As a researcher I want to draw attention to the ways in which reading gives shape to contemporary cultures. My postgraduate research worked out a set of approaches with which to investigate the style of close reading in and around the twentieth-century university. I am currently revising my thesis into a book that will offer one of the first sustained accounts of the cultural influence of close reading from the mid-1920s to the present.
My Leverhulme-funded project, Book Lovers, considers the history of affect in contemporary reading. In pursuing this work, I want to develop a new approach to book history and to the archive that refigures the relationship between reader-response criticism and bibliography in order to explore how the material and textual structures of the book can open up private moments as well as social histories.