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Dr Karen Stockham

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

01752 636888 Ext:2088

Karen Stockham

Role Summary



My PhD is in English (Mountaineering Literature) and I teach across the fields of Education Management and Outdoor Education.

I also hold Masters' degrees in English, Sociology and Education and a postgraduate qualification in Management.


I have an inter-disciplinary teaching background which reflects my wide-ranging and eclectic interests. Before coming to Plymouth Marjon University I taught on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in English Literature, Leisure Studies, Youth & Community Work, Sociology and Women's Studies at various UK universities.


My research background is inter-disciplinary and encompasses Leisure Studies, English Literature, Education and Sociology. I currently write and publish in the field of Auto/Biography in Mountaineering. My research interests include women's unpublished mountaineering literature (diaries, letters, correspondence). I am currently researching the nature of the 'feminine stamp' in mountaineering literature, exploring the myriad ways in which women write their relationship to mountaineering.

Previous research has included:

  • Researching biodiversity in the Yorkshire Dales and Dartmoor National Parks
  • Collaborative research into young disabled people and school sport
  • National Lottery funding (clothing for disabled young people)
  • Comparative research on New Zealand women educators


Recent Publications:

2016: 'Sylvia Ashton Warner: Sylvia: Who is She'? in Sparkes, Andrew (Ed. 2016) Auto/Biography Yearbook pub. Russell Press, Nottingham

2016: 'The Feminine Stamp in Women's Mountain Travel' in Stearns, McKenzie Precious (Ed. 2016) Women Rewriting Boundaries: Victorian Women Travel Writers pub. Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle

2015: '80 years on- a celebration of Dorothy Pilley's Climbing Days'. Alpine Club Journal, 2015

Recent Conference Papers

Summer 2016: A comparative study of women New Zealand authors. Auto/Biography Conference, Wolfson College, Oxford

Summer 2015; 'The feminine stamp: women's mountaineering literature'. Mountains Initiative Conference, University of Alberta, Canada

July 2015: 'Educating Dorothy': Mountaineering as women's education', Auto/Biography Conference, Dartington Hall

December 2014, British Library; 'From our correspondents': mountaineers at war 1914-1918

October 2014, 'Women's Mountaineering Literature' Sodertorn Univerisity, Stockholm

2014 'Home is Just another range of mountains', Wolfson College, Oxford

2012 'Autobiography in Mountaineering Literature' for the University of Newcastle's 'Moving Dangerously' conference

Expert Membership of professional bodies

  • International Auto/Biography Association
  • Higher Education Academy (Fellowship)
  • Auto/Biography Study Group, BSA

Roles on external bodies

Chair of Governors, South Devon College (2016-current)

Trustee, St Luke's Foundation (2012-2017)

Other Interests

I started collecting mountaineering literature 30 years ago and now have an extensive private library of mountaineering and alpine literature.  I have always been adventurous and can include rock-climbing, caving & potholing, mountain-biking and touring cycling among my outdoor interests.  

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