Dr Anna Pilz

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

  • School of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures
  • English Literature

Contact details



Room 4.25
50 George Square

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Anna Pilz is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh (2020-2022) with a 3-month secondment at the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway (March-May 2022). Her project investigates a rich archive of Romantic-era travel writing on Ireland and Scotland’s Atlantic coasts (Grant Agreement No. 890850). Anna previously held research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, a Carson Fellowship at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU Munich, and an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at University College Cork.


PhD, University of Liverpool, 2013

MA, University of Liverpool, 2008

BA, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, 2007

Undergraduate teaching

Anna has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in the areas of Irish writing from the eighteenth- to the twentieth centuries, women’s studies, and Victorian literature at the University of Liverpool, Leeds Beckett University, University College Cork, and the University of Edinburgh. She has organised a range of skills workshops for postgraduates and early career scholars, with a particular focus on academic writing.

Areas of interest for supervision

Due to her fixed-term contract, Anna is regrettably not in a position to supervise PhD students. 

Research summary

  • Irish and Scottish writing in the long nineteenth century 
  • Coastal Romanticisms, past and present 
  • Narratives of environmental change
  • Travel and nature writing 
  • Empire and Natural History
  • Women's Literary History
  • Intertextuality, Paratexts, and Reception

Current research interests

Anna's research focuses on narratives of environmental change, particularly in relation to woodlands and coastscapes from the eighteenth- to the twenty-first centuries. With an emphasis on archival research, Anna's work combines methodologies and conceptual frameworks from ecocriticism, cultural geography, and environmental history. Her first monograph on narratives of deforestation and arboreal landscapes in Irish writing, due with Liverpool University Press, draws extensively on sources such as pamphlets, treatise, periodical culture, autobiographies, travel literatures, novels, and poetry. Her talk on "Woods and Irish Writing" for the Rachel Carson Center's lunchtime colloquium series can be found here. As part of her current "Coastal Routes" project, Anna co-organised with Prof Penny Fielding a workshop on the theme of "Scotland's Coastal Romanticisms". Together with Seán Hewitt, she co-edited a Special Issue of Nineteenth-Century Contexts on the theme of ‘Ecologies of the Atlantic Archipelago’ (2021).

Past research interests

Her previous work focused on the reception history of Irish dramatist Lady Augusta Gregory. Anna published her doctoral work in a series of articles and book chapters that consider Gregory’s diverse audiences, both at home and abroad, as well as in print and on stage. Most recently, she contributed to the two-volume collection "The Golden Thread: Irish Women Playwrights". Across her projects, Anna is committed to the recovery of and critical analysis of women's writing. She is co-editor of Irish Women’s Writing, 1878-1922: Advancing the Cause of Liberty (Manchester University Press, 2016) and contributed a chapter on "The Rise of the Woman Writer" for Cambridge's Irish Literature in Transition series.

Affiliated research centres

Research activities

View all 33 activities on Research Explorer

Project activity

Research Groups

Anna is an active contributor to a number of research networks in the fields of women’s writing, coastal history, and environmental humanities. For the Irish Women’s Writing (1880-1920) Network, for instance, she co-curates the interview series “Emerging Voices”that seeks to increase the visibility of the work of PhD candidates and early career researchers.

Through her "Coastal Routes" project, she has become active in the Coastal History Network for which she co-convenes the monthly Reading Group and bi-weekly Writing Group.

Anna strongly believes in building and supporting an inclusive and diverse research culture and currently chairs one of two Writing Support Groups of the European Society for Environmental History’s NEXTGATe initiative.


Collaborative Activity

Anna is very excited to be part of the network LIT: Literature and Ireland's Trees. Led by Stephen O'Neill (Maynooth University), this network will host a public lecture series on "Literary Lives of Trees" and result in an exhibition and publication.