I’m a writer, DPhil researcher and tutor at the University of Oxford. I love researching, working on, and teaching theatre history – whether it’s via the iconoclastic heroines of Shakespeare’s plays; researching the toy theatres of the 1780s-1890s (ask me); teaching drama from the sixteenth to twenty-first centuries, or working with theatre companies including the Tricycle (on Red Velvet, 2012).
My thesis is on women performing Shakespeare in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I’m fascinated by the relationship between Shakespeare and the Victorian playwrights usually seen as “radical”; including the “New Woman” writers; Ibsen; Wilde; Shaw, and Pinero. I’m also extremely interested in women’s artistic networks: the artistic inheritance and genealogies of performance between women, including how women in the theatre mentor and influence each other. I can usually relate things back to Oscar Wilde, Ellen Terry, or What The Victorians Thought About Sex.
Teaching: I’ve taught broadly from the Renaissance to the present day, specialising in drama, and women’s writing. I particularly relish teaching Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde (for whom I recorded a mini-lecture for Oxford’s Great Writers Inspire), Victorian Literature and Modern British Drama. I also had an eventful and enjoyable year as a lecturer in Linguistics, and am a qualified tutor of English as a Foreign Language.
I can’t cook, drive, or ride a bicycle, but I read detective novels to professional standard. I am also very talented at seeing homoerotic subtext and crying at the end of Persuasion (not, I hasten to add, at the same time). I go to the theatre a lot. I live in a tiny studio flat immediately above a pair of elderly Sicilian missionaries who have yet to realise what they’re dealing with.
Other things I do:
- I’m the Submissions Editor for the AHRC-funded, MLA-indexed postgraduate journal Victorian Network.
- I review books and plays for publications including Cadaverine magazine; the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network; the Oxonian Review and Oxford Theatre Review. I’ve also written for Bad Reputation, the feminism and pop culture site.
- I’m a member of Oxford’s new Interdisciplinary Celebrity Study Network; the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Form, The Society for Theatre Research, the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) and I co-convene the University of Oxford’s Drama and Performance Seminar.