I came to King’s in September 2005 from Cambridge University, and I have previously taught at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford.
Research Interests and PhD Supervision
- History of the Book and Ideas of Authorship
I am interested in the history of the book and in the development of different ideas of authorship in the period. My first monograph, published by Oxford University Press in 2004, is called Patent Inventions: Intellectual Property and the Victorian Novel and argues that the debate over the ownership of both mechanical and literary property in the nineteenth century had profound effects on the way texts were written, and the way in which authors represented their authorship.
- Media and Technology: 'the annihilation of space and time'
The second strand of my research concerns the media, technology and what the Victorians liked to call “the annihilation of space and time’ in the period.
- Cambridge Victorian Studies Group
The third strand of my research has been stimulated by my Research Directorship of a five-year Leverhulme Programme Grant for a Victorian Studies Project (2006-11) which focuses on the ways in which the Victorians coped with their discoveries of multiple pasts.
- ‘Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857-1900’
AHRC-funded, October 2013-August 2017. This is brand new four-year joint project on the aesthetics of the Atlantic Telegraph developed with Professor Caroline Arscott at the Courtauld Institute for the History of Art and Dr Mark Miodownik, a materials scientist at UCL.
I am always very happy to hear from potential graduate students, and encourage anybody who might be interested in working with me to get in touch early in the application process.
For more details, please see my full research profile.
I teach or have taught nineteenth-century literature at BA and MA level, including the following courses:
- ‘Victorians and Social Change’ (undergraduate)
- ‘Memory and Time in the Nineteenth Century’ (undergraduate)
- ‘Writing London’ (undergraduate)
- ‘The Fin-de-Siecle’ (undergraduate)
- ‘Text, Theory and Culture: London, 1850 to the Present’ (postgraduate)
- ‘Modernity and the City’ (postgraduate)
- 'Victorian Pasts' (postgraduate)
- ‘The Archive Workshop: Victorian Things’ (postgraduate)
Expertise and Public Engagement
The 19th Century Research Group
I collaborate closely with other Department colleagues in the 19th century research group and I have been involved in running the 19th century archive project set up by Josephine McDonagh which aims to assess the provision of research skills for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students of English literature, and to help students to make the most of the rich resources available to them in museums, archives and libraries of London. We are developing a new MA course out of this pedagogic research.
I also organise the Shows of London research group and, with Dr Adelene Buckland, and colleagues, I have been responsible for organising several half-day events for this group on subjects such as history and form; ephemera; re-enactment; and London Stutters.
'Mermaids Amongst the Cables: The Abstracted Body and the Telegraphic Touch in the Nineteeenth Century', in Nineteenth-Century Literature in Transition: The 1880s, eds. Penny Fielding and Andrew Taylor (Cambridge: Camnbridge University Press, 2019), pp.15-33.
30 September 2019
Serial Forms: The Unfinished Project of Modernity 1815-1848
30 September 2019
'Signal Markings in Victorian Miscellanies'. Chapter jointly authored with Professor Caroline Arscott for Coding and Representation from the Nineteenth Century to the Present: Scrambled Messages, eds, Anne Chapman, Natalie Hume and Cassie Newland (contracted by Routledge). Submission in 2019.
01 June 2019
'In Between Times: Trollope's Ordinal Numbers', The Edinburgh Companion to Anthony Trollope eds. Frederik Van Dam, Ortwin de Graef and David Skilton. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018)
01 May 2019
'By the Herald's Special Wire!: Technology and Speed in Transnational News', a case-study essay for the International Herald Tribune Historical Archive 1887-2013, a digital archive from Gale-Cengage. Live online from May 2018.
01 May 2018
'Ordinary People', Public Books (12 April 2017) Essay Review of Jill Lepore, Joe Gould's Teeth (New York: Alfred A, Knopf, 2016) and Alexander Masters, A Life Discarded; 148 Diaries Found in the Trash (London: Fourth Estate, 2016) for Public Books (12 April 2017): http://www.publicbooks.org/ordinary-people-2/ This was one of the top ten most read articles on the Public Books site and was consequently republished on 25 August 2017.
12 March 2017
'Pushing with the best'. Review of Candice Millard, Hero of the Empire: The Making of Winston Churchill
04 January 2017
Review of C. Brad Faught, Kitchener: Hero and Anti-Hero (I.B. Tauris, 2016)
28 September 2016
Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy, eds. Caroline Arscott and Clare Pettitt (The Courtauld Institute of Art and King's College London, 2016) ISBN: 987-1-907485-053 http://www.scrambledmessages.ac.uk/victorians-decoded-art-and-telegraphy-catalogue/ On-line publication. Catalogue to accompany the 'Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy' exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London (19 September 2016-22 January 2017).
01 September 2016
Review of Stephanie Barczweski, Heroic Failure and the British (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016)
08 June 2016