CV / Academic

Dr Erica Gillingham

Research Interests

• Children’s and Young Adult (YA) Literature, LGBTQ Literature, Genre Studies, Graphic Novels and Comics, Poetry, Popular Literature and Culture, Creative Writing


• Teaching experience at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels
• Current research in LGBTQ YA literature; graphic novels and queer chronotopes
• Creative practice in poetry and creative non-fiction (memoir)
• Books Editor for international publication
• Engagement with booked-related industries regarding representation and diversity
• Leadership experience in postgraduate communities focused on developing networks and contributing to the improvement of better working practices
• Crowd-funding experience through public investment in academic research


2012-2017: PhD in Young Adult Literature
National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL), University of Roehampton
• Passed with no corrections
• Thesis Title: ‘Lesbian Love Stories in Young Adult Literature and Graphic Memoirs: Narrative Constructions of Same-Sex Relationships Between Female Characters Across Genre and Form’
• Supervisors: Dr Alison Waller and Prof Nicola Humble
• Examiners: Dr Natasha Alden and Dr Kevin McCarron
• The Roehampton Award, 2015

2009-2010: MA in Children’s Literature
NCRCL, University of Roehampton
• Graduated with Merit
• Dissertation Title: ‘For the Love of Queers: Picturebooks about, for, and by the LGBT Community’

2003 – 2007: BAs in Feminist Studies; Literature (Creative Writing)
University of California – Santa Cruz
• Graduated with Departmental Honours, College Honours
• Poetry Thesis Title: ‘In the Telling of a Love Story’


Higher Education Experience

2018-2019: Associate Tutor/Module Convener, Literature, Drama, and Creative Writing Department, University of East Anglia
• Convened 3rd year undergraduate module in Children’s Literature and taught three of five groups (Autumn Term)
• Convened and taught 3rd year undergraduate module in Queer Literature and Theory, two of two groups (Spring Term)

2018 (Jun): Visiting Lecturer, English and Creative Writing Department, University of
• Taught three-week intensive undergraduate module for international students: ‘Magic, Murder, and Mystery in London Literature’
• Convened module, organised tours with specialist guides on themes of the course, marked all assessments, and held tutorials

2018 (Mar – Jun): Graduate School Administrator, University of Roehampton
• TECHNE programme administrator for 2018/2019 studentships
• Additional duties included viva arrangements, departmental liaison, and responding daily enquires from current and prospective students

2016 – 2017: Reviewer, Social Media Manager, RoundTable: Roehampton Journal for Academic and Creative Writing, University of Roehampton

2014 (Mar – Jul): Research Assistant, Dr Mary L Shannon, University of Roehampton
• Secured permissions for over forty images on behalf of Dr Shannon for her monograph and e-book on Victorian print culture

2014 (Jan – May) Visiting Lecturer, English and Creative Writing Department, University of
• Taught 3rd year undergraduate module: ‘Subversive Children’s Literature’
• Marked all assessments, held tutorials, and advised on final projects

2004-2007: Writing Tutor, University of California – Santa Cruz
• Individual tutoring for 1st year students with English as an additional language
• Group facilitation for 1st and 3rd year students in academic writing

Other Experience

2019 – present: Books Editor, DIVA Magazine, London
• Write monthly books reviews for Europe’s leading lesbian, bisexual, and queer women’s magazine
• Manage and mentor new writers through ‘Emerging Voices’ scheme
• Write occasional interviews and articles for the magazine

2017 – present: Bookseller, Gay’s the Word, London
• Share specialist subject knowledge, maintain relationships with stakeholders across various sectors, and provide excellent customer service
• Manage book buying for young adult, graphic novels, and poetry sections
• Organise events and book signings, including chairing ‘Queer Visibility in YA Ficton’ event for UCL’s Festival of Culture at Gay’s the Word, June 2018

2015 – present: Audio Team Member, Poet in the City
• Conduct interviews with poets and hosts for the organisation’s digital archive

2012 – present: Collaborator & LGBTQ Subject Specialist, Inclusive Minds
• Advise publishers, writers, and illustrators on representations of LGBTQ characters in children’s literature at forum events and on one-to-one basis

2013 – 2018: English and Creative Writing Tutor, Tutorfair
• Design and teach lessons for students aged from 7-18 years old in London

2013 – 2016: Blog Editor, NCRCL, University of Roehampton
• Commissioned and wrote content reporting on the events of NCRCL
• Managed a team of a dozen volunteer writers from MA and PhD programmes

2013: Conference Organiser & Chair, IBBY UK/NCRCL MA Conference
• Organised and advertised CFP for conference and speaker selection
• Logistical management of the event on behalf of NCRCL

2009 – 2011: Centre Manager, More To Life UK
• Operational management of a local branch of an international educational charity with three employees and over fifty volunteers
• Responsible for logistical coordination for over twenty-four course per year
• Liaised with stakeholders at the local, national, and international levels


Journal Articles

Representations of Same-Sex Relationships Between Female Characters in All Ages Comics: Princess Princess Ever After and Lumberjanes’, The Journal of Lesbian Studies: Special Issue on Lesbians and Comics, Ed. Michelle Ann Abate, et al., May 2018

Conference Proceedings

Are they or aren’t they? Critical interpretations of same-sex relationships in picturebooks’, Conflicts and Controversies: Challenging Children’s Literature, IBBY UK/NCRCL MA Conference 2011

Copulating, Coming Out, and Comics: The High School Chronicles of Ariel Schrag’, Going Graphic: Comics and Graphic Novels for Young People, IBBY UK/NCRCL MA Conference 2010

Creative Writing

This Poem Wants to be a Lesbian Country Song So Bad’, Screams and Silences, Ed. Leone Ross, Fincham Press, 2015

Self-published chapbooks: Flourish (2007), In the Telling of a Love Story (2007), testing theories (2005), At That Age (2003)

Poems featured in the following student publications: Matchbox Magazine, 2007; Chinquapin, 2007; Red Wheelbarrow, 2007; Limited Edition, 2006; Criterion, 2006; The Sharp Review, 2006; Turnstile, 2005, 2004.


Queer Books and Gay’s the Word’, by Louise Binns and Camille Louise, The Feminist Book Club (Paris) Podcast, June 2019

Gay’s (Still) the Word’ with Erica Gillingham, by Danielle Mustarde, DIVA Magazine, February 2019

Lectures and Conference Presentations

Invited Lectures

My Girlfriend is an Alien: Constructing Bisexuality in Science Fiction for Young Adults’, LGBT History Month Keynote, Royal Holloway University London, 2019

Queer Curiosities and Changing Landscapes: How Identity, Politics, & Publishing Markets Can Impact the Research Journey’, MA/PD Children’s Literature Induction Keynote, NCRCL, University of Roehampton, 2018

LGBTQ Representation in Children’s Literature’, A Place at the Table, Inclusive Minds, London, 2018

Love Stories for Queers’, Queer Children’s and Young Adult Literature module with Dr B.J. Epstein, University of East Anglia, 2014

Feminisms and Queer Theory’, Critical Theory and Perspectives module, MA in Children’s Literature, NCRCL, University of Roehampton, 2014; 2013

Ideology in Picture Books: Gender and the Family’, Visual Texts module, MA in Children’s Literature, NCRCL, University of Roehampton, 2013; 2011

When “she” is a “boy”: how the implied reader learns about Bailey in 10,000 Dresses’, Gender & Language Research Group, Lancaster University, 2011

Conference Presentations & Panels

Academic Queer Review Panel, Queer Literature Festival, LGBT History Month, University of East Anglia, 2019

Kissing as a Sign of Progress: Narrative Constructions of Same-Sex Relationships in YA Literature’, Reading YA Symposium, University of Birmingham, 2018

Cinderella and The Huntress: A Lesbian Retelling of Cinderella in Malinda Lo’s Ash
Damsels in Redress Conference, Queens University Belfast, 2017

Online and On Foot: Actively Archiving LGBT Literature for Children and Young Adults’ Archive Child Conference, University of Roehampton, 2016

Equal Measures Panel with Verna Wilkins (Tamarind Books), Fen Coles (Letterbox Library), and Beth Cox and Alexandra Strick (Inclusive Minds), London Book Fair, 2013

When Love Takes Over: Falling In Love and Coming Out in Young Adult Fiction
NCRCL Conference, University of Roehampton, 2012

Are they or aren’t they? Critical interpretations of same-sex relationships in picturebooks’ IBBY UK/NCRCL MA Conference, University of Roehampton, 2010

Copulating, Coming Out, and Comics: The High School Chronicles of Ariel Schrag
IBBY UK/NCRCL MA Conference, University of Roehampton, 2009

Funding, Awards, and Scholarships

Made with Love’, a crowd-funded campaign, October 2013

• Raised £2,325 from 40 independent donors towards funding my doctoral research in LGBTQ love stories in young adult literature

UC Regents Scholar, UC Santa Cruz, 2004-2007

• A merit-based scholarship awarded annually, increasing from $1,500-8,000 p.a.

Provost Award, Kresge College, UC Santa Cruz, 2005

• Awarded for resurrecting, funding, and acting as Editor-in Chief for the Kresge Town Krier, an inter-arts college magazine; creating Kresge College Archive

Community Service Award, UC Santa Cruz, 2005

• Awarded for contributions to Kresge College, totalling $250

Local Scholarships, various, California, June 2003

• Received $4,300 from 8 local and state-wide awarding bodies based on scholarly merit, involvement in the arts, community service, and sports participation

Training and Certificates

Honorary Research Fellow, University of Roehampton, 2018-2021
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, D1 certificate (pending)
An Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, D1 certificate
o Awarded by the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) through the University of Roehampton, 2015

Professional Memberships

Member, Popular Literature and Culture Research Group (Roehampton)
Member, Young Adult Literature, Media, and Culture Research Group (International)
Member, International Book Board for Young People (IBBY UK)