Dr Will Tattersdill BA (Hons.), MSt, PhD


Lecturer in Victorian Literature

Department of English Literature

Will Tattersdill

Contact details

131, Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


I’m interested in the relationship between literature and science, especially as it is figured in popular culture from the nineteenth-century to the present. My current work is on the social history of dinosaurs over this period.


  • BA (University of Exeter)
  • MSt (Exeter College, Oxford)
  • PhD (King’s College London)
    Thesis title: ‘Science, Fiction, and the Monthly Magazines 1891-1905.’


I grew up in Moseley and studied in Exeter, Oxford, and London before returning to Birmingham for a teaching fellowship in 2013. Since September 2014 I have been a full-time lecturer in the English department.


  • Victorian Literature and Science (Level 3) (convenor)
  • Victorian and Decadent Literature (Level 2) (convenor)
  • Victorian Literature, Culture, and Modernity (MA)
  • The Gothic (Level 2) (lecturer)
  • Literary Aesthetics after 1800 (Level 1) (lecturer)


In my doctoral research, I examined the connections between literature and science in popular magazines of the fin de siècle. In particular, I focussed on the emerging genre of science fiction, arguing that the co-presence of fact and fiction alongside each other in these general magazines created a publishing environment in which sci-fi could thrive.

My current research looks at these ideas across a wider time period, focussing on how dinosaurs are articulated in popular culture. Dinosaurs are impossible without a great deal of both close scientific study and abstract imaginative work - I’m investigating the way the relationship between literature and science plays out as the social dinosaur moves through time.

I am also interested in book history, periodical studies, imperialism, popular fiction, crime writing, and modernism.

Other activities

With Zara Dinnen, I convene the doctoral seminar for first-year PhD students. I am active in the university’s Centre for Cultural Modernity.

I am a member of the British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) and the British Association of Victorian Studies (BAVS). I am also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


  • ‘Periodicity, Time Travel, and the Emergence of Science Fiction’. Victorian Periodicals Review 46:4 (Winter 2013). <http://goo.gl/161HYe>
  • ‘Science, Fiction, and the Public: Fin de Siècle Magazines’. MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 7 (2012) 33-40. Peer-reviewed publication. Issue theme: ‘Literature and Science: the Great Divide?’ <http://goo.gl/c5QZj>

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