Professor Bilston's research focuses on literature of the British Victorian period, particularly fiction and prose non-fiction by women. Her first academic book, The Awkward Age in Women’s Popular Fiction, 1850-1900: Girls and the Transition to Womanhood, was published in 2004 by Oxford University Press. Her new book, Speaking of Suburbia: The Victorian Suburbs in Literature and Culture, will be published by Yale University Press in 2018. Professor Bilston has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and two novels, Bed Rest (published in 2006 in nine languages) and Sleepless Nights (2009).
Professor Bilston teaches a wide range of courses in Victorian literature, from the 200 level (“Victorian Short Fiction”) to the 400/800 level (““British Literature of the 1890s"). A new area of interest is the writing of J.K. Rowling; Professor Bilston taught a First Year Seminar in 2016 entitled “Harry Potter’s Literary Past.”
She received the Thomas Church Brownell Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2017.