Supervisor: Professor Thomas Docherty
Mentors: Dr Christina Britzolakis, Dr Tina Lupton
Thesis: The Child and Authority in Contemporary Literature and Critical Culture (Recently completed)
I have recently completed my doctorate and continue to publish research developing from this. An article on 'The Disappearing Child in Thatcherism and Theory' has recently appeared in Literature and History (SAGE).
My research interests encompass British and American fiction and film from the late nineteenth-century to the present, with areas of focus in -
- Contemporary and recent British fiction in its international context, in relation to current crises in migration, humanitarianism, and the memory of the Holocaust and other disasters of the twentieth century.
- Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and other writers of the fin-de-siecle/early Modernism, particularly with regard to how these authors are retrospectively positioned, in literature, criticism, and popular culture, against subsequent moments of crisis;
- Post-war British fiction, particularly literary engagements with British politics from the 1970s to the present, and contemporary and recent British writers including Kazuo Ishiguro, Sarah Waters, Ian McEwan, Peter Ackroyd, and Jim Crace.
- Representations of children and youth, and particularly violence against children, in literature, film, criticism and popular culture within the contexts above.
My critical and theoretical interests coalesce around two major strands:
- The function of literature, including comparative literature, in representations of contemporary international politics and political developments, particularly post c.1980. This involves an interdisciplinary focus on how political institutions and their obligations are represented in the context of globalisation and of the legacies of twentieth-century history.
- The intersections between psychoanalysis and politics, especially via political representations of ambition and creativity. I'm particularly interested in texts that explore the sources of attraction to political figures and ideas in both psychological and historical terms, and in the political use of psychoanalytic or quasi-psychoanalytic-concepts.
Particular theorists of interest include Lacan, Arendt, Agamben, Moretti, and others whose work speaks to the concerns described above.
I regularly publish work based on these interests in a variety of media; see a recent article I wrote for The Conversation UK.
I hold a BA (First class) and an MA (Distinction), both in English Literature from the University of Warwick.
Research Policy Interests
In addition to my doctoral work I am a professional research administrator with a role relating to the institutional management of research quality. For information on this aspect of my work, see my profile at the University of Sussex.
In the context of this work, I have an interest in national and international research policy, especially with regard to how the 'quality' and 'impact' of research are assessed. A recent article I wrote making some policy suggestions for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) was published in the Times Higher Education.
Current projects focus on contemporary British depictions of both poor and wealthy young MENA migrants; the abandoned child in Kazuo Ishiguro; representations of child abuse in popular culture and literature in the Thatcher period; and the uses of Conrad's Lord Jim by contemporary writers and film-makers.
Recent teaching at undegraduate level has included delivery of an interdisciplinary module on ethics and the child within a medical humanities context, and of a broad introductory module to modes of reading.
Anyone with related research interests is very welcome to get in touch at d dot a dot firstname.lastname@example.org