Senior Lecturer: English Literature
School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
T: 01904 876182
I research Victorian representations of disease, and especially contagious diseases, and I am also interested in contagious disease and diseases which are transmitted from animals to humans more broadly. I have been teaching at York St John University since 2010, having completed my PhD at the University of York. I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in 2014 and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
I work on a Schools Outreach programme organizing visits to schools to offer taster session in the study of English Literature at University.
My doctoral thesis on climate theories and the Victorian novel examined the shifting understanding of climate’s influence on health, medicine, race, evolution, and the economy and its representation by novelists including Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, the Brontë sisters, Thomas Hardy, and George Gissing. I am currently interested in representations of disease in Victorian literature, and particularly contagious diseases, tuberculosis, and the transmission of disease from animals to humans. I am currently working on a proposal for a monograph which will explore the Brontës’ novels in connection with contagion theories and contagion studies, and on a book chapter titled “Cujo: Rabidity And the American Family Under Threat” for an upcoming collection Gothic Animals: Uncanny Otherness and the Animal With-Out (Palgrave).
I am co-organizing the conference “Satire: Births, Deaths, and Legacies” which will take place at York St John University on 2 June 2017
I teach and direct a variety of undergraduate modules including “Sick Novels: Literature and Disease” and “The Victorian Novel.” I also teach on the MA programme and am currently co-supervising a creative/critical PhD on the short stories of Thomas Hardy.
“Cujo: Rabidity And the American Family Under Threat” in Gothic Animals: Uncanny Otherness and the Animal With-Out (Palgrave, forthcoming)
Review of Ross. G. Forman, “A Parasite For Sore Eyes: Rereading Infection Metaphors in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” Journal of Literature and Science. 10: 1, 2017.
‘Staying Calm and Seizing the Iron: Contagion, Fermentation, and the Management of the Rabies Threat in Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley.’ Victorian Review, 42:1, Spring 2016.
“My Accent? My Gender? My Size?”: Coarse Brontës in To Walk Invisible (2016). The Coarseness of the Brontës 2017. Durham University.
“Brontë Bodies Consumed.” British Association of Victorian Studies Annual Conference: Consuming the Victorians, August 2016. University of Cardiff.
‘”Refer to a Few Verses With Me”: Robert FitzRoy’s “Remarks with Reference to the Deluge,” Geological Ages and the “Young Reader.”’ British Association of Victorian Studies Annual Conference: Victorian Ages, August 2015. Leeds Trinity University College.
‘ “The Body Elastic”: Electrical Atmospheres and Dog Bites in Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley.’ British Association of Victorian Studies Annual Conference: Victorian Sustainability, September 2014. University of Kent at Canterbury.
‘Economic Climates in 1840s Manchester and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton.’ Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies: Muck and Brass, Money and Finance in Victorian Britain. November 2012.
‘“Sickly Seasons”: The Brontës, Climate, Disease and Contagion.’ British Association of Victorian Studies Annual Conference: Victorian Feeling, September 2008. University of Leicester.
‘“It Was The Flood!” Diluvial Geology in George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss.’ BAVS Postgraduate Bursary Award. British Association of Victorian Studies Annual Conference: Victorian Conflicts. September 2006. University of Liverpool.
Uplandish World Café, York St John University, June 2017
“The Brontës” Coffee House Talk, York Explore, April 2017
“The Northern Powerhouse” Coffee House Talk, York Explore, November 2015.