Sabine Vanacker

Dr Sabine Vanacker

Senior Lecturer/ Assessments Co-ordinator, English / Exchange Students Co-ordinator, English

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

01482 465886

Sabine Vanacker’s interests centre on writing and gender in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (Jean Rhys, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, Jake Arnott, Leila Aboulela).

Her main research focus, however, is crime fiction, both classical and hardboiled, and topics such as feminist crime writing, the concept of genre and the phenomenon of series writing.

She has written on Dorothy L. Sayers and published on Agatha Christie, John Le Carré, P.D. James, Arthur Conan Doyle and Sara Paretsky.

She is currently preparing a monograph on P.D. James’s classical detective series about an introspective, melancholic policeman, Adam Dalgliesh.


Research Interests

  • English, American and Dutch-Flemish crime fiction

  • Gender, feminist literary criticism and women's writing

  • Death studies in literature

  • Literature of the 20th and 21st century

  • Literary modernism

Research groups

  • The Crime Studies Network fosters interdisciplinary collaboration on crime and its representation in literature, the law, media studies, forensic science, criminology, history.

  • Crossing Over links academics and practitioners working in Death Studies, mourning and bereavement (archeology, literature and creative writing, history, sociology, anthropology, hospice work and medicine).

  • Sabine is Reviews Editor for The Journal of Gender Studies, an international, interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal. We welcome new reviewers in all fields: if interested in reviewing, please email


Vanacker, Sabine and Catherine Wynne, eds. (2013) Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle: Multi-Media Afterlives. London: Palgrave.

Shaw, Marion and Sabine Vanacker. (1991) Reflecting on Miss Marple. London: Routledge.

Vanacker, Sabine. (2016) Denise Mina’s Garnethill Trilogy: Feminist Crime Fiction at the Millennium. In New Directions in Popular Fiction: Genre, Distribution, Reproduction, Ken Gelder, ed., London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 223 – 239.

Vanacker, Sabine. (2015) Series Fiction and the Challenge of Ideology: The Feminism of Sara Paretsky. In Serial Crime Fiction: Dying for More, Jean Anderson, Barbara Pezzotti and Carolina Miranda, eds. London: Palgrave, pp. 99-111.

Vanacker, Sabine. (2012) ‘A Desk Is a Dangerous Place from which to Watch the World’: Travelling at Home and Abroad in Cold War Spy Stories. In: The Foreign in International Crime Fiction: Transcultural Representations, eds Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda, Barbara Pezzotti. London: Continuum, pp. 22-35.

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list


  • Crime Fiction: Reading the Body, Reading the Signs (module convener)

  • Literature Lab (module convener)

  • Written on the Body: Rethinking Gender and Sexuality (module convener)

  • British and American Modernism

  • Research Creativity and Engagement


  • Gender in Popular Literature (module convener)

Research PhDs

Crime fiction, popular fiction, modern and contemporary literature, women's writing, the literature of migration.

Completed PhDs

  • Arvanitaki, Eirini, Gender in 21st-Century Popular Romance Fiction (2017)

  • Desforges, Kate, Burdekin’s Utopian Visions: A Study of Four Interwar Texts (2016)

  • Louwerse, Henriëtte, Homeless Entertainments: An Interpretation of Hafid Bouazza’s Literary Writing (2007)

Current PhD supervisions 

  • Zoelman, Maaike, Interpreting Imagined Societies: The Interrelation of Memory and Ageing in Twenty-first-century Young Adult Dystopian Worlds

  • Khorikian, Anousch, Investigating Investigators: Postfeminism in British Crime Series of a Post-television Decade (2001-2011)

  • Su, Jinglong, A S Byatt

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Teacher Training Degree (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium)

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD English Literature, University of Hull (1995)

  • MA in Women and Literature, University of Hull (1986)

  • Licentiate in Germanic Philology, University of Leuven (BA Cum Laude, 1984)

External roles

Public engagement

  • 2007-2012 - Public Governor, Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, representing Rivelin to Sheaf. Re-elected in 2009.

  • 2008-2009 - Panel member, Sheffield Service District Panel (Children: Safeguarding and Wellbeing)

  • 2004-2016 - Member of Patient and Carers Advisory Group, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Awards and accolades

1999 - Arts and Humanities Research Board, Research Leave Scheme: £ 10,000, awarded towards extended leave Spring 2000, project: Nederlandstalige Misdaadliteratuur: Kinderen van Christie en Chandler