Thesis Title: The representation of the composer in the nineteenth-century novel
Supervisor: Prof. Susan Jones
My thesis spans the nineteenth century, taking in primarily English-language novels (George Eliot's Daniel Deronda and George du Maurier's Trilby) with supplementary material from across Europe. My range of critical approaches includes celebrity theory, nationalism, Orientalism and studies of Jewishness, gender, theories of genius, and evolution and degeneration. My approach is interdisciplinary, combining literary criticism with musicology, employing an understanding of music both as an aesthetic force within the novel and as a historical context interacting with the production of the novel.
In 2020, I spoke at conferences organised by the Victorian Popular Fictions Association, the Word and Music Association Forum, and the AHRC Open-Oxford-Cambridge DTP; on the topics of late-nineteenth-century female composer novels, the interaction between the music and writing of Ethel Smyth, and memorial texts about Frédéric Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn.
In 2021, I have presented research on Romantic reputations in romans a clef featuring composers in mid-nineteenth-century France, 'queer listening' in late-nineteenth-century novels, eclecticism and the popular/classical divide in Trilby, and a comparative study of the valorisation of music in British national culture in the late nineteenth century and present day (with particular consideration of the role of nationalism in the wake of Brexit).
At Oxford, I have led seminars and tutorials on Prelims Paper 3: Literature in English 1830-1910. In Michaelmas term 2021, I will be a graduate teaching assistant on the FHS Paper 6 module Writing Lives.