Personal profile

Personal profile

I joined the department in 2002 from a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Birkbeck College. I studied for a BA in English at Oxford and then moved into Women's Studies at Warwick University for Masters and Ph.D. degrees. I continue to enjoy research and teaching that is grounded in the close study of texts but which reaches out to larger political and social questions.

Research interests

I was an AHRC Research Leadership Fellow 2019-2020, pursuing a project entitled 'Provincialism: Literature and the Cultural Politics of Middleness in Nineteenth-Century Britain'. As well as giving time to research my next book - provisionally titled Provincial Fiction: Finding Middle England and its Others -  I worked with some fantastic partners in the heritage, arts, and voluntary sectors to co-create a programme of activities around George Eliot's work in the Midlands during her bicentenary year (2019) and Coventry City of Culture, 2021. You can find out more about these collaborations under the impact section here or on the project blog. My previous work includes Writing the Stage Coach Nation: Locality on the Move in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (OUP 2016), completed thanks to the  award of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship and a visiting fellowship at the Huntington Library in 2012-13 and Socialism, Sex, and the Culture of Aestheticism in Britain (OUP 2007). I supervise PhD students in a variety of fields relating to nineteenth-century literature, culture, and political thought during this time and am happy to respond to enquries from prospective graduate students. I am committed to diversifying the field of research in nineteenth-century literature and to early career researcher development. I support this at a national level through work for the AHRC Peer Review College as a reviewer and panel chair, as a member of the UKRI Talent and Skills Panel College, in which role I regularly chair panels for the UKRI Future Leader Fellows grant rounds, and as Chair of the Advisory Board of the  UKRI FLF Development Network. I served as Head of the English Department July 2020-2023 and Deputy Executive Dean of Humanities. I was appointed Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) in May 2023.


I was an Editor of the Journal of Victorian Culture| ssin  s from 2009-2015 and am on the editorial board of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century| and I am also on the advisory board of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies|. I am on the steering group of the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar at the Institute of English Studies and was acting Director of the Centre for Victorian Studies at Royal Holloway for several years and co-organised conferences and symposia under its auspices. Click the link for information about past and current events in the Centre for Victorian Studies. I have served as a member of the AHRC peer review college since 2012 and was Deputy Director of the TECHNE AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership, 2015-2018, a consortium of seven HE institutions. My special focus in that role was developing knowledge exchange and opportunities with our external partners in the museum and heritage sector, something I have continued in a variety of research collaborations since 2018. I was Associate Dean of Royal Holloway Doctoral School 2018-19.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or