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Elizabeth Rawlinson-Mills


University Lecturer in English and Education

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223 767525


  • MA English, Clare College (University of Cambridge)
  • PGCE Secondary English (University of Cambridge)
  • MEd Researching Practice (University of Cambridge)
  • MA English Literature (University of Bristol)
  • PhD English, University College London (in progress, due to complete in 2020)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • NATE
  • UKLA

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My current research draws on extensive international archive research into popular poetry of the South African War, with a particular focus on poems published in British newspapers. I present a wealth of new material which disrupts the traditional picture of literary endeavour at the turn of the century, making a case for the range and value of a form of poetry which one newspaper commentator at the time called ‘dismal twaddle’ – an assessment which has been too readily accepted by literary historians. Meanwhile, the poems I have amassed constitute a rich and democratic historical source for complicating accounts of British responses to the South African War, and to imperial politics more generally.

This research is part of my wider interest in the place of poetry in society and popular culture. I am motivated by a conviction that poetry can and should be accessible and available to everyone, as a way of finding and building communities of understanding, and of articulating complex responses to the world around us.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Poetry and education
  • Literature, society and popular culture
  • Victorian literature
  • Nineteenth century studies

Current Research Project(s)

  • Bards, priests and prophets: the newspaper poets of the South African War (1899-1902) (PhD project, UCL Department of English)
  • Maternity and parenthood in contemporary poetry

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  • Undergraduate Education Tripos - Education, English, Drama and the Arts strand
    • Paper coordinator for 1B International Literatures and Cultures
  • Postgraduate
    • PGCE Secondary English
    • MEd Researching Practice
    • PhD / EdD supervision on topics related to the above research interests

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Principal and Recent Publications

Rawlinson-Mills, E. (2018) Soldiers of the Queen: Reading newspaper fiction of the South African War (1899-1902). Journal of Victorian Culture, 23 (3), pp. 381-404.

Rawlinson-Mills, E. (2018). “That far-off Southern tomb”: visions and versions of South Africa in British newspaper poetry of the South African War (1899-1902). In Franchi, B. and Mutlu, E. (Eds.). Crossing Borders in Victorian Travel: spaces, nations and empires. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.


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