Gill has supervised PhDs on various aspects of crime writing, theories of the body in feminist-science fiction, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, gender theory and masculinity studies. She would welcome applications from postgraduates interested in twentieth-century war writing, popular fiction and film, crime writing, sexuality and gender theory.



Literature of the 1940s: War, Postwar and 'Peace' Edinburgh University Press, 2013 More information...

War-Torn Tales: Literature, Film and Gender in the Aftermath of World War II, co-editor with Danielle Hipkins (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007) More information...

A History of Feminist Literary Criticism, co-editor with Susan Sellers, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) More information...

John Mills and British Cinema: Masculinity, Identity and Nation (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006) More information...

Ian Rankin's Black and Blue: A Reader's Guide (New York and London: Continuum, 2002) More information...

Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction: Gender, Sexuality and the Body (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001) More information...

Feminisms on Edge: Politics, Discourses and National Identities, co-editor with Karen Atkinson and Sarah Oerton (Cardiff: Cardiff Academic Press, 2000) More information...

Women's Fiction of the Second World War: Gender, Power and Resistance

(Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996) More information...


'Women Writers and the War', in Marina MacKay ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the Second World War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

'The Hero as Coat Hanger: John Mills's Postwar Stardom', in Tytti Soila ed., Inter-Stellar Encounters: Stardom in Popular European Cinema (London: John Libbey Publishing, 2008)

'From "The Purest Literature We Have" to "A Spirit Grown Corrupt": Embracing Contamination in Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction', in Critical Survey, 20:1 (2008), pp. 3-16

'Concepts of Corruption: Crime Fiction and the Scottish "State"', in Berthold Schoene ed., The Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Scottish Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), pp. 132-140

'The Paradoxical Picaresque: Detectives, Rogues and the Narratives of Crime', in Christoph Ehland and Robert Fajen eds., The Paradigm of the Picaresque/Das Paradigma des Pikaresken (Beiheft der GRM, Heidelberg: Winter, 2007), pp. 252-263

'Getting Things Straight for the Post-war: Realigning Gender and Nation', in Danielle Hipkins and Gill Plain eds., The Way to the Stars' in War-Torn Tales: Literature, Film and Gender in the Aftermath of World War II (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007)

'British Women Writers of the Second World War' and 'Golden Age Detective Fiction', in the Encyclopaedia of British Women's Writing, 1900-1950 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005)

'Locating Sue Grafton', Crime Time, 33 (2003)

'"I'm sorry About the Gun, Mom": The Turn to Violence in Lesbian Detection', Crime Time, 32 (2003)

'Rankin Revisited: An Interview with Ian Rankin', Scottish Studies Review (2003), pp. 126-37

'Hard Nuts to Crack: Devolving Masculinities in Contemporary Scottish Fiction', in Daniel Lea and Berthold Schoene eds., New Men, Other Men: Masculinities in British Writing Since the 1950s (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003), pp. 55-68

'"A Good Cry or A Nice Rape": Margery Allingham's Gender Agenda', in a 1930s special issue of Critical Survey, ed. Mary Joannou, 15.2 (2003), pp. 61-75

'The Shape of Things to Come: The Remarkable Modernity of Vernon Lee', in Claire M. Tylee ed.,Women, Drama and the Great War: a Collection of Essays (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2000)

'Interview with Ian Rankin', Scotlands, 5.2 (1998), pp.106-121

'Sacrifical Bodies: The Corporeal Anxieties of Agatha Christie', in Julia Hallam and Nickianne Moody eds., Medical Fictions (Liverpool: JMU Press, 1998), pp. 64-75

'Passing/Out: The Paradoxical Possibilities of Detective Delafield', in Women: A Cultural Review, 9.3 (1998), pp. 278-291.

'Great Expectations: Rehabilitating the Recalcitrant War Poets', in Vicki Bertram ed., Kicking Daffodils: Essays on Twentieth-Century Women's Poetry (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997), pp. 25-38. First published in Feminist Review, 51 (October 1995), pp. 41-65


Gill has also been guest editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection, Scottish Crime Fiction issue, Vol. 26, No. 2 (2008) More information...

 Literature of the 1940s
 War-Torn Tales
 John Mills and British Cinema
 Ian Rankin's Black and Blue
 Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction
 Feminisms on Edge
 Women's Fiction of the Second World War
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Prof Gill Plain

Education and Experience

Gill Plain received her MA from Cambridge and her PhD from Newcastle for a thesis exploring women writers’ responses to the threat and actuality of the Second World War. This was published as Women’s Fiction of the Second World War: Gender, Power and Resistance (1996). She has continued to work on war writing, and is co-founder of the research network WAR-Net. She has recently completed a literary history, Literature of the 1940s: War, Postwar and ‘Peace’ (2013) and is now developing a project on the literary culture of the postwar period. At St Andrews she teaches twentieth century literature, crime fiction and war writing, and has been director of the MLitt in Women Writing and Gender. She is currently Head of School. 

Research Interests

Gill has research interests in crime fiction, representations of war, gender studies, British culture of the 1940s and 50s, and popular British film, and she welcomes applications from postgraduate students interested in any of these areas. Her publications include Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction: Gender, Sexuality and the Body (Edinburgh, 2001), Ian Rankin’s Black and Blue: A Reader’s Guide (Continuum, 2002) and John Mills and British Cinema: Masculinity, Identity and Nation (Edinburgh, 2006). She is the editor, with Susan Sellers, of A History of Feminist Literary Criticism (Cambridge, 2007). 

PhD Supervision

Lucy Hall, Johanna Laitila, Jonathan Todd

Professor Gill Plain

Contact information

Room: CH 32
Phone: 2671

Consultation hours:
Thursday 4-5pm and Friday 10-11am

Research Profile on PURE