You are here

  1. Home
  2. Professor Sara Haslam

Professor Sara Haslam

Sara Haslam photo

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the Open University in 2001, having taught previously at King’s College London, the University of Roehampton, and the University of Chester, where I also completed a PGC in Higher Education. I studied at the University of Liverpool for my first degree, in English Language and Literature, and my MA in Victorian Literature. During my MA studies I was employed part-time as a Research Assistant on editions of Percy Bysshe Shelley's and Matthew Arnold's poetry - my first taste of scholarly editing. I moved to London to work on Ford Madox Ford for my PhD, which was awarded by King's College, London in 1997. My examiners were Professors Bernard Bergonzi and Philip Horne.

At the OU, I have written teaching material for all levels of study, worked as Chair and Deputy Chair of modules in production and presentation, and currently serve as Director of Research Degrees in the Faculty. I have produced OpenLearn material and acted as the OU's academic consultant to the BBC. As critic, and as editor, my research on Ford Madox Ford is internationally known, and I was Chair of the Ford Madox Ford Society for 10 years to 2020. As a teacher and as a researcher I am passionate about what I do because I believe in literature as a force for good, as an agent of change, as well as an education, a distraction, and a delight. In my current research on what I have termed 'literary caregiving', I'm finding out more about the women who organised internationally to provide books to sick and traumatized soldiers during the First World War.


Research interests

A Man Could Stand Up-The Good Soldier Helena</p>

Fragmenting ModernismThere are three inter-related strands to my research profile: the work of Ford Madox Ford, scholarly editing, and the literature of the First World War.

My 2002 monograph on Ford, Fragmenting Modernism: Ford Madox Ford, the Novel and the Great War was re-released by Manchester University Press as part of its OAPEN project and is freely available to read via the link. I've edited Ford's works - you can read my introduction. to his modernist classic The Good Soldier - and also volumes of International Ford Madox Ford Studies (2005-2015). I was part of the team which produced the first critical edition of Ford's First World War tetralogy Parade’s End (1924-28), published by Carcanet Press in 2010-11. I edited volume 3, A Man Could Stand Up-. Filming of the BBC/HBO serialisation of Parade’s End (dir.Susanna White), which was scripted by Tom Stoppard, began in 2011, and a high point of that year was a visit to the set. Also in Ford studies, I co-edited the Routledge Research Companion to Ford Madox Ford (2019), a collection of essays which will inform and support related research by a new generation of scholars.

My work as a textual editor has also been published as part of Oxford University Press's project: The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh. I edited Helena, a 1950 novel about the mother of Emperor Constantine, which Waugh described as a favourite among his books. The Daily Express agreed with him, calling this, his only historical fiction, his 'best novel yet' (12 October 1950). The launch was in November 2020, and the Tablet published my piece 'Evelyn Waugh's favourite heroine' that same month. My attention as editor is now fully focused once more on Ford, however. The Complete Works of Ford Madox Ford, a series of which I am co-General Editor, is to be published by Oxford University Press. The Collected Letters of Ford Madox Ford (6 vols), the first phase of the project, is well underway and I am co-editor, with Dr Helen Chambers, of vol. 1.

My research on Ford's war fiction developed into a broader interest in the literature of the First World War and, since 2015, what I have termed 'literary caregiving' - the therapeutic deployment of books and reading 1914-18. My article, 'Reading, Trauma, and Literary Caregiving 1914-1918: Helen Mary Gaskell and the War Library', published in the Journal of Medical Humanities, is available here. Since 2018 I've presented this and related work at the Authors' Club, on BBC radio, at resarch events in UK prisons, and as part of open access OU course content in text and film, as well as to academic audiences.

My publications also include articles and book chapters on Ford, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, the Brontës, Joseph Conrad, and a co-written book on life writing.

I peer review for a number of journals and academic and trade publishers, and have served on the AHRC's Peer Review College.


Teaching interests

A230 - The Twentieth CenturyThe Poems of Thomas Hardy CD-ROM  Approaches and Territories - cover

I have written Open University teaching materials for all levels of study, from Access to PhD, and have served as Module Chair and Deputy Chair on Module Teams.

In recent years my teaching commitments have included A893 MA in English Literature, where I contributed a unit on the modernist short story, A335 Literature in Transition, for which I wrote material on Ford's The Good Soldier; and A230 Reading and Studying Literature, where my teaching units focused on James Joyce's Dubliners. I co-edited The Twentieth Century, pictured above left, for Bloomsbury while A230 was in production. I have also written teaching material for many other modules across all levels of the English and Creative Writing curriculum, including A215 Creative Writing; A150 Voices and Texts; EA300 Children’s Literature, and A300 Twentieth-Century Literature: Texts and Debates. I was Chair of the Start Writing suite of modules, including Start Writing Fiction (A174), and Start Writing Poetry (A175) from 2008-2012 and wrote teaching material for Start Writing Essays (A172). I have written teaching material supporting the progress of our PhD students, and I have designed and led PhD training and development events for the department and/or the Faculty in recent years.

My most recent major teaching role (2017-2019) was Chair of the Access Module in Arts and Languages (Y031), the theme of which is Popular Protest. I relished the opportunity to work at this level of study, developing materials to ensure students are fully equipped to begin their degrees. I wrote teaching material on Jane Eyre for A112 Cultures after stepping down as Access Chair. 

Recent and current research students have undertaken PhDs on Edith Wharton, Ford Madox Ford, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, and the literature of the First World War. Informal PhD enquiries are welcomed, but please also refer to the Postgraduate section of our departmental website for further relevant information.


Impact and engagement

Ford Madox Ford 2012 conference poster Stony Stratford Ford Madox Ford lecture poster Spectator article

 In 2020-22, my major external engagement was with the BBC in my role as nominated academic for the OU on the major new series Art That Made Us. In 2015-16 I also served in this capacity for Sally Wainwright's drama To Walk Invisible, about the life and work of the Brontë sisters. A documentary film on Ford’s life and work for which I was an interviewee, It Was the Nightingale: the Unreliable Story of Ford Madox Ford, dir. Paul Lewis at Subterracon Films, had its official launch in 2017.

I have written/filmed OpenLearn material on, for example, Ford Madox Ford, the Brontës, a women's suffrage banner, and on Endell Street Military Hospital's ground-breaking war-time caregiving. The Endell Street story is a fundamental part of my literary caregiving research, and a 2018 short film about this suffragette-run military hospital is here In April 2018 I gave an invited talk at the Authors' Club, National Liberal Club, on 'Writing, Healing and the First World War'.

As the anniversaries of the First World War approached I was involved in impact and engagement activity surrounding, Parade's End, increasingly thought of as a classic and influential example of war literature. I was academic consultant and an interviewee for the Culture Show Special, ‘Who on Earth was Ford Madox Ford?’ (BBC2, 1 September, 2012), and I was academic consultant for a second BBC project, ‘The World of Parade’s End’ (BBC2, 24 August, 2012). I co-authored a magazine article in the Spectator on the BBC/HBO adaptation (18 August, 2012), and delivered talks on Ford Madox Ford as part of the South Bank ‘The Rest is Noise’ Festival and at Stony Stratford library in February and March 2013. At an open session of the Parade’s End Ford Madox Ford conference, held in London in 2012, I chaired a question-and-answer session with Susanna White, director of the Parade’s End adaptation, and Rupert Edwards, producer of the Culture Show Special

Two 2020 blogs discussed live research interests: Finding Helena and Books for Travel in a Time of Crisis: the Word Deployed by Ward and Solnit | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ( and in the print media I have had pieces published in the TLS, the Tablet and the Scotsman, as well as the Spectator.

External collaborations

As co-General Editor of The Complete Works of Ford Madox Ford, my major current external collaboration is with OUP and the members of the Editorial Board, as well as volume editors.

I was an Editorial Board member of International Ford Madox Ford Studies to 2015, and am a mamber of the Editorial Board of Last Post: a Journal of the Ford Madox Ford Society.

My external research networks include the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project team, the Medical History of the First World War network and WAR-Net, an interdisciplinary network for scholars working on war representation.

The Ford Madox Ford Society holds an annual conference, has a North American chapter, and fosters many of my research links and collaborations.


I work closely with academics in France, Italy and North America in particular in the area of Ford Studies. My current work on Ford's letters is enabling the further forging of links with academics working on similar projects in Europe more widely, New Zealand and Australia. 

Ford's papers are held at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, as well as in the New York Public Library, NYC; and much of my current work on the women who powered First World War literary caregiving is founded on links with institutions and academics in the United States.

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Book History and Bibliography Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts


Externally funded projects

The Bridge to Joyceland and Beyond: Ford Madox Ford in the Twenty-First
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Sep 201530 Apr 2016BRITAC British Academy

I have received a 5k BA/Leverhulme Small Grant for my research project: ‘The Bridge to Joyceland and Beyond: Ford Madox Ford in the Twenty-First Century’ which will involve archival work at two libraries in the US. Cornell University houses the most significant collection of Ford’s manuscripts and papers, and there I will be accessing materials related to his early life and work as I prepare a proposal for a volume of his fairy tales and develop a database of his letters. During a second trip, to the New York Public Library, I will document Ford’s final book collection, donated to the library in the 1990s. Considering how well-connected Ford was in the 1920s and 1930s, I shall be looking for significant dedications as well as marginalia as I prepare an essay on the collection for the inaugural issue of the new Ford Society Journal.


Losing and Finding Balance: Food as Fordian Diagnostic (2022)
Haslam, Sara
Last Post: A literary journal from the Ford Madox Ford Society, 1(5) (pp. 47-58)

The Hueffers and the Conrads in 1899 (2022)
Haslam, Sara
The Conradian, 47(1) (pp. 66-75)

The Case of the Missing Cromwell: Ford Madox Ford, Art, Life and Letters in 1899 (2022)
Haslam, Sara
Last Post: A literary journal from the Ford Madox Ford Society, 1, Article 5(8 & 9) (pp. 57-85)

“Medicinable Literature”: Bibliotherapy, Literary Caregiving, and the First World War (2021-12)
Haslam, Sara and King, Edmund G. C.
Literature and Medicine, 39(2) (pp. 296-318)

Reading, Trauma and Literary Caregiving 1914-1918: Helen Mary Gaskell and the War Library (2020-09)
Haslam, Sara
Journal of Medical Humanities, 41 (pp. 305-321)

No more Parades End: Ford Madox Ford’s last library and what it tells us about ‘the Tietjens saga’ (2018-06-08)
Haslam, Sara
Times Literary Supplement(6010)

Ford Madox Ford's Last Library: Details, Dedications, and Remaining Mysteries in the Berg Collection, New York (2018)
Haslam, Sara
Last Post: A literary journal from the Ford Madox Ford Society, 1(1) (pp. 1-23)

A literary intervention: writing alcohol in British literature 1915–1930 (2013)
Haslam, Sara
First World War Studies, 4(2) (pp. 219-239)

Written in blood: Family, sex and violence in Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre (2002-09)
Haslam, Sara
The English Review, 13(1) (pp. 8-11)

Modern Knowledge and Ford's Modern Novel (2000-05)
Haslam, Sara
Precursors and Aftermaths: Literature in English 1914-1945, 1(1) (pp. 49-63)

A question of knowledge: James, Ford, "The Beast in the Jungle" and A Call (2000-01)
Haslam, Sara
The Henry James Review, 21(1) (pp. 72-82)

Life writing (2009)
Haslam, Sara and Neale, Derek
ISBN : 9780415461559 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Fragmenting modernism: Ford Madox Ford, the novel and the Great War (2002-08)
Haslam, Sara
ISBN : 719060559 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, UK

The Flow of Comfort: Bibliotherapy, the History of Literary Caregiving, and the Academic Library Today (2024-04)
Haslam, Sara; Miller, Jesse and Cantwell-Jurkovic, Laureen
In: Cantwell-Jurkovic, Laureen P. ed. Intersections in Healing: Academic Libraries and the Health Humanities. Medical Library Association Books (pp. 63-82)
ISBN : 9781538171325 | Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield | Published : Lanham, Maryland, US

Ford Madox Ford (2023)
Haslam, Sara
In: Schwartz, Carol A. ed. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (pp. 1-152)
ISBN : 978-0-0286-7196-3 | Publisher : Gale | Published : Farmington Hills, MI, US

The Other in Ford's Making: Elsie, Fiction and Collaboration (2020)
Haslam, Sara
In: Brasme, Isabelle ed. Homo Duplex: Ford Madox Ford's Experience and Aesthetics of Alterity. Present Perfect (pp. 21-42)
ISBN : 9782367813431 | Publisher : PULM | Published : Montpelier, France

Editing Ford (2019-03)
Haslam, Sara; Saunders, Max and Skinner, Paul
In: Haslam, Sara; Colombino, Laura and O'Malley, Seamus eds. The Routledge Research Companion to Ford Madox Ford (pp. 441-460)
Publisher : Routledge

Ford Studies in the Twenty-first Century: Bibliography, Criticism and the Gaps on the Map (2019)
Haslam, Sara
In: Haslam, Sara; Colombino, Laura and O'Malley, Seamus eds. The Routledge Companion to Ford Madox Ford (pp. 1-22)
ISBN : 9781472427380 | Publisher : Routledge

Ford's Letters (2019)
Haslam, Sara and Saunders, Max
In: Haslam, Sara; Colombino, Laura and O'Malley, Seamus eds. The Routledge Research Companion to Ford Madox Ford (pp. 25-38)
ISBN : 9781472427380 | Publisher : Routledge

Ford and gender (2015-12-04)
Haslam, Sara
In: Chantler, Ashley and Hawkes, Rob eds. An Introduction to Ford Madox Ford (pp. 163-176)
ISBN : 978-1-4724-6908-3 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham

Dowell and Dopamine: Information, Pleasure and Plot (2015-06-02)
Haslam, Sara
In: Haslam, Sara and Saunders, Max eds. Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier: Centenary Essays (pp. 117-132)
ISBN : 9789004299177 | Publisher : Brill | Published : Leiden and Boston

Ford as Edwardian author: publishers, trends, markets (2013)
Haslam, Sara
In: Colombino, Laura and Saunders, Max eds. The Edwardian Ford Madox Ford. International Ford Madox Ford Studies (12) (pp. 35-48)
ISBN : 9789042037021 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : Amsterdam/New York

“The moaning of the world” and the “words that bring me peace”: Modernism and the First World War (2012-03)
Haslam, Sara
In: Piette, Adam and Rawlinson, Mark eds. The Edinburgh Companion to British and American War Literature (pp. 47-57)
ISBN : 9780748638741 | Publisher : Edinburgh University Press | Published : Edinburgh

Introduction: "Dreaming Territory" (2012)
Haslam, Sara
In: Haslam, Sara and O'Malley, Seamus eds. Ford Madox Ford and America. International Ford Madox Ford Studies (11) (pp. 17-44)
ISBN : 978-90-420-3566-9 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : Amsterdam

Ford Madox Ford (2010-12)
Haslam, Sara
In: Shaffer, Brian ed. The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Fiction
Publisher : Wiley-Blackwell

'To Cook, or to Paint, in Paris? Ford in Colour' (2009)
Haslam, Sara
In: Colombino, Laura ed. Ford Madox Ford and Visual Culture. International Ford Madox Ford Studies (pp. 85-97)
ISBN : 9789042026353 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : Amsterdam; New York

Wessex, literary pilgrims and Thomas Hardy (2009)
Haslam, Sara
In: Watson, Nicola ed. Literary Tourism and Nineteenth-Century Culture (pp. 164-175)
ISBN : 9780230222816 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke

Making a text the Fordian way: Between St Dennis and St George, propaganda and the first world war (2007-07)
Haslam, Sara
In: Hammond, Mary and Towheed, Shafquat eds. Publishing in the First World War: Essays in Book History (pp. 202-214)
ISBN : 9780230500761 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke, UK

The prophet and the sceptic: George Eliot and Ford Madox Ford (2007)
Haslam, Sara
In: Skinner, Paul ed. Ford Madox Ford's Literary Contacts. International Ford Madox Ford Studies (pp. 49-62)
ISBN : 9789042022485 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : Amsterdam and New York

England and Englishness: Ford's first trilogy (2006)
Haslam, Sara
In: Brown, Dennis and Plastow, Jenny eds. Ford Madox Ford and Englishness. International Ford Madox Ford Studies (5) (pp. 47-62)
ISBN : 978-90-420-2053-5 | Publisher : Rodopi

Ford Madox Ford: the good soldier (2006)
Haslam, Sara
In: Bradshaw, David and Dettmar, Kevin J. H. eds. A Companion to Modernist Literature and Culture. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture (pp. 350-357)
ISBN : 9780631204350 | Publisher : Blackwell Publishing | Published : Oxford, UK

Anton Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard (2005)
Haslam, Sara
In: Brown, Richard and Gupta, Suman eds. Aestheticism and Modernism: Debating Twentieth-Century Literature 1900-1960 (pp. 19-67)
ISBN : 415351685 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Portraits of Cities: Ford Madox Ford; Three Essays from an Unfinished Work; (2005)
Haslam, Sara and Saunders, Max
In: Haslam, Sara ed. Ford Madox Ford and the City. International Ford Madox Ford Studies (4) (pp. 211-234)
ISBN : 978-90-420-1717-7 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : New York/London

Ford's training (2003-11)
Haslam, Sara
In: Hampson, Robert and Saunders, Max eds. Ford Madox Ford's Modernity. International Ford Madox Ford Studies (pp. 35-46)
ISBN : 9042011874 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : Amsterdam/New York, USA

An 'Historian's Methods'?: Between St Dennis and St George and the Language of Propaganda (2002)
Haslam, Sara
In: Fortunati, Vita and Lamberti, Elena eds. Ford Madox Ford and "The Republic of Letters" (pp. 41-50)
ISBN : 8849119283 | Publisher : CLUEB | Published : Bologna, Italy

The Complete Works Evelyn Waugh: Helena. Volume 11 (2020-11-05)
Waugh, Evelyn
Haslam, Sara ed.
The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh
ISBN : 9780199685240 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : UK

The Routledge Research Companion to Ford Madox Ford (2018-12-07)
Haslam, Sara; Colombino, Laura and O'Malley, Seamus eds.
Routledge Research Companions
ISBN : 9781472427380 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London and New York

Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier: Centenary Essays (2015)
Saunders, Max and Haslam, Sara eds.
International Ford Madox Ford Studies
ISBN : 9789004299160 | Publisher : Brill | Published : Leiden and Boston

The Twentieth Century (2012-02)
Haslam, Sara and Asbee, Sue eds.
Reading and Studying Literature
ISBN : 9781849666206 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : London

Ford Madox Ford and America (2012)
Haslam, Sara and O'Malley, Seamus eds.
International Ford Madox Ford Studies
ISBN : 978-90-420-3566-9 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : Amsterdam

A Man Could Stand Up- by Ford Madox Ford (2011)
Haslam, Sara ed.
Parade's End
ISBN : 9781847770141 | Publisher : Carcanet | Published : Manchester

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (2010)
Haslam, Sara
Haslam, Sara ed.
ISBN : 9781840226539 | Publisher : Wordsworth Editions | Published : Ware, Hertfordshire

Ford Madox Ford and the city (2005)
Haslam, Sara ed.
International Ford Madox Ford Studies
ISBN : 9042017171 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : Amsterdam, Netherlands

A New Era: Magic, Meaning, Memory and Modernism in Ford Madox Ford's Letters (2023)
Haslam, Sara
In : Ford Madox Ford: at the dawn of an era (9-10 Nov 2023, School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon)

Biography of a wartime 'miracle': women's literary caregiving 1914 to 1918 (2022)
Haslam, Sara
In : 3rd Joint GOTH-Health & Wellbeing NetWorkshop (3 Feb 2022, Online)

'These fragments I have shored against my ruins': Memory and Modernism (2002)
Haslam, Sara
In : Modernism and the Individual Talent: Re-Canonizing Ford Madox Ford (25-27 Jun 1999, Munster, Westphalia, Germany)

Contested Ground: alcohol, attachment, and the hut habit at war (2015-06-11)
Haslam, Sara
University College, Dublin. Humanities Institute

England and the English (2003-11-01)
Ford, Madox Ford
Carcanet Press, Manchester, UK.