Dr Sophie Franklin is a researcher based in Germany and teaching at the University of Stuttgart. Her research specialises in nineteenth-century literature and culture with specific expertise in representations of violence, the Brontës, and afterlives. More broadly, she is interested in the shifting understandings, perceptions, and depictions of violence throughout history, particularly how people write (about) violence. She has taught at several institutions, including the University of Tübingen, Nottingham Trent University, and Newcastle University.
In 2019, Sophie received her PhD from Durham University, which considered the literary violences of Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Brontë’s work in order to establish a genealogy between their fiction, conflicted nineteenth-century understandings of violence, and the cultural legacies of violence in recent artwork and adaptations inspired by their prose. A revised version of her thesis will be published in 2024 by Edinburgh University Press, as part of their new ‘Nineteenth-Century and Neo-Victorian Cultures’ series. Her new project focuses on nineteenth-century narratives of violence and contagion, intersecting with current conversations around public health, disease, and the “spread” of violence. In 2019, she received a Murray McGregor scholarship at Gladstone’s Library to conduct further research into Elizabeth Gaskell’s representations of violence and contamination; and, in 2022, she was awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Glasgow Library to explore the narrative strategies of representing intimate violence in relation to disease and health in nineteenth-century literary and scientific texts. Alongside Dr Arya Thampuran (Durham University), Dr Hannah Piercy (University of Bern), and Dr Rebecca White (Durham University), she is also currently co-editing an essay collection titled Consent: Legacies, Representations, and Frameworks for the Future, under contract with Routledge.
Sophie’s first book, Charlotte Brontë Revisited: A View from the Twenty-First Century (Saraband), was published in 2016 and reissued in 2018, and considers the ongoing legacy of Brontë’s work and life from a contemporary perspective. Alongside Dr Claire O’Callaghan and Adelle Hay, she regularly speaks at book festivals and international events on the Brontë family.