Doctoral research student
Fiona received her BA (2006) and MA (2007) from the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Fiona's thesis explores the gay cruising that took place in the abandoned piers and warehouses of New York’s derelict Lower West Side waterfront in the late 1970s and early 1980s, looking most closely at the work of writer-artist David Wojnarowicz, a central figure in the city’s East Village arts scene and, later, an outspoken AIDS activist. From a strongly interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on her background in art history, she investigate notions of spatiality, the erotics of place and notions of queer historiography and hauntology, exploring the influence of writers such as Walt Whitman, Hart Crane, Frank O’Hara and Jean Genet, and artists such as Peter Hujar, Alvin Baltrop, Vito Acconci and Gordon Matta-Clark, on Wojnarowicz’s practice.
Fiona is also interested in late twentieth century visual and literary representations of the nineteenth century poet Arthur Rimbaud, and in responses to the AIDS crisis in the arts.
Fiona is currently living in New York City, funded as part of her AHRC doctoral award, researching at a number of archives, including the David Wojnarowicz Papers at New York University’s Fales Library, the Berg collection at the New York Public Library, and the photographic collections of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.
Her supervisors are Dr Mark Turner
and Professor John Howard (American Studies)
In 2009, Fiona convened and taught the final year BA American Studies course, ‘Contemporary Sexual Ethics’
‘Monks of the dead river’: David Wojnarowicz’s Rimbaud in New York’, Queer@King’s ‘Queer Discipline,’ King’s College London (December 2009)
‘I wish my eyes were movie cameras’: Intersections of the visual and the textual in David Wojnarowicz’s ‘Spiral,’ ‘Tell It Like It Is, Tell It Like It Isn’t: Queer Lives Remodelled, King’s College London (June 2009)
Review of Sue-Ellen Case, Feminist and Queer Performance: Critical Strategies, Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, Contemporary Theatre Review (September 2009)
In December 2009, Fiona organised a popular event at the Courtauld Institute of Art to mark World AIDS Day, with readings by students from across the University of London of work by David Wojnarowicz, Thom Gunn, Gary Indiana and others, accompanied by screenings of some of Wojnarowicz’s films. Prior to studying at KCL, she worked as an archivist at St Colm’s College in Edinburgh, cataloguing and maintaining their important records, a project that was funded by both the National Lottery and the Pilgrim Trust.
Organisations and affiliations
Queer@King’s, King’s College London, interdisciplinary research group
British Association for Modernist Studies