PhD in English Literature, Univeristy of London, Queen Mary College, 1984 'The Faith and the Plan: the theme of responsibility in the novels of Joyce Cary'

MA in Later Victorian and Edwardian Literature, University of Manchester, 1979.

BA(Hons) First Class in English Literature with Art History, Middlesex Polytechnic, CNAA 1977

Merja Makinen is a Principal Lecturer in English Literature and Director of Programmes for the Culture and Communications group within the Media department. She writes on twentieth century fiction, particularly women's writing, gender and popular fiction.

She is module leader for the level 4 module English Literature generic module and a specialist level 6 module on Gender, Violence and the Postmodern. She also teaches on the level 5 Twentieth Century Literature.

She has a dual focus to her research, looking at feminist theory, gender, and women:'s writing in the twentieth century, particularly Angela Carter and Jeanette Winterson, alongside research on popular genre fictions. She has examined feminist appropriation of romance, fairy tale and detective fiction. She is also, in both spheres of her research, interested in the textual formulations of feminine desire, the erotic, and violence. She is currently an international researcher on Agatha Christie and gender.


Merja welcomes the opportunity to supervise PhD students in the areas of women's writing and gender in writing in the twentieth and twenty-first century literature. She has also supervised in the areas of women writers and gender in popular literary fictions (fantasy, fairy tale, detective fictin etc.)


Authored Books:

  • Makinen, Merja (2006) Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity, Palgrave Macmillan, London &New York. 205pp.
  • Makinen, Merja (2005) Jeanette Winterson: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism, Palgrave Macmillan, London &New York, 179pp.
  • Makinen, Merja (2001) Feminist Popular Fiction, Palgrave Macmillan, London& New York,198pp.
  • Gamman, Lorraine and Merja Makinen (1994) Female Fetishism: A New Look, Lawrence and Wishart/ New York University Press, London &New York:236pp.
  • Makinen, Merja (1989) Joyce Cary: A Descriptive Bibliography Mansell, London and New York, 254pp.

Articles& Chapters in Books

  • Makinen, Merja (2010)Agatha Christie (1890-1976): A Companion to Crime Fiction eds. Lee Horsley and Charles Rezpka London Wiley/Blackwell pp.415-427.
  • Makinen, Merja (2009) 'Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and the Gothic' emagazine (issue 45) pp.6-9.
  • Makinen, Merja (2008) The Theory of Incorporating Fairy Tale and the Practice of Jeanette Winterson in Contemporary Fiction and the Fairy Tale, ed. Stephen:Benson Wayne State University Press, New York and London, pp. 144-177.
  • Makinen, Merja (2006) Pat Califia and Nancy Friday in Encyclopedia of Erotic
  • Literature, 2 vols, eds. Gaëtan Brulotte and John Phillips, Routledge, Abingdon and New York: Vol 1, pp.195-97, 508-10.
  • Makinen, Merja (2000) 'Feminism and the "Crisis of Masculinity" in Contemporary British Detective Fiction', in Crime Scenes: Detective Narratives in European Culture since 1945, eds. Anne Mullen and Emer O'Beirne, Rodolpi Amsterdam. pp. 254-268
  • Makinen, Merja and Peter Newby (1999) 'Monitoring the Curriculum: Problems and Solutions' in Equal Oportunities in the Curriculum, eds. Martyn Pearl and Pritam Singh, Oxford Brookes, Oxford. pp. 45-61
  • Makinen, Merja (1997) 'Sexual and Textual Aggression in The Sadeian Woman and The Passion of New Eve' in The Infernal Desires of Angela Carter, eds. Joseph Bristow and Trev Broughton, Longman, London & New York, pp149-65
  • Makinen, Merja (1996) 'Embodying the Negated: Contemporary Images of the Female Erotic', in Image and Power: Women in Fiction in the Twentieth Century, eds. Gail Cunninghm& Sarah Sceats, Longman, London& New York. pp. 41-50
  • Makinen, Merja (1992) 'Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and the Decolonization of Feminine Sexuality' Feminist Review 42 (Autumn 1992) 2-15. Reprinted (2000) in New Casebooks: Angela Carter, ed. Alison Easton, Macmillan, London& New York. pp. 20-36.:Reprinted (2006) in Short Story Criticism, Vol. 85 (Angela Carter, Anton Chekov, Marguerite de Navarre), eds Thomas S Schoenberg and Lawrence Trudeau,Thomson Gale, Michigan. pp. 3-10.
  • (1990) Named contributor in 20th C. novel and drama sections, The Feminist Companion to Literature in English, eds. Virginia Blain, Patricia Clements and Isobel Grundy, Batsford/ Yale University Press London& New York

Interviewed for the radio series on Agatha Christie for France Culture, 'Grande traversee Agatha Christie' 19-23rd August 2013, 10-11 am, specifically 'Strychnine et vieilles mitaines' 21/08/2013.

Invited keynote speaker for the Agatha Christie conference, Exeter University, April 2013