I’m Senior Lecturer in English Literature & Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University, and I specialise in literary and cultural histories of women, gender, and feminism in Britain from the Victorian period to the present day, with a particular interest in the gendered histories of widowhood. My other research interests include neo-Victorianism and contemporary women’s writing. I’m the author of The Widow: A Literary & Cultural History (LUP, 2020).
I’m an AHRC/ BBC New Generation Thinker and have made broadcasts about my research on widows in Britain for BBC Radio’3 Free Thinking and The Essay. As part of the scheme, I also made my first short documentary film – Women & Weeds – for BBC Arts.
I provide consultancy services to universities and graduate schools in the form of talks and training workshops on many aspects of academic life, including how to prepare for your viva voce, how to use social media, and how to secure your first academic post.
I’m happy to receive enquiries about potential talks, publications, consultancy work, PhD research, and media appearances. Please get in touch with me via email or social media.
But this blog is about much more than my professional identity, even though its content – by me and by others – very much shapes it. I’m a seemingly unlikely academic. I grew up in Germany and come from a working-class family. I’m bilingual. My parents left school before the age of sixteen and don’t speak English. I am visibly tattooed and pierced. I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression, and talk about this openly.
This blog is about academia and me. It’s about academia and you. It’s about sharing my experiences of my profession, and about sharing knowledge and skills which are too often taken for granted. It’s about those academic voices which are either not heard at all, or are not heard enough. It’s about challenging dominant ideas of what academics should look like. It’s about redefining what it takes to be an academic and how academics are expected to present themselves, their lives, and their work. It’s about making ourselves and our profession simultaneously vulnerable and stronger, so that we can help change what makes us feel inadequate, ashamed, or unprofessional. So that we can help make academia more inclusive.
It’s a space that celebrates and critiques; that appreciates the advantages academia affords us and critiques the privileges it demands. If you’d like to contribute to this endeavour, you can leave a comment below, or email me here.