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Photo Credit: Kurt Thom
Academic Bio – Anna M. Blanch
In 2009, Anna moved to her third continent in as many years and is currently writing her PhD in Theology and Literature under the supervision of Professor Trevor Hart and Dr Gavin Hopps. Anna is a student in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, in St Mary’s College, the School of Divinity at the University of St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland.
Anna’s research considers the interaction between literature and theology, especially in the work of E.Nesbit, C.S. Lewis and Hannah More, and literature and religion, specifically in the context of culturally specific responses to Christianity and the Christian church. She enjoys teaching Victorian and Edwardian era literature, Australian literature especially folk narratives and Australian poetry, and the Bible and Literature. Through the course of her study (on three continents) she has developed a broad generalist capacity to teach American, British, and Australian literature from 1780- present. Her other areas of research interest include the interdisciplinary field of literature and law, particularly law in children literature, and Australian folklore. Anna also presents papers, and gives talks, sometimes at conferences to Academics and over the years also to young people and as a lunch speaker.
From Tamworth, Australia, Anna Blanch initially attended the Australian Defence Force Academy as an undergraduate, and served as an Officer in the Australian Army, before transferring to the Australian National University where she graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in English. She then completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2007 while working in the Research School of Humanities, College of Arts and Social Science at the ANU.
Anna then completed her MA in English Literature at Baylor University in Waco, Texas where she wrote a reassessment of the authorship of the Cheap Repository Tracts. While at Baylor, she had the immense privilege to serve as Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant to Distinguished Professor David Lyle Jeffrey, to be appointed as a Head Graduate Fellow of the Honors Residential College, and to serve on the executive of the Graduate Students Association.
Anna is writing her Doctoral thesis on the work and life of E.Nesbit and further developing her ideas on theology (and religion) and literature, nineteenth century British literature, and the role of literature in moral & spiritual formation. She is a final year PhD student in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
Anna founded Goannatree in 2007. She is also a contributing author for Transpositions: Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, an award-winning blog which began in the Summer of 2010 and the Big Bible #digidisciple project. She’s pleased also to be involved with The Forum: Conversations on Art and Culture.
Selected Papers & Publications
_________”Poetry and Belief”: The ambivalence of faith in E. Nesbit’s “Songs of Love and Empire.” Hospitable Texts: New Approaches to Religion and Literature. Notre Dame Center, London, 12-15 July, 2011.
_________“The Real Me”: E.Nesbit and the author as ‘Other’ International Society of Religion, Literature and Culture. St Catherine’s, Oxford, 2010
_________“The Devil’s Due”: The Religious Aesthetics of E.Nesbit” Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture. Institute of Theology, Imagination and the Arts. St Andrews, Scotland, 2010
_________“Inasmuch as ye did it not…’: E. Nesbit’s Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism” British Association of Victorian Studies. Glasgow, Scotland, 2010
_________”Gatekeepers, Gavels, and Grubby Children: The ill-used Legal System in E.Nesbit’s The Railway Children and The Magic City” English PG Forum, University of St Andrews, 8 March 2010.
_________”A Reassessment of the Authorship of the Cheap Repository Tracts.” M.A. Thesis. Baylor University, 2009.
_________”Children and the Ill-Used Judicial System in E.Nesbit’s Railway Children and the Magic City.” Modern Language Association Conference 2008, San Francisco, California, December 27 -31, 2008.
_________”Echoes and Patterns: Approaching the Arts Theologically.” CASE Magazine 16 God, Creativity and Creators (2008): 13-16. Print.
_________”‘It’s All in Books': Children and Reading in E.Nesbit’s Fiction for Children.” The Inklings: Communion of Saints. CS Lewis & the Inklings Society, Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania, 3-5 April, 2008.
_________”Becoming a Christian Academic.” CASE Magazine 12, no. Family Foundations: What’s important for marriage, parenthood and family life (2007).