About Us
Carol Acton
Carol Acton
Department of English

PhD, Queen's University

MA, University of Kent at Canterbury

BA Honours, Trinity College (Dublin)




SH 2201
Image of Carol Acton

My PhD thesis was on First World War British poetry. Since then I have worked on gender and war and more broadly on subjective experiences as they are represented in life-writings, especially examining war and grief and war and trauma. My teaching areas include modern British literature, women’s writing, and autobiography/life-writing and Communications in Mathematics and Computer Science.


I have recently completed a book on medical personnel and war trauma from the First World War to the War in Iraq, which is to be published by Manchester University Press (with Dr Jane Potter). I have also edited a Second World War Irish nurse’s diary which was published by Orion Press (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). Both projects relate to my research interests in war and life-writing.

Continuing my interest in the subjective experience and the use of language to articulate emotion, I have recently begun working on exchanges of letters between couples during the First World War and have presented conference papers on this topic. I continue to focus my work on Ireland and personal experiences of the two world wars.


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.



British War Nursing: The Crimea to the Second World War, Introduction and edited collection of facsimile text primary sources on British women’s war nursing from the Crimea to the Second World War, Women and WarRoutledge History of Feminism Series, (Routledge, 2020)


(with Dr. Jane Potter) Working in a World of Hurt: Trauma and Resilience in the Narratives of Medical Personnel in Warzones. Manchester University Press, 2015.


(ed.) A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime by Mary Morris. Wiedenfeld & Nicolson, 2014.



(With Dr. Jane Potter) ‘“Sticking it”: resilience in the life-writing of medical personnel in the First World War’ in Rethinking Resilience, edited by Leo Van Bergen (Brill, 2020)


‘“The Delightful Sense of Personal Contact That Your Letter Aroused”:  Letters and Intimate Lives in the First World War’, in Landscapes and Voices of the Great War, edited by Angela K. Smith and Krista Cowman, (Routledge: 2017)  


‘Their wounds gape at me’: First World War nursing accounts and the politics of injury’ in ‘Living War/Thinking Peace edited by Bruna Bianchi and Geraldine Ludbrook (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016)


'"Kitchener's Tourists""Voices from Great War Hospital Ships' in The Great War: From Memory to History. Jonathan Vance ed. (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015.


"Negotiating injury and masculinity in First World War nurses’ Writing’ in First World War Nursing: Visions and Revisions. Alison Fell, Christine Hallett, eds. (Routledge, 2013)    



“You Yourself are Here Now Looking Over my Shoulder As I Write”: Emotional Dialogue and the Construction of a Shared Intimate Space In the First World War Letters. L’ Atelier, Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)


(with Dr Jane Potter) “‘These frightful sights would work havoc in one’s brain’: subjective experience and trauma in First World War writings by medical personnel.” Literature and Medicine 30.1 (2012): 61-85.




St. Jerome’s University Research Grant (2004-2005/2005-2006/2008-2009/2009-2010/2014-2015)

UWaterloo SSHRC 4A grant (2009-2010/2010-2011/2012-2013)



Oxford Brookes University Institute for Historical and Cultural Research (IHCR) Visiting Research Fellow (2009)


ENGL 101A: Introduction to Literary Studies

ENGL/GSJ 108E: Gender and Representation

ENGL 108X: Literature and Medicine

ARTS 130: Inquiry and Communication [Topic: Medicine, Society, & the Self]
ENGL 206: Writing Lives

ENGL/GSJ 208E: Women's Writing
ENGL 251A: Criticism 1
ENGL 460B: Literature of the Modernist Period in the United Kingdom and Ireland
ENGL 780: Studies in Genre


War in literature and life-writing


Modern British writers, especially non-canonical women writers


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.



St. Jerome's University

Acting Chair of English Department (January 1-June 30, 2021)

Chair of English Department (2012-2015)

Vice president and Academic Dean Search Committee

Academic Committee

Library Committee/Library Review Committee

Renewal, Promotion and Tenure Committee

ENGL Lecturer positions (2) - Chair of hiring committee

Invitational letters to prospective students


University of Waterloo

St. Jerome's University Representative ENGL/Speech Com/Renison Math Committee (Ongoing)

St. Jerome's University Representative Math/Communication Committee (Ongoing)

St. Jerome's University Representative  DSP Committee (Committee responsible for deciding on web content for student online sign up for Math communication courses) (Ongoing)

Hagey Lecture Committee (Ongoing)

St. Jerome's University Representative English Undergraduate Committee meeting as needed—(as Chair)

English Graduate Committee (January-June 2015)

Geoff Keelan PhD thesis committee: Internal-External (UW/SJU) ‘Henri Bourassa, Quebec and the First world War’ (defence January 21 2015)

English 251A exam prize joint adjudicator