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Joan Passey

Writer, researcher, broadcaster

About Me

Joan Passey is an academic, writer, and broadcaster. She is a Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol and a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker. She regularly appears on BBC radio and has edited anthologies for the British Library.


Joan researches the representation of seas and coasts in literature and culture and is an expert on nineteenth-century Cornwall. Their other research interests include Victorian literature, the Gothic from the eighteenth century to the present, and the works of Ann Radcliffe, Wilkie Collins, Shirley Jackson, and Daphne du Maurier. 

Their first monograph, Cornish Gothic 1830-1913, will be released by University of Wales Press in June 2023. She is writing her second monograph, Blood in the Water: Imperial Ecologies of the Sea in the Victorian Novel, and preparing a trade book proposal on how the stories we tell about the sea have shaped British identity.

Joan is one of the co-leaders of the Haunted Shores Network, providing opportunities for research, collaboration and dissemination for scholars and practitioners working on coasts and shores as anxious, politicised, and radical spaces.

As part of her role as a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker Joan appears on BBC radio. They have contributed to Free Thinking and The Essay and has spoken live at Hay Festival and The Proms, on topics including oceans, Cornwall, the penny dreadful, pirates, and agoraphobia. They have presented interval shows for The Proms 2023 from Wales and Cornwall.


Joan writes for The Conversation on topics including Victorian tourism, Daphne du Maurier's Cornwall, and the figure of the Black vampire. 

Alongside her literary scholarship Joan researches pedagogy and teaching in higher education, with a particular interest in AI in the literature classroom and neurodivergence in the arts and humanities.

Please contact Joan with an ideas about collaboration, writing, and speaking.

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