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My research focuses on representations of human rights violation and/or traumatic experience in narrative form, and the social, cultural, gendered and familial contexts in which such works are produced.
Recent applied projects, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UNDP, assessed the effectiveness of Expressive Writing methodologies in supporting the well-being of women victims of sexual violence in conflict in Iraq and AHRC funded work with communities in crisis across Lebanon.
My most recent publications including the monograph The Art and Science of Trauma and the Autobiographical: Negotiated Truths, Palgrave 2019, evaluate a range of life narrative forms that represent traumatic experience (memoir, testimony, poetry, graphic novels, monuments, autobiographical novels, etc) and consider the relationship between such works and current behavioural, psychological, and neurochemical approaches to diagnosing and treating traumatic disorders.
Finally, my practice-based research takes the form of creative non-fiction and autobiographical novels concerned with representations of traumatic experience.
Professor in English Literature and Creative Writing
Because my main area of research interest is reflecting on how stories of trauma and conflict are represented in texts of all kinds, I teach in a wide range of subject areas. In Creative Writing at BA, MA, MFA and PhD, I work with students on the development of their own voice and specialize in autobiographical forms of writing. In English Literature, I teach across several time periods from the late 18th Century to the present, in genres from fiction, to non-fiction to poetry to graphic forms of writing, written by authors from all over the world: from 19th century British novels to post-colonial short stories, to modernist poetry and prose and beyond. I am particularly interested in writing that challenges dominant narratives - stories and poems and non-fiction that speaks from the "outsider's" point of view.
I publish widely on the relationship between memory, trauma, the autobiographical and the advancement of human rights and conduct funded interdisciplinary applied research on the uses of Expressive Writing for supporting well-being in survivors of traumatic experiences.
Funded Projects include:
Expressive Life Writing and Telling During Crisis: Addressing Urgent Needs in the Akkar Governate, Lebanon
December 2020: AHRC Research Grant £25,000 as Co-I
The primary research question of this project is: "How can Expressive Life Writing be deployed during an acute crisis to support well-being for social workers and their most vulnerable clients especially women and girls?"The secondary research questions of this project are: "What are the most effective means of reaching vulnerable subjects isolated by crisis situations with ELW -online, with an App, by phone?" and "How can ELW be taken to scale as part of a well-being centered response to building resilience in the face of a crisis?"If the research provides satisfactory answers to these questions, then this project will produce a universally available, stress tested, step change in the use of ELW as a form of rapidly deployable assistance for the trauma, stress and pressure of quickly evolving crisis situations.
Expressive Writing: support for Front Line Health Care Workers during and after the COVID-19 Outbreakhttps://www.kingston.ac.uk/news/article/2393/12-oct-2020-expressive-writing-project-from-kingston-university-to-help-covid19-healthcare-workers-overcome-traumatic-experiences/
April 2020: awarded £10,000 by Viaro Energy, Ltd. to research, develop and deliver support to Front Line Health Care Workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The research project will also test the efficacy of an innovative multilingual, freely accessible digital model for the successful dissemination of Expressive Writing training and exercises, gathering feedback via online surveys.
AHRC Global Research Funding £21,000 in 2018 and £26,000 in 2019
Expressive Writing Capacity Building with Akkar Network for Development (AND), Beirut
United Nations Development Programme SIRI project, Iraq, £1,500 in 2017. Expressive Writing Capacity Building https://www.iq.undp.org/content/iraq/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2018/11/04/undp-supporting-women-crsv-and-sgbv-survivors-of-trauma.html
Dear Diary Exhibition: Somerset House June 2017 Produced and exhibited filmed refugee diaries: http://tsrnetwork.org/news-network/publications/
UK Cabinet Office Countering Violent Extremism Programme, £7,400 in 2017
UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Fund, Stigma Project: £2,400 in 2016 http://www.inmaairaq.com/drejae.aspx?=hewal&jmare=86&Jor=1
Jensen, Meg (2020) Book Review of: 'Women writers of the Beat era : autobiography and intertextuality' by Mary Paniccia Carden. Life Writing, 17(4), pp. 609-611. ISSN (print) 1448-4528
Jensen, Meg [Reviewer] (2017) Book Review of: 'Speaking pictures : neuropsychoanalysis and authorship in film and literature' by Alistair Fox. Viewfinder, 106, p. 23. ISSN (print) 0952-4444
Jensen, Meg (2016) Surviving the wreck : post-traumatic writers, bodies in transition and the point of autobiographical fiction. Life Writing, 13(4), pp. 431-448. ISSN (print) 1448-4528
Agnew, Eadaoin, Alliez, Eric, Auerbach, Paul, Blackburn, Robert, Botting, Fred, Brady, Mary, Caygill, Howard, Chadwick, Howard, Chanter, Tina, Choat, Simon, Chu, Jonathan, Cinpoes, Radu, Coultas, Valerie, Dines, Martin, Dixon, Paul, Favretto, Ilaria, Finn, Peter, Giaxoglou, Korina, Goldsmith, Carlie, Hallward, Peter, Hawkins, Sue, Haywood, Peter, Higginbottom, Andrew, Ichijo, Atsuko, Isaac, Marina, Jensen, Meg, Kayyali, Reem, Kettyle, Ann, Lambrou, Marina, Latimer, Amanda, Linton, Marisa, Lipsedge, Karen, Malabou, Catherine, O Maoilearca, John, McQuillan, Martin, Micklethwaite, Paul, Morgan Wortham, Simon, O'Brien, Catherine, Osborne, Peter, Pinnock, Winsome, Piper, Jason, Ponto, Maria, Raphael, Sam, Reid, Trish, Roberts, Mike, Rogers, David, Sandford, Stella, Searby, Michael, Siddiki, Jalal Uddin, Smart, Jackie, Spencer, Philip, Stockhammer, Engelbert, Stuart, John, Suess, Eleanor, Swift, Allan, Upstone, Sara, Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic, Wells, Julian and Wilson, Scott (2014) Education should be a right for all. The Guardian,
Jensen, Meg (2014) Post-traumatic memory projects : autobiographical fiction and counter-monuments. Textual Practice, 28(4), pp. 701-725. ISSN (print) 0950-236X
Jensen, Meg (2012) The writer's diary as borderland: the public and private selves of Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, and Louisa May Alcott. Life Writing, 9(3), pp. 315-325. ISSN (print) 1448-4528
Jensen, Meg (2011) Getting to know me in theory and practice: negotiated truth and mourning in autobiographically-based fiction (J.G. Ballard, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Jack Kerouac, Louisa May Alcott and me). Literature Compass, 8(12), pp. 941-950. ISSN (online) 1741-4113
Jensen, Meg (2009) Separated by a common language: the (differing) discourses of life writing in theory and practice. a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 24(2), pp. 299-314. ISSN (print) 0898-9575
Jensen, Meg (2009) Book Review of: The unbearable Saki: the work of H. H. Munro by Sandie Byrne. Modern Language Review, 104(1), pp. 192-193. ISSN (print) 0026-7937
Jensen, Meg (2008) Book Review of: Original copy: plagiarism and originality in nineteenth-century literature by Robert MacFarlane. Modern Language Review, 103(3), pp. 839-840. ISSN (print) 0026-7937
Jensen, Margaret (2007) Book Review of: Quixotic fictions of the USA 1792-1815 by Sarah F. Wood. Modern Language Review, The, 102(3), p. 842. ISSN (print) 0026-7937
Jensen, Meg (2007) The anxiety of daughterhood: re-examining Bloom's theory of influence in the work of Louisa May Alcott and Virginia Woolf. Literature Compass, 4(4), pp. 1208-1226. ISSN (online) 1741-4113
Jensen, Margaret (2019) The art and science of trauma and the autobiographical : negotiated truths. Basingstoke, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. 299p. (Palgrave Studies in Life Writing) ISBN 9783030061067
Jensen, Meg and Jolly, Margaretta, eds. (2014) We shall bear witness : life narratives and human rights. Madison, WI, U.S. : University of Wisconsin Press. 332p. (Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography) ISBN 9780299300142
Jensen, Meg and Jordan, Jane, eds. (2009) Life writing: the spirit of the age and the state of the art. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 238p. ISBN 9781443805261
Jensen, Margaret M. (2002) The open book: creative misreadings in the works of selected modern authors. New York; Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan. 236p. ISBN 0312293534
Jensen, Meg (2020) Speaking trauma and history : the collective voice of testimonial literature. In: Hammond, Andrew, (ed.) The Palgrave handbook of Cold War literature. Cham. Switzerland : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 323-343. ISBN 9783030389727
Jensen, Margaret and Campbell, Siobhan (2019) Negotiated truths and iterative practice in action : the Women in Conflict expressive life writing project. In: Douglas, Kate and Barnwell, Ashley, (eds.) Research Methodologies for Auto/Biography Studies. New York, NY : Routledge. pp. 149-160. (Routledge Auto/Biography Studies, 1) ISBN 9780367255688
Jensen, Meg (2018) How art constitutes the human : aesthetics, empathy, and the interesting in autofiction. In: Dix, Hywel, (ed.) Autofictions in English. London, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 65-83. (Palgrave studies in life writing) ISBN 9783319899015
Jensen, Meg (2016) The legible face of human rights in autobiographically based fiction. In: McClennen, Sophia A. and Schultheis Moore, Alexandra, (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 184-192. (Routledge Literature Companions) ISBN 9780415736411
Brivati, Brian, Jensen, Meg, Jolly, Margeretta and Moore, Alexandra Schultheis (2014) Using life narrative to explore human rights themes in the classroom. In: Jensen, Meg and Jolly, Margaretta, (eds.) We shall bear witness : life narratives and human rights. Madison, WI, U.S. : University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 267-280. ISBN 9780299300142
Jensen, Meg (2014) The fictional is political : forms of appeal in autobiographical fiction and poetry. In: Jensen, Meg and Jolly, Margaretta, (eds.) We shall bear witness : life narratives and human rights. Madison, WI, U.S. : University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 141-157. ISBN 9780299300142
Jensen, Meg (2009) Introduction: do you speak life narrative? In: Jensen, Meg and Jordan, Jane, (eds.) Life writing: the spirit of the age and the state of the art. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. xxvii-xxxiii. ISBN 9781443805261
Jensen, Meg and Jordan, Jane (2009) State of the art: the spirit of the age collection. In: Jensen, Meg and Jordan, Jane, (eds.) Life writing: the spirit of the age and the state of the art. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. xxxiv-xxxvii. ISBN 9781443805261
Jensen, Meg (2007) Tradition and revelation: moments of being in Virginia Woolf's major novels. In: Shiach, Morag, (ed.) The Cambridge companion to the modernist novel. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press. pp. 112-125. (Cambridge companions to literature) ISBN 0521670748
Jensen, Meg [Speaker] (2009) Behind a mask: the unknown thrillers of Louisa May Alcott. In: Kingston Reader's Festival; 23 Apr - 22 May 2009, Kingston upon Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Nordic Pizza by Meg Jensen
Chaired by Meg Jensen, with Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir Professor of Comparative Literature at University of Iceland and Leena Kurvet Käosaar Associate Professor of Cultural Theory at Institute of Cultural Research, University of Tartu, Estonia