My research centres around nineteenth-century fiction and journalism. I’m interested in the city, space and architecture, the intersections between economics and literature, ‘everyday life’ theory, material culture, and the development of the novel.
My doctoral thesis explored the significance of tenancy in the literary imagination, and discussed the ways in which rented spaces – lodgings, boarding-houses, inns, hotels – might complicate our understanding of the cosy Victorian home. Though its primary focus was on Charles Dickens, the thesis also considered his relationship with his contemporaries. Writing about the idiosyncrasies of the property market gave these figures a chance to write about writing – for example, to think about questions of genre, character and style, and to come to terms with the nature of their own collaborations. My next research project will build on my interest in literary self-consciousness; it’s on the history, theory and practice of re-reading.
At Wadham, I work with students on Prelims Papers 1B (Approaches to Literature), 3 (1830-1910), and 4 (1910-Present Day). I also teach FHS Paper 5 (1760-1830) and supervise undergraduate dissertations on aspects of nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture.
At Masters level, I offer a C-Course option on the city in the long nineteenth century.
I enjoy collaborating with museum curators in undergraduate teaching, introducing students to the rich collections in Oxford and beyond. I’m an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
I’ve been involved in outreach and access activities for a number of years, and am always eager to hear about new opportunities to engage with schools.