School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Harrington building, HA206
+44 (0) 1772 89 2717
Subject Areas: English Literature, Creative Writing
Helen is a senior lecturer in English Literature, with teaching and research interests in children's literature. In 2013, she became a National Teaching Fellow. She runs the MA Writing for Children and teaches modules on Crossover Fiction, Children's Literature and Fairy Tales. She has recently published articles on The Hunger Games and her current research is on unreliable and lying narrators in children's and young adult fiction.
Helen specialises in teaching writing for children with undergraduate modules on literature and creative writing. She is particularly interested in narrative in children's literature, crossover fiction, fairy tales, fantasy and dystopian fiction, and reader-response theories.
Helen welcomes postgraduate proposals at MRES and PhD in any area of children's and young adult fiction, especially YA fantasy and crossover fiction.
She is currently working on lying and unreliable narrators in children's and young adult fiction, exploring the difference between unreliable narrators and those who admit to lying to the reader. She has recently delivered conference papers on Justine Larbalestier's 'Liar,' Rachel Klein's 'The Moth Diaries,' Chris Lynch's 'Inexcusable' and B J Anderson's 'Ultraviolet.'
Helen obtained her first degree at the University of Derby and her MA and PhD at Lancaster University.
She taught for a while at Lancaster University, was a visiting lecturer at the University of Adelaide on the MA Gastronomy, and has been teaching at UCLan since 2004. Her doctoral thesis focused on Victorian dining and cookery books, including 'Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management' (1861), and she retains an interest in writing about food, dining and manners. In 2007, she delivered two public lectures on Mrs Beeton at Kensington House in London and has run adult education courses on Great Chefs Through the Ages and a North West Gastronomic Tour.
Helen was a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Research-Informed Teaching, and from 2005 to 2010, she was the Senior Research Fellow for the Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning Employability (ceth) at UCLan. She created the UCLan Employability Framework.
Helen has published pedagogic research on learning on the language-literature border and on employability, including a report on 'Work-related Learning in English' (2010) for the English Subject Centre. Helen has currently used her background in employability to teach modules that feature employability, careers development, research skills, live projects and dissertation preparation. She runs the annual Literature and Creative Writing Dissertation conference and runs the Live Literature Project which enables students to use their passions for Literature and Creative Writing on projects involving schools, libraries, charities and communities. Such projects have involved delivering sessions on book reviews across Lancashire as part of the Lancashire Book of the Year, a poetry competition for schools as part of World Book Day and the UCLan Science Festival, running Preston’s first Comic-con event at the Harris Library, and producing ebooks of student and alumni work.
As a result of her work on employability and work-related learning in English, Helen was made a National Teaching Fellow in 2013
PhD in English/Cultural Studies at Lancaster University (British Academy Sponsorship)
MA in Contemporary Literature at Lancaster University
BA (Hons.) English Literature with Experience of Writing, University of Derby
The Irrepressible, Unreliable, Lying Tracy Beaker: From Page to Screen’, New Casebook: Jacqueline Wilson. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 (forthcoming 2016)
'Simulacra, Sacrifice and Survival in The Hunger Games, Battle Royale and The Running Man’, Of Blood and Poetry: Essays on The Hunger Games. Eds Mary Pharr and Leisa A. Clark. Jefferson, North Carolina: MacFarland Press (2012) 167-177.
Work-Related learning in English, English Subject Centre (2010)
‘Helicopters, Jigsaws, Plaits: Revealing the Hidden Language and Literature Curriculum’, Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture. 7: 3 (Fall 2007) 534-543.
Member of the Association of National Teaching Fellows (ANTF)
Helen is a reviewer for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and has also been a reviewer for the National Teaching Fellowships and National Teaching Fellowship Projects.
She has been involved in the Lancashire Book of the Year for the past five years and in 2013, was Chair of the Judging Panel.
Helen's current research on lying and unreliable narrators involves blending work on lying from linguistics, psychology and sociology, as well as combining stylistics and narrative theory.
As well as her subject-related research, Helen is also working on a project to scaffold and develop employability and research skills across the curriculum.
Helen has previously taught across the entire English literature curriculum. She is course leader for the MA Writing for Children. She teaches on core modules EN1216 Literature Project I, EN2127 Literature Project II and EN3992 Literature Dissertation. She also teaches undergraduate modules: EN2012 The Fairy Tale, EN3013 British Children's Literature, CW2003 Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults, and postgraduate modules: EN4600 Histories of Children's Literature, EN4601 Reading Crossover Fiction, EN4607 Writing for Children Dissertation.
Helen regularly attends academic conferences on children's literature, employability and teaching & learning to present her work, and has organised conferences and events on academic identities and employability in the humanities.