Charlotte Ireland

Charlotte Ireland

Department of English Literature
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: The Development of Feminist Ideology and Diversity in Contemporary, Popular Women’s Writing
SupervisorsDr Dorothy Butchard, Dr Amy Burge and Professor Deborah Longworth
PhD English Literature


  • BA English Literature at Nottingham Trent University
  • MRes English Literary Research at Nottingham Trent University


After completing my undergraduate and masters at Nottingham Trent University, I chose to study for my PhD at University of Birmingham because its active research culture in popular fiction, genre and romance offers a uniquely supportive research environment for my PhD.


Contextually, the feminist movement has shifted eras: from third-wave feminism and the rise of postfeminism of the 1990s and early 2000s to fourth-wave feminism and the rise of popular feminism post-2010. Additionally, contemporary popular women’s writing appears to be diversifying to be more accepting and respectful of depictions of multiple races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, ages and religious beliefs. This thesis asks whether certain genres of contemporary popular women’s writing (chick lit, erotic romance and domestic noir) have updated their formula more recently (post-2010) to respond to the cultural shift of feminism. If so, it could be argued that popular women’s writing renders contemporaneous (of that period) feminist ideologies and, more recently, transnational feminist ideologies practical and palatable for wide readership.

Other activities

Amy Burge, Heike Mißler (Universität des Saarlandes), Sandra Folie (University of Vienna) and I have submitted a lightning talk panel proposal for the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance’s 2020 conference on ‘Chick Lit in the Twenty-First Century: Diversity, Inclusion and Innovation.’ If successful, my talk will be on Ayisha Malik’s Sofia Khan is Not Obliged (2015) and Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary (1996). 

I have also submitted a proposal for the Popular Culture Association 2020 national conference. The focus of this is conducting a feminist comparison of Fielding’s Bridget Jones Baby (2016) and the film production of the film.

I am working towards publication in the Journal of Popular Romance Studies.