Emma Seaber

PhD candidate, Department of English, King’s College London


2015-2018 King’s College London PhD English Literature

“Ill/literacy: reading, autobiography and narrative practices in anorexia patients’ life-writing (1970-present)”

Supported by a Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship in Medical Humanities
Supervisors: Dr Jane Elliott & Prof Brian Hurwitz

2013-2015 King’s College London MSc Medical Humanities, Distinction

Dissertation: “The body in prison: Bad Girls’ presentation of women’s corporeal subjectivity in carceral spaces”

Shortlisted (one of ten) for the John Sunley Prize, The Howard League for Penal Reform

2010-2011 University of Manchester MA English and American Studies (Gender, Sexuality & Culture), Merit (71.5)

Dissertation: “Spirit Possession and the Malevolent Supernatural in the Poetry of Anna Margolin & Celia Dropkin”

2007-2010 University of Exeter BA English with Study in North America, Class 1

2008-2009 Vassar College, NY, USA (Study Abroad)


Seaber, Emma. “Reading Disorders: Pro-eating Disorder Rhetoric and Anorexia Life-Writing”. Literature and Medicine 34.2 (2016): 484-508. (Open access)

Selected conference presentations & invited talks (inc. forthcoming)

“Corporal punishment: sexual exploitation, justice and body/violence in narrating women’s prison experiences” Conflicted Bodies: Feminist and Queer Approaches to Militarism and Violence, Goldsmiths University, September 2017.

“Re-reading ‘Anxiety’ Rituals in Anorexia Nervosa: A Literary Perspective” Cultures of Anxiety, University of Bristol, June 2017.

“Corporal Punishment: Radical Feminism, Justice and Violence in Captivity” Just Women and Violence Research Day, King’s College London, May 2017.

“Encrypting Anorexia: Textual Disturbance, Semiotic Anarchy and Radical Literacy Practices in Diaries of Anorexia Nervosa” Talking Bodies Binennial Conference, University of Chester, UK, April 2017.

“Consuming and Regurgitating Culture: Textual Practices and “Pro-ana” in Early Countercultural Anorexia Nervosa Narratives” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Conference, San Diego, USA, April 2017.

“Ill/literacy: Reading and writing anorexia nervosa as a textually transmitted disease”. Exeter Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference, University of Exeter, UK, July 2016.

“A new web epidemic? Early counter-cultural eating disorder narratives and the progression of pro-anorexia”. Oxford English Graduate Conference, University of Oxford, UK, 3 June 2016.

“Exploring health care provision, access and control in the women’s criminal justice system through contemporary television drama”. Orange is the New Black and New Perspectives on the Women in Prison Genre, Edinburgh Napier University, UK, 5 June 2015.

“Threat, terror and medical violence in young adult novels about anorexia nervosa”. Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine Lunchtime Seminar Series, University of Manchester, 12 May 2015 (invited talk).

“Anorexia as a Reading Disorder: Understanding the Pro-Anorexia Phenomenon as a Textual Contagion”. Narrative and Health Behavioral Science: 7th International Conference of Health Behavioral Sciences, London, UK, September 2014.

Teaching Experience

2017/18 – Introducing Literary Theories (1st year seminar)
2017/18 – BA English Dissertation supervision

2016/17 – Introducing Literary Theories (1st year seminar)

Conference Organisation & Departmental Activities

Co-organiser “Metaphor in Literature and Science” British Society for Literature and Science Winter Symposium, King’s College London, November 4 2017.

Co-organiser “Just Women and Violence” Research Day, English Department, King’s College London, May 2 2017.

Convenor King’s English Department biweekly postgraduate seminar series The Abstract, 2016-7.

Policy Work & Public Engagement Activities

Research and Policy Advisor (volunteer) for Beat, 2017 – present.

Channel 4 News, Channel 4 Television, March 14 2016.
Interview with Jane Deith – public misconceptions of anorexia nervosa.

Shelagh Fogarty, LBC Radio, March 14 2016.
Discussing public misconceptions and anorexia.

“Bodies” Footnotes, KCL Radio, February 17 2016.
Discussing body image and eating disorders in the media.

Grants, Prizes & Funding Awards

2017 King’s College London Faculty of Arts and Humanities Small Event Grant – £2,000

2017 BSLS Winter Symposium Grant – £500

2017 King’s College London Graduate School Conference Fund – £300.

2017 King’s College London English Department Conference Fund – £150.

2016 The Howard League for Penal Reform, John Sunley Prize (shortlisted).

2015 Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities PhD Studentship.

2011 Cosmo Blog Awards (shortlisted) for Best Student Blogger.

2008 X-Media Award for Most Entertaining Article in Exeposé [Exeter, UK].

2007 Gershwin Hotel Artist in Residence (poetry), New York, NY.

Workshop & symposium participation

Just Women and Violence: Postgrad Redux, Department of English, King’s College London, May 3 2017.

Just Women and Violence Research Day, Department of English, King’s College London, May 2 2017.

Biopolitics and Psychosomatics: Participating Bodies – Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge University, July 8 2016.

Narrative Bioethics – King’s Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (KISS-DTC), King’s College London, May 26-29 2015.

Eating Disorders: Perspectives in Philosophy, Psychology, and Psychiatry – Centre for the Humanities and Health, King’s College London, June 6 2014.


Modern Language Association
British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies
Popular Culture Association
American Culture Association

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