I joined UvA in 2017 as Assistant Professor in English Literature. Previously I taught Victorian literature at Cardiff University (2015-16) and various courses at the University of Manchester, where I also completed my BA (2007), MA (2010) and PhD (2014). My research has focused mainly on modernity, cities, vision, space and architecture in the nineteenth century. I am currently working on a monograph based on my PhD research, Invisible Architecture: Rethinking Urban Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Literature, which discusses Gaskell, Dickens, Zola and others. I have published on Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Benjamin Disraeli, Charles Kingsley, Margaret Oliphant, Victorian childhood, Rem Koolhaas, and Walter Benjamin, among other topics.
My next major project is provisionally titled Spatialising Money in Modern Literature and Culture: 1800 to the Present. It will look at the interaction between money and space in authors including Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Margaret Oliphant. I plan to examine the role of specific locations in disrupting, suspending or bypassing the 'normal' processes of economic circulation. Such locations include the pawnbroker's shop, the debtors' prison, the bank in crisis and the European spa town. I am especailly interested in exploring the relations betwee the symbolic and allegorical sides of money, in Walter Benjamin's sense of allegory as fractured, broken and incomplete, as opposed to the fullness of meaning associated with the Romantic symbol. The project also aims to extend this interest into reading the cultural role of money and value in contemporary society.
A third interest is in re-reading discourses of biology and the human in nineteenth-century literature, in light of recent work on the Anthropocene.
I am the Reviews Editor and an editorial board member for the Gaskell Journal, and a former editor of the Everyday Analysis collective. I co-convene an ASCA reading group on Politics and Aesthetics in Critical Theory (details here).
Current or potential students interested in supervision possibilities are always welcome to get in touch.
In 2021-22 I am the co-ordinator for the BA English core courses Texts in Focus 1 and English Literature 3: The Long Nineteenth Century and the elective course Authors in Focus: Nineteenth Century, which this year is on "Charles Dickens and the Making of the Modern Age". I also teach on the MA Thesis Seminar course and contribute lectures to the BA courses English Literature 1 and Literature, Empire and the Postcolonial World.
I am Chair of the BA English Programme Committee (opleidingscommissie) and the UvA's Harting Programme representative.