Catherine Clay

Catherine Clay

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Dr Clay is Course Leader for the MRes in English Literary Research postgraduate degree programme. She also teaches widely across the undergraduate curriculum, including modules on the Gender and Sexuality pathway in English.

Career overview

Dr Clay began her academic career at Lancaster University where she taught in the Departments of Women’s Studies and English after completing her PhD in English at Lancaster in 2002. She joined the Department of English at Nottingham Trent University in 2007.

Research areas

Dr Clay’s research focuses on twentieth-century women’s writing, periodical studies, and feminist print culture. Her new AHRC- and British Academy-funded monograph Time and Tide: The Feminist and Cultural Politics of a Modern Magazine (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) offers insights into the history and workings of this landmark periodical that no one has dealt with to date and makes a major contribution to the history of women’s writing and feminism in Britain between the wars.

Dr Clay is also co-editor, with Maria DiCenzo, Barbara Green, and Fiona Hackney, of Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939: the Interwar Period. This thirty-chapter volume recovers and explores a neglected archive of women’s periodicals, from social movement media and the print organs of women’s trade and voluntary organisations, to commercial publications including upmarket fashion magazines, domestic consumer magazines, and pulps.

Dr Clay’s first book, British Women Writers 1914-1945: Professional Work and Friendship (Ashgate 2006), was widely praised for its rigorous research and insightful arguments about the practices and meanings of friendship between professional women writers working under the shadow of modernism. Her research on interwar British women’s writing and journalism has also appeared in edited books and in journals including Modernist Cultures and Women: A Cultural Review.

Current Doctoral projects supervised include:

  • Daisy Ferris, Women’s Humour and Parody in the Feminist Avant-Garde.
  • Sean Richardson, Queer Cartographies: Mapping Modernist Sexuality.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist and Dr Clay would welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD students in any area that relates to her research. Further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

Dr Clay has acted as a referee for journals including Women’s History Review, Literature and History and the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, reviewed manuscripts and proposals for Routledge and University of Wales Press and advised the Research Council of Canada on the allocation of research grants. From 2009-2017 she served on the editorial board of Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism, journal of the Raymond Williams Society. She joined the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Women’s Library in 2018.

Sponsors and collaborators

Recent research collaborators include scholars at:

  • University of Notre Dame, Indiana
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

Dr Clay’s research has been supported by the AHRC and the British Academy.


The Woman Journalist. Clay C in (ed) M Joannou, The History of British Women's Writing, 1920-1945, 2012, 8

'What we Might Expect - if the Highbrow Weeklies Advertized like the Patent Foods': Time and Tide, Advertising, and the 'Battle of the Brows'. Clay C, Modernist Cultures, 2011, 6 (1), 60-95

Winifred Holtby, Journalist: Rehabilitating Journalism in the Modernist Ferment. Clay C in (ed) L Regan, A Woman in her Time: Critical Perspectives on Winifred Holtby. Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010, Chapter 5, 65-88

On not Forgetting 'The Importance of Everything Else': Feminism, Modernism and Time and Tide (1920-1939). Clay C, Key Words, 2009, 8, 20-37

Storm Jameson's Journalism: The Construction of a Writer. Clay C in (eds) J Birkett and C Briganti, Margaret Storm Jameson: Writing in Dialogue, Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007

See all of Catherine Clay's publications...