Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
Co-ordinator of the Northern Bridge doctoral funding competition for the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics.
Mondays 11-1 and Thursdays 10-11.
I specialise in modern and contemporary literature and critical theory, particularly trauma studies, memory studies, gender studies, and psychoanalysis. More recently, I have developed interests in the medical humanities and in literature and human rights.
In trauma studies, I have published the monograph Trauma Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2004), which was translated into Chinese in 2011 (trans. Li Ming, Henan University Press). In this study I analysed a then emergent genre within contemporary fiction and explored how a range of novelists responded to the challenge of writing traumatic narratives. I have also co-edited with J. J. Long W. G. Sebald - A Critical Companion (Edinburgh University Press, 2004), which was the first English language collection of essays on Sebald's writing. I have, in addition, published on trauma and literature in a range of leading international journals, including Modern Fiction Studies, Textual Practice, and Contemporary Literature.
In memory studies, I have published the monograph Memory: New Critical Idiom (Routledge, 2008). This volume traced the concept of memory in Western thought, underlining important shifts in memory discourse over time. Running counter to a historical narrative, I also threaded through the volume three key motifs or 'idioms' of memory, namely inscription, spatial metaphors, and body memory. I have also co-edited with Michael Rossington and contributing editors Theories of Memory: A Reader (Edinburgh University Press, 2007), which was the first critical reader in the field of memory studies.
I am currently preparing my next monograph, Medicine and Empathy in Contemporary British Fiction, which is contracted to Edinburgh University Press.
I am also general editor with Angela Woods (Durham University) of the Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities (Edinburgh University Press). The associate editors are Sarah Atkinson (Durham University), Jane Macnaughton (Durham University), and Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University).
I am interested in supervising postgraduates in the following areas: postwar British fiction; trauma and literature; literatures and theories of memory and forgetting; medicine, health and modern literature; literature and war; literature and genocide; literature and human rights. I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD and MLitt (Masters by research) students and postdoctoral researchers.
I have supervised to completion seven PhDs, all of which have passed with no or minor corrections:
I am currently supervising an AHRC funded PhD project on the myth of coming of age in contemporary fictions of the First World War.
I have acted as external examiner for PhDs at Sheffield University, Durham University, the University of St Andrews, and Vaasa University in Finland.
Edinburgh University (2013); Centre for Irish Studies, Catholic University of Leuven (2012); University of Lincoln (2012); University of Zurich (2011); Centre for Literature and Trauma, University of Ghent (2011); University of Mainz (2010); University of Vienna (2010); University of St Andrews (2010); Cambridge University (2009); Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Durham (2009).
AHRC Research Leave Award (2006-2007); AHRC Research Leave Award (2002-2003); British Academy Small Research Grant (2001).
I have assessed funding bids for the following external bodies: AHRC, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society, Newton Fellowships, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Council of Canada, the Flemish Research Council (FWO) Vlaanderen, the Research Council of KU Leuven.
I am on the editorial board for the Journal of Trauma and Literature. I am also on the advisory board for the AHRC funded Memory Network.
I am a member of the UK and Ireland Association of the Medical Humanities, the Contemporary Women's Writing Association, and the research network War-Net. Regionally, I am also a member of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research and the Northern Theory School.
I see my teaching to be closely informed by and in a mutually enriching relationship with my research.
My specialist stage 3 module is SEL3356, Madness, Medicine and Modern Literature, which emerges out of my research interests in the intersection between medicine and the modern novel. These interests are also reflected in the Student Selected Component, Literature, Writing and Medicine, that I co-convene with Professor Richard Thomson for stage 4 students in the Faculty of Medicine.
My research specialism in post-war fiction contributes to my co-teaching on the stage 2 module SEL2206, Class, Nation, Identity, and also on the stage 1 modules SEL1003 Introduction to Literary Studies I and SEL1023 Transformations.
At Masters level, my teaching is focused around my research interests in memory, trauma and war, and I contribute a unit on 'Remembering the Holocaust' to the team-taught module 'Time II' on the MA in Modern and Contemporary Studies.