Kirstin Mills

Dr, Senior Lecturer

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Personal profile


Dr Kirstin Mills is Director of the Master of Research and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts. She holds a PhD and a BA (Hons, First Class) in Literature from Macquarie University.

Her research specialises in Gothic and fantastic literature and visual media, with a particular focus on literature of the long nineteenth century and its twenty-first-century adaptations, and the intersection of the Gothic with the historical, cultural and technological contexts from which it emerges. Her various research projects have examined literary representations of space, the supernatural and the sciences of the mind, including nineteenth-century scientific theories of dreams, madness and alternative states of consciousness, and Victorian mathematical and cultural concepts of the fourth dimension; Gothic animal studies; and the Gothic and gender. These studies bring together a wide range of authors including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lucas Malet, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Horace Walpole, Gottfried August Bürger, Lewis Carroll, and George MacDonald.

Kirstin's current major projects include a monograph, which is the first to explore the adaptation of classic nineteenth-century Gothic texts for twenty-first-century digital mobile media, and an edited volume on the Victorian Gothic and the Occult. Other ongoing projects include investigations of contemporary Gothic television adaptations, and the role of dreams, the mind and supernatural space in the development of gothic and fantastic literature in the long nineteenth century.

Kirstin is also an editor of the journal Advances in Nineteenth-Century Research, and a series editor for the International Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Book Series with Clemson University Press, both of which aim to broaden nineteenth-century studies and foster global, interdisciplinary scholarship in this area.

More details about Kirstin's projects and a full research and teaching portfolio can be found at her website:

Research interests

  • Gothic Literature
  • Gothic Visual and Digital Media
  • Romantic Literature and Culture
  • Victorian and Long-Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
  • Literature and Science
  • Literature and Medicine
  • Supernaturalism, Folklore and the Occult
  • Adaptation Studies

Research student supervision

Kirstin supervises PhD and Master of Research projects in the Discipline of Literature (Department of Media, Communication, Creative Arts, Language and Literature). She especially welcomes projects focused on Gothic and fantastic literature, media and/or their adaptations (such as films, television or gaming) from the Romantic period to the twenty-first century, and literature of the long nineteenth century more broadly.

Current research supervision & recent completions:

  • Niamh Delfendahl (PhD, 2022-current), The EcoGothic and Tolkien's Middle Earth - Principal Advisor.
  • Rachel Baldacchino (PhD, 2023-current), Ethics and Empathy in Victorian Children's Literature - Associate Advisor.
  • Rachel Baldacchino (Master of Research, 2022): The Power of Madness in the Victorian Gothic: Exploring Reader Empathy in Jane Eyre and Villette (Awarded, no corrections) - Principal Advisor.

Teaching and Leadership

Kirstin Mills is Director of the Master of Research and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts. In this role she convenes the Faculty's Master of Research (MRes) and Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil/MRes Year 1) programs, which seek to train students in key research and communication skills that prepare them for further postgraduate study (Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy) and academic or professional research careers. In this role, Kirstin is passionate about shaping the program as one that not only produces skilled, world-ready researchers with a strong sense of their identity and value as researchers, but also fosters collaborative, interdisciplinary connection and a closeknit, supportive academic community. Read and hear what Kirstin has to say about the advantages of interdisciplinary research training here.

As well as convening the MRes/BPhil program, Kirstin also designs and teaches many of its advanced coursework units, with a focus on research and writing theory and practice, research project design and development, researcher development, and digital literacies and communication. Kirstin currently convenes and teaches the following units:

  • FOAR7001 Research Communications
  • FOAR7002 Research Frontiers I
  • FOAR7003 Digital Literacies for Researchers
  • FOAR7000 Research Paradigms (co-convening)
  • FOAR8990 Research Frontiers II (MRes Year 2)

Kirstin has extensive experience in teaching and curriculum design. Prior to her current role, Kirstin taught as a sessional lecturer and tutor in the Department of English at Macquarie University (2009-1019), and as a Lecturer-in-Charge for the School of Arts at the Australian Catholic University, North Sydney (2019). Since 2009, she has regularly taught on a wide range of units at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, with subjects ranging from medieval literature to contemporary literature and creative writing. Kirstin has carried this wide experience of writing and storytelling into her current teaching of research communication skills.

Community engagement

Kirstin is committed to enhancing the research student experience and research training in both the Faculty of Arts and Macquarie University more broadly. She currently serves on the University's Higher Degree Research Management Committee, the Faculty of Arts Research Training Committee, and the Faculty of Arts Education Committee, where she represents the Master of Research and Bachelor of Philosophy programs. She also contributes to Macquarie's Graduate Research Advisory group, and is a member of Macquarie's Teaching and Leadership Community of Practice. She is also an accredited Mental Health First Aider, a member of Macquarie's Ally Network, and is constantly working to support and enhance the wellbeing of students and colleagues alike.

Kirstin is also passionate about the value of research shared with the wider community. She has contributed many articles about Victorian Gothic literature and its latest adaptations to Macquarie's The Lighthouse magazine (including articles on Dracula, Wednesday, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, and Victorian-era TV shows). She has also provided commentary for newspapers and been interviewed about her research on ABC Radio. Kirstin has appeared as a guest speaker on many episodes of the Discipline of Literature's From the Lighthouse podcast since its inception in 2017 (and also created its logo and website photography). Kirstin draws on this research engagement experience in her teaching, aiming to empower students to tell their own stories that communicate and celebrate their research and its value for the world.

Education/Academic qualification

Literature, PhD, Imagined Worlds: the Role of Dreams, Space, and the Supernatural in the Evolution of Victorian Fantasy, Macquarie University

Award Date: 24 May 2014

Literature, BA (Hons) First Class, Macquarie University

… → 2006

External positions

Series Editor, International Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Book Series (Clemson University Press)

2023 → …

Editor, Advances in Nineteenth-Century Research: The Journal of the International Nineteenth-Century Studies Association

2023 → …

Lecturer-in-Charge, Australian Catholic University


Twitter Manager for The George MacDonald Society

2016 → …


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