I grew up in north London and still have an accent to prove it. After completing my BA in English Literature, I headed to the US, where I held a Thouron Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. My postgraduate degrees in American Literature and my doctorate on early eighteenth century political though reflect two of the key interests that have shaped my life. I was Robert Browning Fellow at Pembroke, Junior Research Fellow at Exeter College, college lecturer at Balliol, and subsequently appointed to a CUF fellowship in English at LMH, where I’m Barbara Scott Fellow and Professor of English. I’m currently Principal of LMH until the end of the academic year 2021-2.
My work is interdisciplinary in nature. I’m particularly interested in the intersections between literature, politics, and philosophy. Between my first book, The Patriot Opposition to Walpole: Politics, Poetry and National Myth 1725-1742, and my current edition of Jonathan Swift's writings on Queen Anne’s reign, The History of the Four Last Years and Related Writings, I have been attempting to figure out how authors navigate the tensions between political thought and pragmatic party politics. I am passionately interested in women's writing. Following a ground-breaking conference on Memory in Anatolia, Turkey, in which I gave the keynote address, I’ve been exploring how women writers across different cultures act as repositories and arbiters of memory and commemoration. This is the subject of my forthcoming study on Women and Memory. I’m also increasingly interested in digital resources for the humanities. My Faculty Fellowship at the Ashmolean Museum inspired me to create a prize-winning lecture series, ‘Democratising the Classics’, using Cabinet, a digital resource developed by the Oxford Internet Institute which enables students to manipulate museum objects remotely.
Selected recent publications
'What the Women of Dublin did with John Locke', Royal Institute of Philosophy (2020).
‘Laetitia Pilkington and the Mnemonic Self’, The Review of English Studies Volume 70, Issue 295, June 2019, pp. 489–508.
‘Martha Fowke’s Elegies on Mary, Lady Chudleigh, 1711-1726’, in The Circuit of Apollo: Eighteenth-Century Women’s Tributes to Women, ed. Laura Runge and Jessica Cooke, University of Virginia Press (2019), pp. 54-67.
Memory and the Eighteenth-Century Female Poet’, in Memory in Western Literature, 3 vols. (Sivas, Turkey, 2018), vol.1, 1-23.
'Senate or Seraglio? Swift's "Triumfeminate" and the Literary Coterie', Eighteenth-Century Ireland (December 2016).
'Poems on Politics' in Jack Lynch, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Poetry (Oxford: OUP, 2016).
'The Hillarian Circle, 1719-1726: Scorpions, sexual politics and heterosocial coteries' in Re-evaluating the Literary Coterie, 1580–1830: From Sidney to Blackwood's, Editors: Bowers, Will, and Crummé, Hannah, Palgrave 2016.