My main enthusiasm is for Victorian literature and the Bible. I am currently writing a monograph on Christina Rossetti’s poetic deployment of the Psalms and completing an article on her representation of forgiveness. Other research interests include literary representations of the technologies of vision, the Victorian reception of seventeenth century devotional poetry, and the work of Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot.
BA (Hons): English Literature and Language (Reading)
MA: Victorian Literature and Culture (Reading)
PhD: “We can but spell a surface history”: The Biblical Typology of Christina Rossetti (Warwick)
I joined the English Department as a Teaching Fellow in September 2012. Before coming to Birmingham, I taught a course of my own design at the University of Bristol and held a two year Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship at the University of British Columbia. In 2009, I held a six month Early Career Fellowship at the University of Warwick.
I currently teach on the first year Literary Aesthetics and Critical Practice modules and the second year Generic Transformations (1580-1780) programme. I also design and deliever an MOMD in English Literature 1790-Present.
In Semester 2, I will be teaching on the special subject modules, Writing and the World in the Nineteenth Century and Victorian and Decadent Literature. I will also be teaching on the Research Preparation course and continuing to deliever an MOMD option. I supervise a range of dissertations and Research Projects.
I completed my PhD in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick in October 2008. My dissertation, “We can but spell a surface history”: The Biblical Typology of Christina Rossetti, is concerned with Rossetti’s hermeneutically based articulation of individual and communal identity. In examining her typological modes of reading, I discuss the way Tractarian, Romantic, and Pre-Raphaelite writings provide her with a framework with which to structure poetic sequences and engage with Western traditions of selfhood.
At present I am completing my first monograph project, Christina Rossetti and the Psalms: Waiting with the Saints. It will be published by Bloomsbury Academic (formally Continuum) in January 2014. My book extends current scholarship by offering a new approach to Rossetti’s Protestant theology in the light of the mediated influence of ancient, medieval and Reformation spirituality. It uses the lens of Christian existentialism to define her departure from the post-enlightenment concept of bounded individualism and her creative expression of man’s standing before God. After an introductory chapter that contextualises Rossetti’s theology, I set up a trajectory that traces the chronological development of her Psalm hermeneutic. This approach allows for a consideration of her engagement with the Oxford Movement and bears witness to the evolution of her devotional voice over the span of thirty-one years.
Conference papers and talks (Selected):
“The Victorian Reception of the Prodigal Daughter” (The Hospitable Text: New Approaches to Religion and Literature, The University of Notre Dame, London campus, 2011)
“Catching Images: The affective gaze in Christina Rossetti’s poetics” (Victorian Epidemics, Annual Conference of the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada. Banff, Alberta, 2011)
“Christina Rossetti and the Bible” (lecture; Centre for Reception History of the Bible, University of Oxford, 2009)
“Gaze not upon her, lest thou be as she:” Sight and Vision in Christina Rossetti’s Devotional Poetry' (Victorian Feeling, Annual British Association for Victorian Studies Conference, University of Leicester 2009)
“The Interior Dwelling: Christina Rossetti’s Exploration of Subjectivity through the Architectural Metaphors of the House” (Victorian Materialities, a Joint Conference of the North American Victorian Studies Association and the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada. University of Victoria, BC, 2007)
“The Materiality of Memory in Christina Rossetti’s Poetics” (Victorian Memories, University of Central England, 2007)
“Poetic snapshots of city pageants: Christina Rossetti, Amy Levy, and the composition of roundels in late Victorian Bloomsbury.” English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 56.1 (2012)
“Christina Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Tractarians.” The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement. Ed. Jonathan Baker, Peter Nockles and James Pereiro. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2013.
“Christina Rossetti and the Bible.” The Blackwell Companion to the Bible in English Literature. Ed. Mason, Rowland et al. Oxford: Blackwell, 2009.
“Christina Rossetti.” Gale Cengage Learning: British Writers Retrospective Supplement, vol 3. Ed. Jay Parini. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2009.
Reviews and Other Articles (Selected):
“Elizabeth Gaskell” and “Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist.” Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Receptions. Ed. Eric Ziolkowski. De Gruyter Publishing House, 2012.
Review of Charles LaPorte, Victorian Poets and the Changing Bible. The Tennyson Research Bulletin, 2012.
Review of Linda H. Peterson. Becoming a Woman of Letters: Myths of Authorship and Facts of the Victorian Market. Life Writing, 2012.
Review of F. Elizabeth Grey, Christian and Lyric Tradition in Victorian Women’s Poetry. Review 19, 2011.
Review of Dinah Roe, Christina Rossetti’s Faithful Imagination: The Devotional Poetry and Prose. PEER English, 2009.
“Christina Rossetti.” The Victorian Literature Handbook, Ed. Alex Warwick, and Martin Willis. Continuum, 2008.