My research centres around nineteenth-century fiction. I am interested in the relationship between literature, space, and architecture -- in particular, the ways in which fiction articulates urban and domestic experience. I also work on theories of authorship, the development of the novel, and the global histories of reading. My first book, Charles Dickens and the Properties of Fiction: The Lodger World, was published in 2020 by OUP. It explores the significance of tenancy in the literary imagination: drawing on Dickens's novels and journalism, it reveals how rented spaces (such as lodgings and boarding-houses) might complicate our understanding of the cosy Victorian home. My new project asks what it means to feel at home in a book; it is about the practice of re-reading, from the nineteenth century to the present.
I am a trustee of the Dickens Society (to 2024) and serve on the editorial board of Dickens Quarterly.
At Pembroke, 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-, twentieth-, and twenty first-century literature and culture. I give lectures at the Faculty on Victorian literature and space (covering the city, home, factory, exhibition, asylum, and prison), detective fiction, world literature in the nineteenth century, and Austen. At Masters level, I offer a C-Course option on the city in the long nineteenth century.
I am very interested in object-based teaching and enjoy working with museum curators, introducing our students to Oxford's rich collections.