My research is interdisciplinary, located in the intersection between literature, feminist history and economic history in the long nineteenth century. I am interested in the novel as a genre, the genealogy of feminism, ideas of history, and the relationship between politics and faith. Recently my work has taken a transatlantic turn, focusing on the way in which Britain responded to the idea of American democracy in a range of literary and visual forms.
BA, MA, PhD (London)
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007-10)
Standing Advisory Editor, Oxford Bibliographies Online
Editorial Board, Gaskell Journal
Editorial Board, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century
Editorial Board, Victorian Newsletter
British Association for Victorian Studies
North American Association for Victorian Studies
The Gaskell Society
Currently I am hard at work completing my book, Commerce Between the Sexes: Feminism and Political Economy in Industrial Fiction, 1832-1855. At the same time, along with my co-editor, Ruth Livesey (Royal Holloway, London), I am putting the finishing touches to The American Experiment and the Idea of Democracy in British Culture, 1776-1914, a collection for Ashgate’s new Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies Series that will include my own essay, ‘Dickens, Democracy and Spit’. I am also co-convener of the Malthus Reading Group, held at King’s College London – a venture which arose out of my British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship project, which considers the impact of Malthusian thinking in economic fictions by women in the long nineteenth century. A further spin-off from this project will be a conference to be held here at Newcastle next year, provisionally titled ‘Taking Liberties: Sex, Pleasure, Coercion’.
I welcome applications from postgraduate research students who wish to work on the relationship between sex, desire and money in nineteenth-century fiction, on literature’s engagement with political, historical and religious ideas, on nineteenth-century women’s writing in all its forms, on the transatlantic reception of texts and ideas, or on Victorian feminism. I am interested in research projects focusing on Victorian novelists such as Elizabeth Gaskell, the Brontës, Charles Dickens, George Gissing, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman (particularly those that take an interdisciplinary approach).
SEL1003: Introduction to Literary Studies 1
SEL1011: Introduction to Literary Theory
SEL2204: Victorian Passions
SEL3033: Victorian Literature: Fictions of Wealth and Poverty
SEL3327: Extended Study
I am currently Degree Programme Director for the MA in Literary Studies: Writing, Memory, Culture and teach on the core course, Reading the Past, as well as supervise dissertations. In Autumn 2011, this programme is being relaunched as the MA in English Literature 1500-1900. Click here for further details: MA in English Literature 1500-1900
I am supervisor to two postgraduate students:
Harriet Briggs, The Value of Laughter: Charlotte Brontë and the Comic Spirit, 1830- 1860 (AHRC funded)
Hellen Giblin-Jowett, Perfume, Smell, Smelling and ‘Psychological Aesthetics’ in Supernatural Fictions of the Fin de Siècle