You are here

  1. Home
  2. Professor Lynda Prescott

Professor Lynda Prescott


Lynda Prescott photo

Profile summary

Professional biography

My links to the Open University go back to 1977 when I enrolled as a student on an education course after taking my first degree, in English Studies, at the University of Nottingham. I subsequently became a part-time postgraduate research student at the OU: my doctoral thesis was on fiction and history in the work of V.S.Naipaul.

I taught in the University of Nottingham's Adult Education Department before taking up a lectureship at the University of Bradford's Department of Interdisciplinary Human Studies in 1994. I became an OU Staff Tutor in 2000, served as head of the Department of English (2011-2015) and was the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences's first Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching Innovation) from 2016 until my retirement at the end of 2018. I continue my links with the University as Emeritus Professor, including work with Open University Validation Partnerships (OUVP).

Research interests

My early interests in the relationship between fictional and nonfictional narratives have led me into the wider field of book history and reading practices. In terms of period, most of my work has focused on nineteenth and twentieth century literature. I have supervised doctoral theses on Thomas Hardy, Lionel Britton, Louis MacNeice, J.G.Farrell and James Boswell.

During my time at the Open University, I have become increasingly interested in e-learning, and the scholarship of teaching and learning more broadly. In 2013-14 I was awarded a Teaching Development Grant from the Higher Education Academy for a project on ‘Fostering academic integrity via online collaborative writing’, and in 2014-15 I led an OU team working on the theme of engaged student learning as part of the HEA's Strategic Enhancement Programme.  I am a member of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and have contributed to ISSOTL conferences in Hamilton, Ontario (2012) and Lund, Sweden (2017).


Recent publications include:
'Small Presses and Little Magazines: A Print Culture Perspective on Modernism' in Yearbook of English Studies, vol.50, Back to the Twenties: Modernism Then and Now, ed. Paul Poplawski (MHRA, 2020)
'Digital Futures' (with Ann Hewings) in English: Shared Futures, ed. Robert Eaglestone and Gail Marshall for the English Association (D.S.Brewer, 2018) 
'The Short Story Anthology: shaping the canon,' in The Cambridge History of the English Short Story, ed. Dominic Head (Cambridge University Press, 2016)
Futures for English Studies: Teaching Language, Literature and Creative Writing in Higher Education, co-edited with Ann Hewings and Philip Seargeant (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
'Using collaboration to foster academic integrity', Open Learning, vol.31, no.2 (2016)

Teaching interests

Amongst the materials I have written for OU modules are chapters on Kipling, Conrad, Pat Barker and Dickens. As a spin-off from writing about Dickens for a level 1 module, for the Dickens bi-centenary in 2012 I was academic consultant for an itunes album focusing on Dickens’ public readings. I edited a volume of short stories, A World of Difference, for the long-running level 1 module, The Arts Past and Present (AA100), and chaired two more indisciplinary level 1 modules, Voices and Texts (A150) and then the expanded Voices, Texts and Material Culture (A105). I was academic editor of Realities 1800-1870, the first book of Literature in transition: from 1800 to the present (A335), and wrote a chapter on Dickens's A Christmas Carol for Discovering the Arts and Humanities (A111). I received an OU individual Teaching Award in 2012 and became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016. Follow-on developments in teaching and scholarship from the HEA engaged student learning project in 2014-15 led to a team OU Teaching Award for Innovative Scholarship (2019).

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Postcolonial Literatures Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts


[Book review] Sarah Wasserman, The Death of Things: Ephemera and the American Novel (2021-05-05)
Prescott, Lynda
Literature & History, 30(1) (pp. 97-99)

Using collaboration to foster academic integrity (2016-06-01)
Prescott, Lynda
Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 31(2) (pp. 152-162)

‘Hard Times and history’ (2013)
Prescott, Lynda
The English Review, 23(4) (pp. 6-9)

Life writing and life-learning: an analysis of creative writing students' work (2012)
Prescott, Lynda
Studies in Continuing Education, 34(2) (pp. 145-147)

How to read a short story (2010)
Prescott, Lynda
The English Review, 20(4) (pp. 32-34)

Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy: fiction and history (2008)
Prescott, Lynda
The English Review, 19(2) (pp. 17-20)

Encounters with Conrad: self-experience and narrativity (2006)
Prescott, Lynda
Life Writing, 3(2) (pp. 79-96)

Evelyn Waugh, Morris, and the ideal of craftsmanship (2005)
Prescott, Lynda
Journal of William Morris Studies, XVI(2-3) (pp. 80-91)

Autobiography as evasion: Joseph Conrad's 'A Personal Record' (2004-10)
Prescott, Lynda
Journal of Modern Literature, 28(1) (pp. 177-188)

The Indian Connection in J.G.Farrell's 'Troubles' (2003-08)
Prescott, Lynda
Irish Studies Review, 11(2) (pp. 165-173)

'Coming to London' in the 1950s (2002)
Prescott, Lynda
Wasafiri(35) (pp. 19-23)

Small Presses and Little Magazines: a Print Culture Perspective on Modernism (2020-07-31)
Prescott, Lynda
In: Poplawski, Paul ed. Yearbook of English Studies (pp. 13-28)
ISBN : 978-1-781889-88-6 | Publisher : Modern Humanities Research Association

Digital Futures (2018-11-30)
Hewings, Ann and Prescott, Lynda
In: Eaglestone, Robert and Marshall, Gail eds. English: Shared Futures. The English Association: Essays and Studies (pp. 100-108)
ISBN : 978-1-84384-516-4 | Publisher : Boydell & Brewer Ltd | Published : Cambridge

The Short Story Anthology: Shaping the Canon (2016-11-14)
Prescott, Lynda
In: Head, Dominic ed. The Cambridge History of the English Short Story (pp. 564-580)
ISBN : 9781107167421 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge

Introduction: Futures for English Studies (2016-01)
Prescott, Lynda; Hewings, Ann and Seargeant, Philip
In: Hewings, Ann; Prescott, Lynda and Seargeant, Philip eds. Futures for English Studies: Teaching Language, Literature and Creative Writing (pp. 1-8)
ISBN : 978-1-137-43178-3 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmilan | Published : Basingstoke

Greene, Waugh, and the Lure of Travel (2008-07)
Prescott, Lynda
In: Hammond, Mary and Fraser, Robert eds. Books Without Borders: The Cross-national Dimension in Print Culture (pp. 147-158)
ISBN : 978-0-230-21029-5 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : UK

Pat Barker's vanishing boundaries (2005-08-17)
Prescott, Lynda
In: Bentley, Nick ed. British Fiction of the 1990s (pp. 167-178)
ISBN : 415342562 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK

Joseph Conrad (2003-12-30)
Prescott, Lynda
In: Poplawski, Paul ed. Encyclopedia of Literary Modernism (pp. 51-58)
ISBN : 313310173 | Publisher : Greenwood Press | Published : Westport, Connecticut and London

Anthropology (2003-12-30)
Prescott, Lynda
In: Poplawski, Paul ed. Encyclopedia of Literary Modernism (pp. 11-13)
ISBN : 0-313-31017-3 | Publisher : Greenwood Press | Published : USA and UK

Colonialism and Postcolonialism (2003-12-30)
Prescott, Lynda
In: Poplawski, Paul ed. Encyclopedia of Literary Modernism (pp. 49-51)
ISBN : 0-313-31017-3 | Publisher : Greenwood Press | Published : USA & UK

The Masses (2003-12-30)
Prescott, Lynda
In: Poplawski, Paul ed. Encyclopedia of Literary Modernism (pp. 261-262)
ISBN : 0 313 31017 3 | Publisher : Gfreenwood Press | Published : USA and UK

Futures for English Studies: Teaching language, literature and creative writing in Higher Education (2016-01)
Hewings, Ann; Prescott, Lynda and Seargeant, Philip eds.
ISBN : 978-1-137-43180-6 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke

A World of Difference - An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents (2008-07)
Prescott, Lynda ed.
ISBN : 9780230202085 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : US

Reviewing three case-studies of learning analytics interventions at the open university UK (2016-04-25)
Rienties, Bart; Boroowa, Avinash; Cross, Simon; Farrington-Flint, Lee; Herodotou, Christothea; Prescott, Lynda; Mayles, Kevin; Olney, Tom; Toetenel, Lisette and Woodthorpe, John
In : Sixth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK '16 ) (25-29 Apr 2016, Edinburgh) (pp. 534-535)

Reading V.S. Naipaul : fiction and history 1967-1987 (1990)
Prescott, Lynda
PhD thesis The Open University