Joanne Bishton

Jo Bishton

Position: Lecturer in American Studies, Academic Writing Support Tutor for Humanities and the Chair of the Disability Coordinators' group

College: College of Arts, Humanities and Education

Department: Humanities

Subject area: American Studies

Research Centre: Identity, Conflict and Representation

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I am a lecturer based in the Department of Humanities and a Year 2 Joint Honours personal tutor.

I teach into the programmes of American Studies and the MA in Humanities, as well as supervising students on their research projects and dissertations.

In addition to my teaching and pastoral roles, I have responsibility as the Academic Writing Support Tutor for the department and have a university wide role as Chair of the Disability Coordinators' Group.

Teaching responsibilities

Undergraduate studies

Year one

  • Introduction to American Cultural Studies (module leader)
  • The Making of Modern America

Year two

  • Research Project (module leader)
  • From Civil Rights to Hip Hop: African- American Lives
  • The West

Year three

  • Independent Studies Supervision

Postgraduate Studies

  • Research Methodologies in Humanities (module leader)
  • Critical Issues in Humanities (module leader)

Supervision Role

  • I have supervised projects and dissertations on areas of Women's Writing; Jeanette Winterson and Angela Carter and also on Lesbian Fiction; Sarah Waters
  • I have also supervised extended pieces on trans-sexual autobiography.

Research interests

In 2011 I was recognised as a Promising Research by the University of Derby.  

My research areas relate to textual representations of identity, sexuality and gender in the twentieth and twenty-first century.  I have written and published ideas on the transitional lesbian figure, specifically in relation to the route from the periphery of social visibility into mainstream popularlity and, in so doing I consider various textual re-presentations of this journey.  I am particularly interested in the fiction of Sarah Waters and her re-appropriation of the historical novel.

I am also more broadly interested in the intersection of technology with the author-figure.  I query digital technology as a recent addition to the author role in terms of the way it is both a liberating tool for authorship through fan fiction and other Internet adaptations, but also I question the way digital platforms promote and aide the notion of the public intellectual.  Here I am interested in considering the influention and direction this places on the reader and reader response.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Mental Health First Aider (MHFA)
  • Member of EATAW (European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing)
  • Member of Melsig (Media Enhanced Learning Special Interest group)
  • Member of Meccsa (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association)
  • Member of Vox Feminarum: Women's Voices.


  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Doctoral Candidate University of Derby
  • PGQTLLS University of Derby
  • MRes Nottingham University
  • BA (English) University of Derby.

Recent publications

Book Chapters

  • 'Subverting the Romance: The Fiction of Sarah Waters' in The Bloomsbury Introduction to Popular Fiction London: Bloomsbury, 2014
  • "'Completely Incidental:' Turning the Pages of The Little Stranger' in Cross-Gendered Literary Voices: Appropriating, Resisting, Embracing Hanpshire: Palgrave, 2012

Journal Articles (Peer Reviewed)

  • 'Representations of Lesbian Desire in the Novels of Tipping the Velvet and The Fingersmith' New Horizons Special Edition Response E-journal University of Derby, 2010
  • 'Kissing Women: the fiction of Sarah Waters' ABC. 10: 2008Sibiu; Lucian Blaga University Press, 2008

Book Reviews

  • 'Theatre, Performance and New Media in Africa' in African Performance Review Vol. 2, Nos 2 & 3 (2008)

Recent conferences

  • 'Edens' (Melsig Digital Narratives, Nottingham Trent University, 2016)
  • Textualities in the Digital Humanities #digitalderby15 (Oganisor. The University of Derby, 2015)
  • 'The Human Spirit: A Digital Storyboard' (Disability History Month, The University of Derby, 2014)
  • 'Does it Matter Who's Speaking? The Internet and Fanzines' (ICR, The University of Derby, 2014)
  • 'Passing Across a Boundary of Social Division via the Frame of Vision' (Erotic Adapations, De Montford University, 2012)
  • 'Popularising the Unpopular: Lesbian Representation in the Fiction of Sarah Waters' (Neo-Historical Exoticism and Contemporary Fiction, University of Portsmouth, 2011)
  • "'They're Kind of Primitive: Tey Think Lesbianism is Aout Liking Girls.'" (Lesbian Lives XVll: Lesbian Lives, Studies and Activism: In-laws, Outlaws and Other Relations, University College Dublin, 2010)
  • Queer Manifestations: Literature, History, Theory, Culture (University of Chester, 2010)
  • '"Vitally Important and Completely Incidental:" Representations of Lesbian Desire in the Fiction of Sarah Waters' (University of Derby, 2009)
  • 'Producing the Body: Locating a Space in Which to Explore Female Production of Sexuality' (University of Derby, 2008).

Additional interests and activities

I am a technology enhanced learning champion within my department and I have conducted and taken part in several funded research projects and pilots relating to this learning and teaching role.

  • Media Enhanced Feedback Pilot (University of Derby, 2014)
  • Capturing Tutorials in Order to Facilitate a Personal Learning Space Research Project (University of Derby, 2012)
  • ResearcherCurator Project (AHRC, University of Nottingham, 2011)
  • Exploiting the Potential of Social Learning Technologies for Academic Writing Support Research Project (University of Derby, 2010).

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