resource).

Scholarly editing of letters and drama continues to be a principal focus of research. Other interests include law and literature, modern and contemporary literature, TV and film.


Research Interests

  • The British women's suffrage movement

  • The lives and work of Edith Craig (1869-1947) and Ellen Terry (1847-1928)

  • Modern and contemporary literature

  • Theatre history, applied archival studies, public history, women's suffrage history, letters and life-writing, literature of the First World War, 1930s literature, literature and politics, literature and law, the literary north

Research groups

Principal Investigator on


Programmes taught on

Modules list

Undergraduate modules

  • Cyborgs, Clones and Other Animals: Science in Fiction (level 6)

  • Between the Acts: Literature of the Thirties (level 6)

Postgraduate modules

  • The Literary North

Research PhDs

Professor Cockin welcomes applications from PhD students interested in archival, theatre and literary studies and topics in modern and contemporary literature and the long 19th century including:

  • literature which engages with political events and movements, including women's suffrage

  • modern and contemporary literature

  • women's writing from the 19th century onwards

  • literature and place

  • literature and law

  • letters, life-writing and family history

Completed PhDs

Ellen Ricketts, The Rise of the Lesbian Bildungsroman, 1915-1928, (2017)

Waha Sawas, The Posthuman World of the Future Generation: Youth in Contemporary Dystopian Fiction, Young-adult Fiction, Science Fiction and Poetry (2017)

Claudia Capancioni, Anglo-Italian Literary Identity in the Writings of Margaret Collier, Giacinta Galletti and Joyce Salvadori (2006)

Current PhD supervisors

Currently supervising three PhD students who are working on

  • 19-century poetry and the North

  • dramatic representations of crime in the context of law and literature

  • the writings of Kola Boof

Teaching awards and accolades

Principal Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA Hons, MA, PhD (Leicester)

  • Fellow of the English Association

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

External roles

Elected Memberships:

  • International Association for University Professors of English (2012-)

  • National Conference of University Professors (2014-)

  • Council of the National Conference of University Professors (2015-)

  • The Raymond Williams Society, Executive Committee (2013-15)

  • British Association of Modernist Studies, Executive Committee (2013-16)

Editorial board member of the Journal of Gender Studies (2008-)

External member academic professors/readers promotions panel, Liverpool John Moores University 2014-17; chaired by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill

External Examiner for PhD and DPhil:

  • 2015 Oxford University, Anna Cairns, Jokes for Women: Suffrage and the Sense of Humour on the Stage

  • 2013 Leicester University, Jenny Bloodworth, Clothilde Graves, Journalist, Dramatist and Novelist: Writing to Survive in the Late 19th and early 20th Century

  • 2011 De Montfort University, Susanna Cory-Wright, An Annotated Edition of the Selected Correspondence of Maud, Lady Tree: 1880-1917

External examiner: Liverpool John Moores University for BA Hons English (2008-12)

Editor of book series Dramatic Lives (Pickering & Chatto, now Routledge) monographs, auto/biographies and essay collections focusing on individuals who have made a significant contribution to the theatre, from centre or fringes.

Awards and accolades

  • Visiting Scholarship 2014 at St John’s College, Oxford

  • Research at the Bodleian Library, John Johnson Collection, for Edith Craig and the Theatres of Art (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2017) and The Collected Letters of Ellen Terry Vols 6-8)

  • Trained Assessor for National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) Sep 2016

  • Member of AHRC Peer Review College 2010-13

Professional highlights

Professor Cockin’s research interests span the 19th and 20th centuries. She is an expert on the lives and work of the performer, Ellen Terry (1847-1928) and her daughter Edith Craig (1869-1947) who was a lesbian, theatre director and suffragette.

She is the editor of the British Academy-funded Collected Letters of Ellen Terry (eight volumes, 2010-) and Principal Investigator of two online projects.

The AHRC Searching for Theatrical Ancestors resource was listed as one of the top 50 websites for family history research in 2017 by the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are magazine.

The AHRC Ellen Terry and Edith Craig Database project enabled the National Trust to deposit most of its archive at the British Library.

Professor Cockin is the author/editor of 15 books including two biographies of Edith Craig, most recently Edith Craig and the Theatres of Art (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2017).