Like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, I have a keen sense of the ridiculous, put to good use on the AHRC ECR leadership fellow project ‘The Romantic Ridiculous’. This research aims to take Romantic Studies from the sublime to the ridiculous, by exploring the alternative aesthetic possibilities offered by the ridiculous rather than the sublime. Building on the work of the German Romantic writer Jean Paul Richter, ‘The Romantic Ridiculous’ imagines ridiculousness as a mode to bring people together through shared laughter, both in the Romantic Period and in Higher Education today.
I am Co-Director the EHU Nineteen research group in nineteenth-century studies, hosting a seminar series, now virtual, and organising events such as ‘Edgy Romanticism’, ‘Romanticism Takes to the Hills’, and ‘Romanticism Goes to University’, as well as the joint BARS/NASSR conference scheduled for 2022 on the theme of ‘New Romanticisms’.
Before starting work at Edge Hill University, I completed my PhD at the University of Exeter on ‘Wollstonecraft’s Ghost: The Fate of the Female Philosopher in the Romantic Period’, now published by Routledge. My PhD work grew out of my MA at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus.
Before that, I was a secondary school teacher of English and Drama for my sins.
My research interests include Romantic period women’s writing, the Gothic, and children’s literature, as well as more recently theories of wit, humour, and the comic.
I enjoy teaching anything from introductions to literary history, criticism, and theory to specialist modules on Jane Austen and Young Adult fiction. I focus on Romanticism as not only a period but a set of ideological constructs around place, time, subjectivity, and sensibility.