School of English

Image of Annabel Wearring-Smith

Annabel Wearring-Smith

Research Student,


Research Summary

Current Status PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic A Cultural Biography of the Virago Press: Feminist Politics and Publishing Networks 1973-1999

Research Summary

My thesis creates a cultural biography of seminal feminist publishing house the Virago Press from the period of its creation in 1973 to 1999. My research analyses the determinants of the Virago Press' publishing decisions, investigating both their network of interpersonal relationships and their contributions to the formation and dissemination of feminist debate. I have three primary research questions:

· How did Virago cultivate a publishing network that interacted with late twentieth-century feminisms?

· How can an understanding of Virago's networking practices affect an analysis of the literary genres that they published?

· How did Virago disseminate feminist thinking through their network and publication choices

I work closely with the Virago archives at the British library, charting integral collaborations between authors, activists and Virago and the works that they published. Using these questions and the available archival material as catalysts, my objective is to situate Virago as a crucial part of the cultural formation of late-twentieth-century feminism.

Research Interests

My primary research interests are on the intersections between publishing, politics and cultural movements and the relationships between dissemination and debate within the publishing industry in the late-twentieth-century. I am specifically interested in women's literature in this period, particularly the works of Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Michele Roberts and Sarah Waters.

Research Supervisors

Dr Sean Matthews (University of Nottingham)

Dr Steven Morrison (The University of Nottingham)

Dr Catherine Clay (Nottingham Trent University)

Primary Funding Source

The Midlands 4 Cities:

Conference Papers & Presentations

'Pandaemonium: Presenting A Creative-Critical Graphic Novel', English Showcase, March 2018

School of English

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The University of Nottingham
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