I’m delighted to be joining the FWSA executive committee as Essay Competition Officer. I’ve been a member of the FWSA since I started my postgraduate study in 2007, so I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to be able to contribute more fully to the association.
I’m currently a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study, where I completed my PhD in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies in 2011. My research is on travel and mobility in the Victorian novel, exploring literary representations of travel in the works of authors such as Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Bronte. My work draws together literary studies and geographical theories of mobility and space, in particular the work of feminist geographers, and I’m especially interested in exploring the role of the body within the gendered politics of mobility. In related projects, I’ve worked on themes of gender, mobility and rurality; masculinity, the body and imperial travel; and contemporary practices of literary tourism. I’ve worked on several editing projects, including the book Gender and Space in Rural Britain, 1840-1920 (Pickering and Chatto, 2014) and a special issue of Victorian Network on “Sex, Courtship and Marriage in Victorian Literature and Culture”, and I’m currently starting a new publication project “Sea Narratives: Cultural responses to the sea, 1600-present”. I’m looking forward to bringing these skills to working on the FWSA’s special issue of the Journal of International Women’s Studies.
Aside from research, the majority of my current position involves being Director of the University of Warwick Book Festival. The Festival started as a one-day pilot last year and next year will go to 3+ days; it’s been exciting to be involved in such a large-scale public engagement project, and it’s a very diverse and constantly interesting job. Public engagement is also really important to me in my own work, and I’ve been involved in online activities such as the Journal of Victorian Culture Online and Open Letters Monthly: an Arts and Literary Review, and have written a few book reviews here on the FWSA blog.
Another aspect of my job involves working with Early Career Researchers: we have over forty early career, postdoctoral and global research fellows at the IAS, and I’m responsible for the academic careers and employability programme for the fellows, including running weekly interview and presentation training, and organising sessions on different aspects of academic careers. It’s fantastic to work among such a vibrant ECR community, and to learn so much about the ins and outs of academia across a broad range of disciplines. One focus of this work has been on the issue of gender and academic careers, and it was with this in mind that I was keen to join the FWSA executive committee. As a feminist scholar, I feel that the FWSA’s work to advance the field of women and gender studies is of great value and importance in the current academic climate, and I’m delighted to be able to contribute to the Association’s fantastic work as a member of the committee.