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Biography

I joined King’s in September 2018, after lecturing at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and studying at University College London (BA, PhD) and King’s College London (MA). 

Research Interests and PhD Supervision 

  • 19th and 20th century literature, culture and intellectual history
  • Philosophy, politics and aesthetics of realism
  • Sociology of literature

My research interests centre on the novel, genre and form. My first book, forthcoming with OUP, reconsiders literary realism via the legacy of its philosophical pre-history, to ask how – or if – we can conceptualise realist novels when the objects of their representational intentions are realities that might exist beyond what is empirically verifiable by sense data or analytically verifiable by logic, and are thus irreducible to representation. How, in short, realism represents the unrepresentable, and poses metaphysical questions through an exploration of the here and now. The book examines a range of novels from the Edwardian period, focusing on works by Joseph Conrad, May Sinclair, Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells and Ford Madox Ford, to see how they grapple with the fiendish recalcitrance of “reality”.

My next project traces the influence of anarchist intellectual traditions on fiction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It examines the modes of transmission through which anarchist writings, libertarian and communitarian, influence both the forms that organize political experience and conceptualisations of the novel as a modeller of social networks, in order to probe larger questions about the intelligibility of extended collective belonging in the face of an increasingly abstract – spatially diffuse, technologically mediated – social world.

I have work published or forthcoming on modernism and neo-Hegelian philosophy, socialism and speculative thinking in the realist novel, and mid-nineteenth-century realist cultures in Britain and France.

Teaching

At King’s I have convened or taught on the following undergraduate modules:

  • Reading Poetry
  • Victorians and Social Change
  • Lost Worlds
  • First World War Literature
  • Modern Poetry and the Place of Writing

I also offer an MA course called ‘The Utopian Imagination, 1848–2472’.

Selected Publications 

  • ‘An Edwardian Turn of Mind: Psychological Realism and Modernist Metaphysics in May Sinclair’s The Divine Fire’, Modernism/modernity, 25.1 (January 2018): 93-144
  • ‘Impressions of modernity: May Sinclair, Ford Madox Ford and the First World War’, in Between the Victorian/Modernist Divide: Remapping the Turn-of-the-Century Break in Literature, Culture and the Visual Arts, ed. Anne Besnault-Levita and Anne-Florence Gillard-Estrada (Routledge, 2018)