I am an expert on the history of literature, with particular expertise in nineteenth-century literature (Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot). I am also able to speak to and about contemporary fiction.
Here is a recent radio appearance on Radio National's The Book Shelf, where I reviewed German author Roland Schimmelpfennig's novel One Clear Ice-Cold January Morning at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century.
Field of Research (FoR)
After completing my PhD at the University of Cambridge, I taught at the University of Exeter before returning to Australia where I have held positions at the University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, and an Australian Research Council Fellowship at the University of Sydney. I came to UNSW in 2010 to take up an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2010-2014) in the School of Arts and Media. I am a Fellow of the Australian Academy...view more
After completing my PhD at the University of Cambridge, I taught at the University of Exeter before returning to Australia where I have held positions at the University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, and an Australian Research Council Fellowship at the University of Sydney. I came to UNSW in 2010 to take up an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2010-2014) in the School of Arts and Media. I am a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and was Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2017-2019.
My main areas of research are - Victorian literature and visual culture, technology and literature, the cultural history of the senses, the intersection of the histories of science of mind and literature, literature and pre-cinema, noise and the novel and the history of sound. I am the sole author of 2 books Victorian Photography and Literary Nostalgia (Oxford University Press, 2003) and Moving Images. Nineteenth-Century Reading and Screen Practices (Edinburgh University Press, 2013), as well as the co-author of a third monograph (with Natalya Lusty), Dreams and Modernity. A Cultural History (Routledge, 2013). The latter research on dreams and the history of the science of mind was funded by an ARC Discovery Grant (2010-2013). I have also coedited a number of books and special issues of journals including a special issue of Textual Practice ‘On Anachronism’ (2012), Sounding Modernism (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), and Mindful Aesthetics. Literature and the Science of Mind (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013).
My ongoing research explores the ways in which literature has historically registered some voices and sounds and filtered out others as noise. This focus has informed recent publications on the gramophone, phonographic books, Australian literary soundscapes, Christina Stead and rioting in nineteenth century literature.
My recent research on rioting and the literary archive is funded by an Australian Research Council Grant (2018-2021).
Victorian Literature and visual culture, technology and literature, history of science and literature, literature and pre-cinema/spectacle; literature and sound studies.
Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (with Jumana Bayeh and Julian Murphet) 2018-2021
Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (with Natalya Lusty) 2010 - 2013
Australian Research Council Future Fellow, University of New South Wales 2010 - 2014
Macquarie University Research Development Grant 2006 - 2009
Australian Research Council Fellow, University of Sydney 1998 - 2001
Australian Research Council Discovery Grant 2003 - 2005
Macquarie Early Career Research Grant 2005.
Bachelor of Arts, 1st Class Hons, University of Sydney; PhD, University of Cambridge, FAHA
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2016.
Australasian Victorian Studies Association, member.
North American Victorian Studies Association, member.
Modern Languages Association, member.
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
Judging Panel, for Voss Literary Prize, 2015.
Australasian Association of Literature, co-founding member and Vice-President 2007 - 2010
Australasian Association of Literature, co-founding member and President 2010 - 2014
Founding Executive member of the AUHE - Australian Heads of English 2012 - 2016.
Member of Editorial Board, Victoriographies, (Edinburgh University Press)
Member of Editorial Board, Cogent Arts & Humanities (Routledge)
Member of the Editorial Board, Affirmations
Member of the Editorial Committee, Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies
Areas of HDR supervision:
Nineteenth-Century & Twentieth-Century Literature
Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture
Literature & Sound Studies
Literature and the History of Cinema
Literature and the Science of Mind
Gothic and Popular Fiction
Current HDR supervisions as Primary Supervisor are:
Elizabeth Drumm, Precarity and Nineteenth-Century Fiction
Patricia May, Reading Domesticity in the writing of Virginia Woolf
Katherine Sumner, Thomas Chatterton and the performance of literary professionalism
Chunhui Lu, Virginia Woolf & Gilles Deleuze
Recent HDR completions as Primary Supervisor are:
Penelope Hone, Voice and the Nineteenth-Century Novel (Awarded 2016)
Jayne Chapman, Hand and Mechanical Reproduction in Nineteenth-Century Poetry (Awarded 2017)
Clare Caldwell, Adolescent Masculinity in Twentieth-Century American Young Adult Fiction. (Awarded 2018)