I am Associate Professor in Victorian Literature and Culture and Faculty Director of Postgraduate Research for Humanities and Social Sciences. I joined the University of Portsmouth in 2007, having previously lectured at Cardiff University.

I am an executive committee member of the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) and an advisory board member of the journal Victoriographies (EUP).

Research interests

My research centres on nineteenth-century literature and culture, with a particular focus on food, hunger and practices of consumption.

Together with Joan Fitzpatrick, I am the co-author of A History of Food in Literature from the Fourteenth Century to the Present (Routledge, 2017), a comprehensive critical overview of food and related themes in literary and cultural texts from the medieval period to the twenty-first century. I have also published articles on topics including famine, fasting, taste and spaces of consumption in journals such as Victorian Literature and Culture, Victorian Poetry, Neo-Victorian Studies and The Yearbook of English Studies. I am currently writing a mongraph on Hunger and Masculinity in Nineteenth-Century Culture.

An additional research interest of mine is the history and culture of celebrity. I was the lead researcher on ‘Celebrity, Citizenship and Status’, an interdisciplinary project that examined the intersections between celebrity and civic cultures in both historical and contemporary contexts. I previously published in this area (together with Páraic Finnerty and Anne-Marie Millim) in Victorian Celebrity Culture and Tennyson’s Circle (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), a co-authored book that emerged out of the HEIF-funded project ‘Tennyson's Celebrity Circle’.

PhD Supervision

I would welcome proposals from prospective postgraduate research students relating to my research interests.

Teaching responsibilities

I currently co-ordinate the Level 6 module ‘Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture’ and teach on the MA Victorian Gothic.

I have previously supervised a variety of MRes projects and PhD projects, including on Black celebrity in the nineteenth century; Julia Margaret Cameron’s photography and the archival imagination; and the ageing female body in Victorian culture.

I am currently supervising PhD projects on Gypsies in the literary and cultural imagination, and Emma Dent, collecting and celebrity.

Media availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from the media relating to my research. Please email or telephone 023 9284 2175.

Interested journalists can also contact the University's Media and Communications team for support and advice on all media engagement, including out of hours.