Rebecca Bowler is Senior Lecturer in Twentieth Century English Literature. She is the author of Literary Impressionism: Vision and Memory in Dorothy Richardson, Ford Madox Ford, H.D. and May Sinclair (Bloomsbury, 2016) and is writing a book on nutritional science, eating, and fitness narratives in the early twentieth century, provisionally titled Modernist Wellness. She is co-General Editor on the forthcoming Edinburgh Critical Editions of the Works of May Sinclair and is preparing Mary Olivier: A Life, The New Idealism, and Arnold Waterlow: A Life for publication. Her research has been supported by the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library at Yale, the Modernist Studies Association, the Modern Humanities Research Association, the British Academy and the National Endowment for the Humanities (US).

Before taking up the Lectureship at Keele in September 2016 she was Research Associate on the Dorothy Richardson Scholarly Editions Project, editing the collected letters and complete fiction of the modernist writer Dorothy Richardson for publication with Oxford University Press. Her PhD was from the University of Sheffield in 2012 and was examined by Professor Laura Marcus.

British Association for Modernist Studies Secretary: 2018-2021

British Association for Modernist Studies Vice Chair: 2022

British Association for Modernist Studies Chair: 2023

British Association for Modernist Studies Past Chair: 2024

Northern Modernism Seminar Executive Committee: 2019-present

Chair of the Keele Staff Common Room: 2022-present

Research and scholarship

Dr Rebecca Bowler is co-founder of the May Sinclair Society, which hosts a biennial conference and subsequent publications (May Sinclair: Re-Thinking Bodies and Minds ed. Bowler and Drewery; May Sinclair in her Time: Reappraising May Sinclair’s Role in Early C20th Century Literature and Philosophy eds. Brasme, de Bont, Marie)

Her first book, Literary Impressionism, was an interdisciplinary study of the visual aesthetics of Dorothy Richardson, May Sinclair, Ford Madox Ford and H.D., and was published in 2016. While researching for this book she held the H.D. Fellowship at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, at Yale.

She is a textual editor and interested in the reception history of modernist texts, the material culture of books and their physicality, and the exigencies of editing modernist texts. She is General Editor on the forthcoming Edinburgh Critical Editions of the Works of May Sinclair, which will publish Sinclair’s fiction and her philosophy and non-fiction in themed ‘tranches’: philosophy and mysticism, psychology and genius, women, war and feminism, and social realism and social satire. She is editing Mary Olivier: A Life (with Claire Drewery), The New Idealism (with James Connelly) and Arnold Waterlow: A Life for publication in the first tranche. Her recent NEH funded digital humanities project will publish ‘The Bambino’, one of Sinclair’s short stories, as an interactive online resource; a TEI-encoded digital genetic edition.

As Chair of BAMS (2023) she was co-organiser of ‘Ephemeral Modernisms’, the ‘Difficult Conversations in Modernist Studies’ online series of events – an innovative international collaboration with BAMS, MSA, MSiA, AMSN and SEM – New Work in Modernist Studies 13, and the ‘Modernist Editing’ postgraduate training day. She is a member of the New Modernist Editing network, and MoLE (Modernist Letters Editing Network).

Her next book project is an investigation into food and diet reform in modernist literature and the early-twentieth century fascination with physical culture and ‘fit’/’fit for purpose’ bodies, provisionally titled Modernist Wellness.


I teach on the modules Gothic Nightmares, Transatlantic Modernisms, Modernist Manifestos and Magazines, and Thresholds: Young Adult Fiction, as well as one-off lectures for Reading Literature, Texts and Contexts, Literature and Society.

I convene the two MA (and research training) modules Research Skills in the Humanities and Reflective Practice in the Humanities.


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