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.
I’m really pleased to say that I’ve been awarded my first external grant since my PhD. It’s not exactly news anymore by now, but last semester was so busy that I just couldn’t find the time to record things as they were happening. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years thinking about two things in particular: how can I start working with people to whom my research on widowhood really matters; and what is my research and career strategy for the next few years. I regularly advise doctoral students and fellow early-career researchers that,...
While researching the introduction to my book on the widow in British literature and culture, I stumbled across a tune from the First World War which illustrates perfectly some of the attributes which have rendered the figure of the widowed woman a popular and loaded one here in Britain, not only since the Victorian period (which is where my book begins) but also from as early as Shakespeare’s times. Luckily for me, someone was generous enough with their time and enthusiasm to upload a YouTube video of his playing the original record, and below you can find my transcription...
Read the introduction to our special issue of Nineteenth-Century Context.
At a time when we remember the First World War, its victims, and its survivors, it seems apt for me to share some of the research I’ve been doing on the literary and cultural history of the widow in Britain, and particularly on how the state’s support and the economic conditions of widowed women has changed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and reflects both Britain’s development in terms of gender equality as well as the emergence of the welfare state.
[PhD Supervision] Chloé Holland, “Ellen Wood: The Professional Woman Writer & the Victorian Literary Marketplace”
Chloé’s work focuses on the work of Ellen Wood (or Mrs Henry Wood). In particular, she investigates the interconnections between Wood’s identities as a professional author, a woman writer, and a producer of highly popular works on the Victorian literary market place.
Research Seminar, 5 March 2014, Department of English, Durham University
In the post-war decades, Britain prided itself on the new welfare state and the support it afforded children and mothers. But what about those women who had lost their husbands in the war? This post looks at the picture painted by two sources from the 1960s: a broadcast on child welfare by the Central Office of Information (1962) and a BBC Home Service radio broadcast called “World of the Widow” (1960).
This second post on widows in Victorian comic songs considers a piece which renders its widow financially, medically, socially, and sexually undesirable.
The first in a series of posts on deviant widows in popular comic songs from the 1840s, 50s and 60s.
Women and Belief is a six-volume collection of primary materials covering a wide range of opinions about women, their self-identity, and the combination of their spiritual and political beliefs.
This AHRC-funded Contemporary Women’s Writing Skills Development Programme (CWWSkills) was a series of six workshops held between August 2013 and July 2014. The programme is designed to enable UK-based postgraduate research students and early-career researchers who work in the field of contemporary women’s writing to develop an entrepreneurial approach to their research.
This book chapter discusses the relationship between pornography and feminist politics in two neb-victorian novels: Sarah Waters’s *Fingersmith* (2002) and Belinda Starling’s *The Journal of Dora Damage* (2006).