I'm currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Oxford University, where I'm starting a new project about birds and the global imaginary in January 2021. I argue that birds and feathered objects were singularly well placed to help Britain to configure and to stage itself as a global trading power in the long eighteenth century. I want to examine the grubby and under-explored relationship between colonial trade networks and Enlightenment ideas, and to trace the ideological as well as the material pathways to Empire. My project will tell the biographies of seven birds or feathered objects, from their origins in colonial territories, to their redeployment in the urban 'centre'. I hope to become well acquainted with the Oxford dodo.
My PhD, and my forthcoming book, is on British Prison Fictions, 1718-1780. In it, I look at narrative depictions of prison cultures across a range of eighteenth-century novels, and conclude that in the Hanoverian period, prisons were profoundly social and textually prolific spaces. This turns on its head an inherited notion of the prison, and the novel as a genre, as fostering interiority and self-determination. I studied for my doctorate at UCL under the supervision of John Mullan, on an AHRC scholarship.
I got my Masters' degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada on a Commonwealth Scholarship. My thesis looked at Aphra Behn's modes of narrative seduction in her prose writings. And first but not least, I studied for my undergraduate degree in English Literature at Birmingham University. I graduated from there with a first class degree, at the top of my year.
Below you can read some of my thinking on prisons and the novel: