I began working at Liverpool John Moores University in 2017. Before this, I was a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds for three years, during which time I taught undergraduate and MA courses in Victorian and Modern literature. Prior to that I lived in the US for seven years where I taught at a number of liberal arts colleges in Southern California, including a role as Visiting Lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Humanities at Scripps College in Claremont. I received my PhD from the University of Manchester.
At LJMU, I currently teach the following courses:
- Digital Victorians: Investigating the Victorians in the 21st Century (Level 4)
- Literature in Context: Britain in the 1950s (Level 4)
- Our House: The Representation of Domestic Space in Contemporary Culture (Level 6)
My main research interests are in representations of domestic, urban and maritime space; cultural histories of housing from the nineteenth century to the present; the historical relations between narrative form, autobiography and the writing of selves and communities. I have recently published a monograph, Housing, Class and Gender in Modern British Writing, 1880-2012 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) which aims to challenge received ideas about the meaning of home and the interior by turning to explore the social and aesthetic significance of ‘housing stories’ from the Victorian period to the modern day (with a focus on working-class domestic space). My interest in the politics of space and literary form across this period have led me to look more recently at other places of shared shelter and improvised hospitality, from sailors’ homes in Victorian port cities such as Liverpool and London, to portrayals of temporary accommodation in recent fiction and film concerning asylum seekers and refugees.
I have been a member of the editorial board of Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism since 2014.
In 2015 and 2016 I worked on a number of collaborative, cross-disciplinary research grants funded by the AHRC Connected Communities programme with a focus on community engagement and participatory methods.
Housing, Class and Gender in Modern British Writing, 1880-2012 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).
‘Leave to Remain: Bedsits, B&Bs and Borders in Contemporary Fictions of Asylum’, in Chiara Briganti and Kathy Mezei (eds), Living with Strangers (London: Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming).
‘Private Lives, Social Housing: Female Coming-Of-Age Stories on the British Council Estate,’ Contemporary Women’s Writing, 7:3 (2013), 328-45.
‘“Home is home be it never so homely”: Reading Mid-Victorian Slum Interiors’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 18:3 (2013), 368-386.
‘The Order of Things Past: Ciaran Carson’s Autobiographical Bricolage’, Life Writing, 3:1 (2006), 17-38.
Selected conference papers and presentations
‘Beyond Hosts and Guests: Co-Production and Questions of Hospitality in Practice Research’, with The Hospitality Project, TaPRA Conference, University of Bristol, Sept 2016.
‘At Home in the World? Sailors’ Homes, Port Cities, and Melville’s Redburn‘, Victorian World Literatures Conference, University of Warwick, May 2016.
‘Spaces of Co-Production: Reflections on Working with Community Organisations and Architects’, with Dr Lisa Procter (University of Sheffield) and Gemma Nash (Venture Arts), Changing the Future Research Landscape?, University of East Anglia, March 2016.
‘Hospitality Praxis: Problematising the Power Relations of Co-production Through the Arts of Hospitality’, with Dr Naomi Millner and Dr Alison Jeffers, Cultural Studies Association Conference, University of Riverside, California, May 2015
‘The Use of Domestic Evidence in the Production of Urban Knowledge: Henry Mayhew’s Morning Chronicle Investigation’, Urban History Group Conference: Urban Knowledge, University of Wolverhampton, March 2015
Co-organiser of ‘Gender, Space and Architecture’ panel, Is Gender Still Relevant?, British Academy event, September 2014, University of Bradford.
‘Unreliable Narration and the British Country House’, The Country House in Britain, 1914-2014 Conference, University of Newcastle, June 2014
‘At Home with Strangers: The Social Space of the Boarding-House in Postwar British Fiction’, invited paper, research seminar, Nottingham Trent University, March 2014
‘Secret Spheres: Images of Home Work in Mid-Victorian Dwellings’, Domestic Imaginaries Conference, University of Nottingham, February 2014