My research interests lie in popular fiction (especially romance), genre, women’s writing, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and critical love studies. My work is intersectional and cross-period; I use historical perspectives to think through modern discourses of love, relationships, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. I have published research on contemporary women’s historical fiction, sexualisation and women’s advice literature, medieval and modern literary representations of virginity, and a study of religion, gender, and race in late medieval and twenty-first-century popular Orientalist romance fiction.
My book, Representing Difference in the Medieval and Modern Orientalist Romance (Palgrave, 2016) is the first comparative study of Orientalism in medieval and modern popular romance and compares the representation of erotic relationships across religious and cultural borders in late medieval Orientalist romance (1330-1450) and British and North American post 9/11 romantic fiction. I have recently completed a research article on early twentieth-century Scottish popular fiction and I am developing a new project exploring Arab and Muslim women’s genre fiction.
My current research interest is in cultural masculinity and I am working, at present, on a literary history of the romantic alpha hero. I am interested in the intersection of nation, gender, and race in popular fiction and the anxieties and negotiations inherent in intersectional romance masculinities: the embodied cultural, political, social, and personal boundaries between self and other, familiar and strange, lover and enemy.