Dr Gemma Outen

Associate Tutor & Research Affiliate of EHU Nineteen

Department of English, History & Creative Writing



I completed my doctoral research at Edge Hill from 2014 to 2017. Titled ‘The Women’s Total Abstinence Union and Periodical Wings, 1892 – 1914: A Study of Gender and Politics’, my cross-disciplinary project examined the female temperance movement from 1890 to 1910, asserting its’ radical nature in place of traditional, hegemonic interpretations of it as a solely respectable movement. My thesis was specifically concerned with representations and constructions of gender within Wings, a late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century magazine. Using a single-issue periodical to consider gender construction enabled an examination of female respectability in social reform and the journal was considered as a complex site of gender construction for the hegemonic, middle-class, Victorian woman.

I am currently working on an associated monograph which will consider the history of the female temperance movement more widely, encompassing three key groups, their literature and the complex relationships between them.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research Interests:

  • Gender ideologies
  • Print and periodical culture
  • Social reform
  • Popular culture and literature of the nineteenth century



Lips that touch Liquor: Fighting for the Face of Female Temperance

  • Under review – expected publication 2020

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

‘Readers and Readerships’, Victorian Periodicals Review (Forthcoming, Winter 2020)

‘Girl, Junior, Woman: Negotiating Childhood and Adolescence in the Female Temperance Press’, Victorian Periodicals Review (Forthcoming, Winter 2019)

Book Chapters

Wings and the Woman’s Signal: Reputation and Respectability in Temperance Periodicals for Women, 1892 – 1899’ in Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s: The Victorian Period. Eds. Alexis Easley, Clare Gill and Beth Rodgers (Edinburgh University Press, 2019) p. 555-567

Edited collections

[Journal Special Issue] with Andrew Hobbs (eds.) Victorian Periodicals Review (Winter 2020)


‘Conference Review: European Society for Periodical Research, “Periodical Counter Cultures: Tradition, Conformity and Dissent”’. Victorian Periodicals Review. Volume 50, Spring 2017. pp. 248-250

Invited Papers

‘Readers and Readerships’, North West Long Nineteenth Century Seminar Series, June 2019

Selected Conference Papers

‘Work, Duty, Leisure and Pleasure: The Professionalisation of the Female Reform Worker’, Work/Leisure, Duty/Pleasure, Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, July 2019

‘Making the Page: Heteroglossia in a Pressure-group Periodical’, The Body and the Page in Victorian Culture, Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, 2018

‘Fanny Forsaith: Editing Gender Boundaries’, Victorians Unbound: Connections and Intersections, British Association for Victorian Studies, 2017

‘Assimilation and Subversion in Women’s Temperance Magazines, 1890 – 1910’, Periodical Counter Cultures: Tradition, Conformity, and Dissent, European Society for Periodical Research, 2016

‘‘A Scent of White Violets’: Temperance, Fiction and Gender in Wings’, Drinking Spaces and Places, Literary and Visual Landscapes Series, 2016

‘‘The belt my wife had is a success’: Representations of health, life and death in Wings’, Life and Death in the Nineteenth Century Press, Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, 2015


‘Victorians Unbound: PhDs and ECRs’, British Association for Victorian Studies, 2017.

‘Corsets, Cycles and Sobriety: Female health and femininity in the Women’s Total Abstinence Union and Wings’, British Association for Victorian Studies, 2016.


I have taught on a wide variety of modules including

  • Ways of Reading
  • Critical Theories
  • Literary History
  • Literary Form
  • Digital Detectives
  • Literature 1660-1760
  • Romanticism
  • Renaissance Drama
  • Renaissance Literature
  • Rogues Gallery: Crime and Criminality in the Long Nineteenth Century
  • The Victorian Novel
  • Critical Approaches to Postgraduate Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences
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