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Leena Kore-Schröder

Assistant Professor in Twentieth-Century Literature, Faculty of Arts



Originally Canadian, of Estonian parents, I have lived in Britain since 1980, and before my present post at Nottingham have held Lectureships at the Open University, the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the University of Aberdeen.

BA (Hons) University of Toronto, Trinity College.

MA (English) University of Toronto

PhD (English) University of London, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College

Expertise Summary

BA MA (Toronto) PhD (London) Areas of expertise - 19th and 20th century literature; Virginia Woolf; contemporary theory; feminism and women writers; inter-war constructions of Englishness.

UG Modules Current First and Second Level Undergraduate modules taught at the University of Nottingham: Studying Modern Literature; Understanding Literary Culture (present Convenor); Exploring Theory.

Third Level Undergraduate modules at the University of Nottingham: Virginia Woolf (Convenor); Enduring Realism: History and Ideology in the Twentieth Century Novel (Convenor).

MA modules Inside/Outside Modernism (past Convenor); Research Management (Convenor)

Areas of Research Supervision Virginia Woolf; all aspects of Modernism and early twentieth-century women's writing; Realism in the twentieth century; literature and culture 1900-1950.

Recent and Current Research Students (topics covered): Virginia Woolf; May Sinclair and Modernism; Lesbian Writing (Woolf, Winterson, Waters); Twentieth-Century Life Writing.

Research Summary

I am currently writing a book entitled Modernism and the Idea of Everyday Life, commissioned by Edinburgh University Press for their Topics in Modernism series. While everydayness as a discursive… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

I am currently writing a book entitled Modernism and the Idea of Everyday Life, commissioned by Edinburgh University Press for their Topics in Modernism series. While everydayness as a discursive category has received considerable attention in cultural and sociological analysis since the 1990s-responding to earlier work in the field by Lefebvre, de Certeau and Baudrillard-its place in literature remains understudied. Moreover, the relevance of the everyday to specifically modernist practice has yet to be fully explored, despite a couple of very recent books on the subject. These are primarily literary in their focus, whereas it is my aim to address issues in modernism from a point of view which seeks links between literary and material culture studies: so-called 'Thing Theory' interests me greatly. The work of Norman Bryson on 'overlooked' objects in visual art, Daniel Miller on 'stuff', and Fernand Braudel's historiographical method all helps me to explore the ways in which the responses to 'everydayness' in the art and literature of the modernist period are part of a larger culture of habit and routine that has formed in modern Europe since the Renaissance. My book, therefore, reads the experimental aesthetic practices of the early-twentieth century in terms of this history, and argues that the idea of ordinariness in the modernist period is ideologically produced by discourses that carry cultural value. It discusses the subject of the familiar and the trivial in the work of canonical writers and artists such as Henry James, Proust, Woolf, Joyce, Mansfield, Duchamp and Oppenheim, in chapters covering the themes of genre, objects, gender, ideology, history, and the uncanny and death.

My Woolf research continues alongside my work on modernism and the everyday. At present I am writing about her uses of history, to argue that there are concrete material and historical reasons for her interest in what she calls the 'lives of the obscure'. I read Woolf's work through the context of medieval scholarship and historiography at the beginning of the twentieth century, addressing issues such as: 1) medieval history as an academic discipline, putting Woolf alongside scholars like Eileen Power and F.W. Maitland; 2) the contemporary iconography of medievalism, with specific reference to the country house and Englishness; and 3) the popular meanings of medievalism in concepts such as the 'reproduction' and the 'antique'. I compare Woolf to both Henry James and Arnold Bennett, considering questions of what 'vulgarity' means for each and, linking back through my ideas of ordinariness and the everyday, what cultural and ideological assumptions of style and taste they make about 'being vulgar'. Finally, 4) the 'vulgar' is also about commonality and the vernacular: Woolf's 'Common Reader' as well as the medieval troubadour-like Anon which, at the end of her life, becomes her working figure for a broader theory of language, literature and culture.

Past Research

My past published research on Virginia Woolf has covered such issues in her work as: vagrancy and homelessness; Englishness; anti-Semitism;spatio-temporal experience (i.e. Woolf and automobiles); corporeality and ideas of embodiment (see list of publications). I used to be more influenced by French Feminist and psychoanalytic theory; as I am becoming increasingly 'Cultural Materialist' in my methods, these approaches no longer dominate.

Herbert Read has been another topic of previous research, and I maintain strong interests in the popular culture of his period, particularly when identified with Surrealism and Neo-Romanticism.

Future Research

1. I will always maintain my interest in Virginia Woolf, and will give consideration to any PhD proposals on her work and cultural context. My own Woolf research of the near future is turning to the ways in which the increasingly frequent findings of hominid fossil remains during her own early twentieth-century period influence her ideas of savagery and civilisation. Another area of interest is the contemporary relevance of medical technologies upon her embodiment of human identity and corporeality: things like the X-ray, and the medical research that came directly out of the treatment of gunshot wounds of the spine during WWI, and how these relate to ideas of 'nerves' and 'nervousness' in her work.

2. I look forward to working on an interdisciplinary full-length study of John Betjeman as a cultural figure, addressing aspects such as: his poetry; architectural and topographical writings; the 'heritage industry'; Betjeman's relationship with Shell Oil, and how advertising feeds into his constructions of England and Englishness; his work with print, and the arts generally; his involvement with Surrealism and Neo-Romanticism; television; and issues in his work such as suburbia and regionalism, class and popular culture, and nostalgia. This will be a cultural and material analysis of mid-twentieth century England, performed through a multifarious and interdisciplinary reading of Betjeman and his work and times. I would therefore welcome PhD applications with any interest in Betjeman and the popular culture of this mid-twentieth-century period.

  • KORE-SCHRÖDER, L., 2013. A question is asked which is never answered: Virginia Woolf, Englishness and antisemitism Woolf Studies Annual. 19, 27-57
  • LEENA KORE SCHRODER, 2013. The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Modernism: Herbert Read (In Press.)
  • KORE-SCHRÖDER, L., 2013. Waxing into words: Virginia Woolf and the funeral effigies of Westminster Abbey University of Nottingham eRepository. Available at: <>
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 2008. Rumbling in the depths: 'The Green Child' and the uncanny. In: PARASKOS, M., ed., Re-reading Read: new views on Herbert Read Freedom Press. 188-206
  • KORE-SCHRÖDER, L., 2008. Who's afraid of Rosamond Merridew?: reading medieval history in "The journal of Mistress Joan Martyn" Journal of the Short Story in English. 50(Special issue: Virginia Woolf), 103-118
  • KORE SCHRODER, L. K., 2008. Review of: Modernism, Daily Time and Everyday Life (Bryony Randall, CUP 2007) At: Review of English Studies
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 2007. 'Reflections in a motor-car': Virginia Woolf's phenomenological relations of time and space. In: SNAITH, A and WHITWORTH, M.H., eds., Locating Woolf: The Politics of Space and Place Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 131-147
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 2006. 'The Lovely Wreckage of the Past': Virginia Woolf and the English country house English. 55(213), 255-280
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 2003. Tales of abjection and miscegenation: Virginia Woolf's and Leonard Woolf's 'Jewish' stories Twentieth-century Literature. 49(3), 298-327
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 2000. Virginia Woolf and the Body: Corporeality, Metaphor, and the In-Between Virginia Woolf Bulletin. 3, 15-20
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 1998. Heterotopian Constructions of Englishness in the work of John Betjeman Critical Survey. 10(2), 15-34
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 1996. Choral Spaces in the work of Virginia Woolf. In: , ed., Les Cahiers Forell, No. 5: Autour de Virginia Woolf 59-72
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 1996. The Politics of Englishness in Mrs Dalloway English Review. 6(3), 28-31
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 1995. 'The Drag of the Face on the Other Side of the Page': Virginia Woolf and Dialogue Durham University Journal. LXXXVII(1), 111-120
  • KORE-SCHRODER, L.K., 1995. Mrs Dalloway and the Female Vagrant Essays in Criticism. XLV(4 (October)), 324-346

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