Steve Asselin

Steve Asselin is a lecturer at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., where he also received his PhD. His thesis was focused on the development of disaster fiction over the course of the 19th century, and his current research focuses on early examples of climate change fiction in the same period. From the invasion perspective, he has investigated the way ecosystems become targeted or complicit in invasion narratives, and the way climate is weaponized for invasion or hegemonic rule in fin-de-siècle literature. General research interests include ecocriticism, speculative fiction, utopianism, and travel literature, particularly to polar environments. He is also the published author of over a dozen SF short stories in a number of small press venues. Relevant publications include:

“Warring with Ourselves: Wells’ Representation of the Alien, and its Legacy.”  Aliens in Popular Culture. Edited by Michael M. Levy & Farah Mendelsohn. Santa Barbara, Greenwood Press (forthcoming 2019)

“A Climate of Competition: Climate Change as Political Economy in Speculative Fiction, 1889-1915.” Science Fiction and the Climate Crisis, special issue of Science Fiction Studies, edited by Veronica Hollinger and Brent Bellamy, vol. 48, no. 3 (forthcoming November 2018)

“Invasive Species, Female Hybridity, and the New Vampire in Dracula.” The Channel, vol. 1, no. 1, Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 20-27 (2008)

Ailise Bulfin

Ailise Bulfin is a Teaching Fellow in Victorian and Modern English Literature in the
School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin, and co-organiser of the Invasion Network. Broadly speaking her research investigates the relationship between imperialism, war and popular culture in fin-de-siècle Britain, focusing on the paranoid literary phenomenon of invasion fiction and culminating in the monograph Gothic Invasions in 2018. She has also published articles on the invasion theme as expressed in gothic fiction and ‘yellow peril’ fiction, while her doctoral work explored the links between authors with colonial backgrounds and the production of invasion fiction for a metropolitan audience between 1890 and 1914. Her current research focuses on the circulation and reception of invasion fiction internationally. Together with Harry Wood, she is co-editor of two special issues of Critical Survey, show-casing the work of the Invasion Network, which consider the impact of the work of the major invasion fiction author and conspiracist William Le Queux on early-twentieth century fears of war, invasion and spies (in press for 2019 & 2020).

Gothic Invasions: Imperialism, War and Fin-de-Siècle Popular Fiction 1890-1914 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2018). Gothic Literary Studies series.

‘“In that Egyptian den”: Situating Richard Marsh’s The Beetle within the fin-de-siècle fiction of Gothic Egypt’, in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915: Re-reading the fin de siècle, ed. by Victoria Margree, Daniel Orrells and Minna Vuohelainen (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018), pp. 127-47. Interventions: Rethinking the Nineteenth Century series.

‘“To Arms!”: Invasion Narratives and Late-Victorian Literature’, Literature Compass, 12:9 (Sep 2015): 482-96.

‘Guy Boothby and the “Yellow Peril”: Representations of Chinese Immigrants in British Imperial Spaces in the Late-Nineteenth Century’, Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies, Special issue: The Victorians and China, 20:1 (2015): 24-40.

‘The Fiction of Gothic Egypt and British Imperial Paranoia: The Curse of the Suez Canal’, English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 54:4 (July 2011): 411–43.

James Crossland

James Crossland is Senior Lecturer in International History at Liverpool John Moores University. He is an historian of warfare, whose present research is focused on fear narratives in the late 19th century, specifically in regards to future war planning, invasion scares and the threat of terrorism. His most recent piece from this research project is a journal article, ‘Fearing for Merseyside: Liverpool and the French Invasion Scare, 1858-1859′, which analyses the impact of the Orsini terrorist attack of 1858 in Paris on invasion preparation in North West England. He is currently writing a monograph on the so-called “First War on Terror”, fought between anarchists, nihilists and nationalist terrorists and the transatlantic world’s burgeoning intelligence community during the fin de siècle.

Robert Dingley

Robert Dingley was formerly Research Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford and Senior Lecturer in English at the University of New England, NSW. He co-edited Histories of the Future: Studies in Fact, Fantasy and Science Fiction (2000) and has published more than forty articles and book-chapters on nineteenth-century literature, including:

‘Count Dracula and the Martians’, in The Victorian Fantasists: Essays on Culture, Society and Belief in the Mythopoeic Fiction of the Victorian Age, ed. Kath Filmer (London: Macmillan, 1991), pp.13-24.

Flair Donglai Shi (施东来)

Flair Donglai Shi (施东来is a DPhil candidate in English at the University of Oxford. His thesis focuses on the Yellow Peril as a traveling discourse in modern Anglophone and Sinophone literatures. His research interests include postcolonial and queer theories, Victorian literature and modern East Asian literatures. His articles have been published in many academic journals including Women: A Cultural Review, Comparative Literature & World Literature, Subalternspeak and so on. He is currently working on an edited volume in Ibidem’s World Literature Series entitled World Literature in Motion: Institution, Recognition, Location (Hanover, Germany: 2019 forthcoming).

Andrew Frayn

Andrew Frayn is Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture at Edinburgh Napier University.  His research focuses on First World War fiction and literary modernisms.  He has written a monograph, Writing Disenchantment: British First World War Prose, 1914-1930 (Manchester University Press, 2014), along with book chapters and journal articles on Ford Madox Ford, Richard Aldington and C. E. Montague.  He is secretary to the Ford Madox Ford Society and editor of the New Canterbury Literary Society (Richard Aldington) Newsletter.  His interest in invasion literature is in the context of modern disenchantment. He recently edited and wrote the ‘Introduction’ to H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds The War in the Air (Wordsworth Editions, 2017).

Beth Gaskell

Beth Gaskell is a final year PhD candidate at the University of Greenwich, and Curator, Newspaper Digitisation at the British Library. Her research focuses on the development of the military periodical in the long-nineteenth century, and the relationship between this development and the growth of professionalism and professional identity in the Victorian army. More generally her research interests are the reading and writing habits of nineteenth century soldiers, the development of newspapers and periodicals, and cultural responses to conflict. Her interest in invasion narratives has grown out of a personal love of science fiction, and from exploring the response to invasion scares from within the military press. In 2018 she co-organised the Invasion Fiction reading group at the Victorian Popular Fiction Association conference. Her publications include:

‘Bibliographic issues: titles, numbers, frequencies’. In, Easley, Alexis, King, Andrew and Morton, John (eds), Researching the Victorian Periodical Press: Case studies (Routledge, 2017).

Johan Höglund

Johan Höglund is Associate Professor of English at Linnaeus University and Director of the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. He has published extensively on the relationship between imperialism and popular culture as it manifests in a number of different contexts, including the late-Victorian era, the long history of US global expansion and decline, and the often unrecognized era of Nordic colonialism. He is the co-editor of B-Movie Gothic: International Perspectives (2018), Animal Horror Cinema: Genre, History and Criticism (2015), and Transnational and Postcolonial Vampires (2012). His PhD dissertation from 1997 Mobilising the Novel: The Literature of Imperialism and the First World War deals extensively with the military and Gothic invasion novel and he has also written about the invasion narrative in US literature, film and games in several publications, including the monograph The American Imperial Gothic: Empire, Culture, Violence:

”Imperial Horror and Terrorism” in The Palgrave Handbook of Literary Horror. Eds. Kevin Corstorphine and Laura Kremmel. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

”The Metropolitan Battlefield as White Space in The Avengers” in Space Oddities: Urbanity, American Identity, and Cultural Exchange. Eds. Stefan L. Brandt and Michael Fuchs.  Münster: LIT Verlag, 2018.

The American Imperial Gothic: Empire, Culture, Violence. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014).

“Electronic Empire: Orientalism Revisited in the Military Shooter” Game Studies. 8:1, 2008. Open access.

“Apocalyptic London: the Construction and Destruction of the Heart of the Empire” The Literary London Journal. 5:2, 2007. Open access.

Brett Holman

Brett Holman is a historian at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia. His major research focus is on the intellectual and cultural understanding of aerial warfare in Britain in the early 20th century, and the attendant and recurrent panics about aerial bombardment. In the invasion context, this includes the continuities between the interwar fears of a knock-out blow from the air and the earlier narratives of the invasion danger. In particular, he is interested in the phantom airship panics of 1909 and 1913, as both early air panics and late spy and invasion panics.

‘Constructing the Enemy Within: Rumours of Secret Gun Platforms and Zeppelin Bases in Britain, August-October 1914’, British Journal for Military History 3:2 (2017), 22-42.

‘The Phantom Airship Panic of 1913: Imagining Aerial Warfare in Britain Before the Great War’, Journal of British Studies 55:1 (2016), 99-119.

The Next War in the Air: Britain’s Fear of the Bomber, 1908-1941 (Ashgate, 2014).

Michael Hughes

Michael Hughes is Professor of Modern History at Lancaster University and was formerly Professor of International and Russian History at the University of Liverpool.  He was from 2010-2014 Council Member and Treasurer of the Royal Historical Society.  He has published numerous monographs and articles on Russian history and Anglo-Russian relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hughes’ work originally explored diplomatic and political relations, but has more recently taken a transnational approach that focuses on cultural exchange.  His interest in invasion narratives stems from his interest in the contribution made by fiction and travel narratives to transnational perceptions.  Recent books and articles exploring Anglo-Russian cultural exchange include:

Beyond Holy Russia: The Life and Times of Stephen Graham (2014)

Every picture tells some stories: photographic illustrations in British travel accounts of Russia on the eve of World War One’, Slavonic and East European Review. 92, 4 (2014)

British Opinion on Russian Terrorism in the 1880s’, European History Quarterly. 41, 2 (2009).

Michael Hughes and Harry Wood, ‘Crimson nightmares: tales of invasion and fears of revolution in early twentieth-century Britain’, Contemporary British History. 28, 3 (2014).

Peter Keeling

Peter Keeling is a PhD student at the University of Kent working on the public and political context of national defence in later nineteenth century Britain, with a focus on the 1880s. His research examines the ways in which defence anxieties interacted with and were channelled through differing political ideologies and patriotisms, and how these informed public perceptions of the British nation, its people, and its place within Europe.

Andrew King

Andrew King is Professor of English in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Greenwich. He is primarily a historian of the nineteenth-century press, especially the marginalised. That includes both the popular fiction press and the highly specialised worlds of the trade and professional magazine, in both of which areas he has published a good deal. He has recently co-edited two collections of essays which for an unprecedented two years in a row won the Colby Prize for the volume that most forwards our understanding of the nineteenth-century press: the Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers (2016)  and Researching the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Case Studies (2017). Previous books include The London Journal: Periodicals, Production and Gender (2004), Popular Print Media (with John Plunkett, 2005) and Ouida and Victorian Popular Culture (2013, with Jane Jordan). 2018-20 he is vice-president and 2020-22 president of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. He is interested in invasion fiction as part of an exploration of wider popular culture and its industrialisation since the last decades of the nineteenth century.

Patrick Kirkwood

Patrick Kirkwood received his Ph.D. in Transnational History from Central Michigan University in May 2016 and is now a FT History Instructor at Metropolitan Community College-Blue River in Independence, Missouri.

He published a 2012 article on the impact of George Tomkyns Chesney’s The Battle of Dorking (1871) on public debates in the Late Victorian period. It argues that Dorking was a shrouded policy document which proved central to the parliamentary, military and public invasion controversies of the 1870s. His doctoral research focused on the inter-imperial ties that bound the British and the emerging American empire at the outset of the twentieth century. He hopes to return to the invasion literature phenomenon in transatlantic perspective in the coming years.

‘The Impact of Fiction on Public Debate in Late Victorian Britain: The Battle of Dorking and the “Lost Career” of Sir George Tomkyns Chesney,’ Graduate History Review 4:1 (2012): 1-16.

‘”Michigan Men” in the Philippines and the Limits of Self-Determination in the Progressive Era,’Michigan Historical Review 40:2 (2014): 63-86.

‘Reframing the Antebellum Democratic Mainstream: Transatlantic Diplomacy and the Career of Pierre Soulé,’ Civil War History 61:3 (2015): 212-51 w/ Jennifer R. Green (Pacific University).

Rebecka Klette

Rebecka Klette has recently completed an MA in Victorian Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research interests include atavism and temporal intrusions from the past, and she is currently writing a book chapter on satirical responses to invasion fiction between 1870 and 1914, examining works such as P. G. Wodehouse’s The Swoop(1909) and satirical retorts to invasion hysteria in Punch.

Derek Linney

Derek Linney is a post-graduate student at the University of Edinburgh studying for an MSc in History via Online Distance Learning. Having had a mathematics and business background – MA & MBA respectively – and a career in Information Technology, he converted to the humanities and completed his BA in History from the Open University in 2014. His particular research focus area is early twentieth century European History and within that British attitudes – public and official – towards Austria-Hungary prior to the First World War. His interest in invasion literature was sparked by a passion for The Riddle of the Sands – not least because he was a sailing enthusiast – which led to research into the topic. He has built and maintains a website dedicated to Victorian and Edwardian Invasion Literature: http:// .

A. Michael Matin

Michael Matin chairs the Warren Wilson College Department of English. Although he has been engaged in a number of writing and editing projects, the pre-1914 invasion-scare genre has remained at the center of his scholarly life for more than twenty years. Along the way, he was awarded a U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for his work on this body of literature. He also had the privilege of getting to know I.F. Clarke—the pioneering scholar of future-war fiction, of which the invasion-scare genre is a subtype—in the decade before his passing. He completed his doctoral dissertation on these texts in 1997 and subsequently published numerous essays on the historical, political, and cultural circumstances in which they developed and flourished. These essays range from an analysis of the early phase of the genre’s popularity (with the 1871 publication of The Battle of Dorking) to an assessment of some of its twenty-first-century manifestations. He has also presented his work on these texts in the form of lectures at various scholarly conferences and meetings, including as a keynote speaker at the 2013 interdisciplinary meeting “Empire in Peril: Invasion Scares and Popular Politics in Britain,” held at Queen Mary, University of London.

Securing Britain: Figures of Invasion in Late-Victorian and Edwardian Fiction, doctoral dissertation, Columbia University (1997, 304 pp.).

“‘We Aren’t German Slaves Here, Thank God’: Conrad’s Transposed Nationalism and British Literature of Espionage and Invasion,” The Journal of Modern Literature (Indiana University Press), vol. 21, no. 2 (winter 1997-98), pp. 251-280.

Sketch map of invasion-scare narratives in Atlas of the European Novel, 1800-1900, by Franco Moretti (London: Verso, 1998), p. 139. (Sketch of a more detailed map developed for doctoral dissertation, p. 70.)

Part one of ” ‘The Hun Is at the Gate!’: Historicizing Kipling’s Militaristic Rhetoric, from the Imperial Periphery to the National Center,” Studies in the Novel, vol. 31, no. 3 (fall 1999), pp. 317-356.

Part two of ” ‘The Hun Is at the Gate!’: Historicizing Kipling’s Militaristic Rhetoric, from the Imperial Periphery to the National Center,” Studies in the Novel, vol. 31, no. 4 (winter 1999), pp. 432-470.

“Kim, Invasion-Scare Literature, and the Russian Threat to British India,” Kim: A Norton Critical Edition, ed. Zohreh T. Sullivan (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 2002), pp. 358-374.

“Scrutinizing The Battle of Dorking: The Royal United Service Institution and the Mid-Victorian Invasion Controversy,” Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge University Press), vol. 39 (2011), pp. 385-407.

“The Creativity of War Planners: Armed Forces Professionals and the Pre-1914 British Invasion-Scare Genre,” ELH: English Literary History (Johns Hopkins University Press), vol. 78, no. 4 (winter 2011), pp. 801-831.

“‘The Benefit and the Handicap of Hindsight’: Modelling Risk and Reassessing Future-War Fiction after the 9/11-Induced Shift to a US National Security Strategy of Pre-emptive Attack,” Future Wars: The Anticipations and the Fears, ed. David Seed (Liverpool University Press, 2012), pp. 218-245.


Christian Melby

Christian Melby is a Modern History PhD student at King’s College London, researching the ever-elusive question of impact and reception of invasion scares before the First World War. Looking at how scares were re-imagined and interpreted by their audience, as well as the dichotomy between professional and amateur scaremongerers, his project uses invasion scares as a way of analysing public opinion in late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

Pete Mills

Pete Mills completed his PhD in History at Oxford Brookes in 2015. His research centres on the cultural history of popular anxieties and conspiracy theories in Britain. His doctoral research (currently being reworked for a book proposal) investigated fears of (immigration, terrorism and espionage in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Looking ahead, Pete is interested in the interaction between British and North American popular anxieties and conspiracy theories c.1880-1939.

David Morgan-Owen

David Morgan-Owen is a Lecturer in Defence Studies at King’s College London. He conducted his undergraduate study at the University of Exeter between 2005 and 2008, where he went on to receive an MA in History in 2009. Thereafter, he earned his PhD in Maritime History from the same institution in 2013. Before joining the Defence Studies Department, Dr Morgan-Owen held the post of Visiting Research Fellow at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth.

His area of research is the history of British defence administration between 1880 and 1918. He has published widely on British defence policy and strategy in this period, and has recently completed a monograph – ‘The Fear of Invasion: Strategy, Politics, and British War Planning, 1880-1914’ -which  deals with the manner in which the threat of the foreign invasion was perceived and responded to in late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

Carrie Parris

Carrie Parris graduated with a PhD in Creative Writing Research (Biography/Creative Non-Fiction) from the University of East Anglia in 2016. Through her thesis – The Crimes Club: The Early Years of Our Society – she told the story of the origins of a private London dining society for gentlemen interested in the study of crime. Early members included William le Queux, P. G. Wodehouse, Max Pemberton, Bertram Fletcher Robinson, Lord Northcliffe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: figures who were also important in the production and dissemination of invasion narratives. Through the lives and works of Our Society’s early members, Carrie examined the relationship between invasion paranoia, the administration of criminal justice, and the rise of the British secret service during the fin de siècle and Edwardian periods. Carrie has also worked as a narrative consultant on cold war espionage narratives, and is currently re-editing her thesis for popular publication.

Duncan Redford

Dr Duncan Redford is a naval historian working on the relationship between British national identity and the Royal Navy since 1870. A former naval officer and volunteer for service in submarines, Duncan left the Royal Navy in 2001 to study for an MA in War Studies and then PhD in History at King’s College London, winning the Laughton Naval History scholarship for his PhD research which was published in 2010 as Submarine: A cultural history from the Great war to nuclear combat. Between 2008 and 2011 he was a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, before taking up a post as first Senior Research Fellow and then Head of Research at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. He is the series editor for the I. B. Tauris ‘History of the Royal Navy series’ contributing volumes on A History of the Royal Navy: World War 2 (2014), The Royal Navy Since 1900: A History (with P. Grove, 2014) and A History of the Royal Navy: the Submarine Service (forthcoming 2021). He is a council member of the Navy Records Society and has previously chaired the selection panels for the Institute of Historical Research’s Alan Pearsall post-doctoral award and the Julian Corbett Prize for Modern Naval History. He is currently working on a monograph for Oxford University Press entitled The Nation and the Navy: How Britannia lost interest in ruling the waves.

Daniel Renshaw

Daniel Renshaw studied for his BA at the University of Reading, completed a Masters in Modern History at Oxford, then returned to Reading for his doctorate, which was awarded in February 2016. He is currently lecturing in modern history at the University of Reading. His PhD thesis examined Jewish and Irish Catholic interactions with the socialist and trade union movements in East London between 1889 and 1912. This thesis has now been re-written and is due to be published by Liverpool University Press in early 2018 as Socialism and the Diasporic ‘Other’. He is currently researching the relationship between the British left and violence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the use and rhetoric of the concept of repatriation as a response to migration in British society. He has also had a long-term interest in all things gothic, from eighteenth century literature to twentieth century horror films.

Harry Richards

Harry Richards is currently a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Keele University who is interested in the social and intelligence histories of the First World War. His doctoral research focuses on the phenomenon known as ‘spy fever’ that broke out in Great Britain during the First World War and analyses the relationship between popular attitudes and intelligence activity. By mapping the extent and development of spy fever, he first aims to establish the variety of fears that spy fever embodied and why they were depicted with the image of the spy; and secondly, the degree of local counter-espionage and social regulation generated by the fear of German espionage.

Anthony Taylor

Antony Taylor is Professor of Modern British History at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. He has written widely in the fields of British popular politics, opposition to aristocracy, terrorism in print culture, and the debates surrounding the expansion of the franchise in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His most recent book (see below) analyses themes of external invasion and internal subversion in British popular fiction from the mid-nineteenth-century onwards. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

London’s Burning’: Pulp Fiction, the Politics of Terrorism and the Destruction of the Capital in British Popular Culture, 1840-2005 (Bloomsbury, 2012)

‘“And I am the God of Destruction!” Fu Manchu and the Construction of Asiatic Evil in the Novels of Arthur Sarsfield Ward, 1912-1939’, in Tom Crook, Rebecca Gill and Betrand Taithe (eds.), Evil, Barbarism and Empire: Britain and Abroad, c.1830-2000 (Palgrave, 2011)

Harry Wood

Harry Wood is a postdoctoral researcher who has worked at the University of Liverpool and King’s College London,  and co-organiser of the Invasion Network. His research is based around the cultural history of British invasion anxieties, with a particular interest in invasion-scare fiction, and authors including William Le Queux, James Blyth, George Griffith, and H. G. Wells. His doctoral research (currently being reworked for a book proposal) focused on the representation of domestic political upheaval in Edwardian examples of invasion literature. Moving forward, Harry is interested in exploring the popular reception of invasion scares, and the transition from Edwardian invasion anxieties to the red scares of the 1920s.  Harry is the editor of The H G Wells Society Newsletter.

‘Crimson Nightmares: Tales of the Future and Fears of Revolution in Early Twentieth-Century Britain’ (co-authored with Michael Hughes), Contemporary British History, 28.3 (2014), 294-317

‘Competing Prophets: H. G. Wells, George Griffith, and Visions of Future War, 1893-1914’, The Wellsian, 38 (2015), 5-23.

‘Conflict and Violence’, J. Hogg, ed, Using Primary Sources: a practical guide for students, JISC Open Access e-textbook project, Liverpool University Press (published online Oct. 2016)

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  1. Pingback: Colonial authors and invasion fiction | The Invasion Network

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