Make a Gift
I’m currently a Research Fellow, looking at the ideological and material pathways of Empire that Britain was forging in the long eighteenth century. I do so through the figure of the bird, in material and literary culture, and in early-modern aviaries. Before arriving here, I held a visiting lectureship and a two-year teaching fellowship at UCL, where I taught Restoration, eighteenth-century and Romantic literature. My PhD, which I completed at UCL, was about prison cultures in the novels of the long eighteenth century. Before that, I studied for my MA at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, on a Commonwealth Scholarship, and my dissertation examined the rhetoric of seduction in the prose writings of Aphra Behn. I studied for my BA at Birmingham University.
I’m interested in histories of selfhood in the long eighteenth century. The movement from early-modern to modern forms of subjectivity has often been read as the birth of self-determined individualism, a necessary condition for industrial capitalism, by thinkers like Michel Foucault. My work challenges this assumption, looking at artistic expressions of interdependence and sociality in the eighteenth century, including in the formation of novel communities of readers and consumers. My new project explores the development of the global imaginary through the figure of the bird in eighteenth century art and material culture. I will compile the original biographies of seven birds or feathered objects, from their origins in colonial ‘margins’, to their repurposing in urban ‘centres’. My intention is to map the material and ideological pathways to Empire that these birds encode, and to reveal the global trade networks that underpinned Enlightenment ideals.
"Sterne's Captive and the Prison: A Case of Double Vision" The Shandean, 2022
Prison Fictions: The Prison and the Novel, 1718-1780, monograph, forthcoming
'Cant in Henry Fielding's