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Personal profile

Research interests

My research forges new connections between the history and practice of data science, theories of gender, and the creative arts. In my recent book, Abstraction in Post-War British Literature (2022) and in forthcoming projects, I think about the ways in which aesthetic, philosophical and technological advancements throughout the 20th and 21st centuries have initiated new forms of literary and artistic expression and experimentation, particularly in the hands of women, and I think about this in tandem with the extent to which modern institutions, networks, and ideologies have shaped literary and visual perception. 

In publications, public engagement activities, and editorial initiatives, I’ve found my focus drawn towards the history of women’s creative labour. I’m interested in the ethical responsibilities of representations of women in literature and the visual arts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and in the ways in which creativity is valued, devalued or undervalued within certain historical, political or societal conditions. Much of my work in this area has been an act of recapture, aiming to amplify the significance of writers and artists to integrate their work within an expanding tradition of late twentieth-century experimental writing, and to acknowledge how this might shape the reception of challenging contemporary texts by women.

My present research, which will form the opening chapter of my second book on Sensory Overload in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature and Design, focuses on the roles played by women in the history of invention, computing and intelligence work to consider how intelligence work, particularly during and after the Second World War, influenced and inspired creativity in literature and the arts. The challenges of interception, the ways that visitations are made upon texts, and the ephemerality of knowledge all came to feature heavily – if ambiguously – in the literature, art and film of the post-war period. There’s been a growing acknowledgement in recent years of women’s warwork, but perhaps not of the scope and significance of the creative work by women directly involved in, or witness to, the intelligence services. A key contention of this project is that the lived experience of women in intelligence provided an arena in which to experiment with new forms of agency in resistance to limitations placed upon female selfhood, and heralded a range of newly emergent literary aesthetics. This has lead me to amass narratives by and of women involved in all areas of intelligence: such as surveillance, cryptanalysis, translation, transcription, at listening posts, among others. How were notions of the clandestine war fought by the intelligence services reflected, performed or contested by these creative works? What strategies and ways of knowing find expression, here, overtly or covertly? And what potential did this offer those women making such vital contributions to the intelligence landscape? Later chapters of this monograph will consider kinetic poetry, forms of deception, subliminal messaging, immersive environments, and virtual reality.

I have published work on writers such as Elizabeth Bowen, Christine Brooke-Rose, Anna Kavan, Ana Hatherly (and a range of women concrete and visual poets) and women artists such as Prunella Clough, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Germaine Richier. Two of my most recent publications shift this mid to late twentieth-century focus to a more contemporary moment. In an article for Modernism/Modernity, and in a chapter for an anthology of women’s visual poetry, I consider the possibilities posed by asemic writing to women writers and artists. For women, I suggest, the gestural, indecipherable or encoded offered the opportunity to challenge not only language’s monopoly on expression, but also the patriarchy’s monopoly on meaning. In both pieces, I explore what it has meant for those identifying as women to write in the shadow of the structures and systems of language. This work forms the early draft chapters of my third monograph on the women of asemic writing, which intends to rewrite the history of a practice historically placed squarely in the hands of its male practitioners and theorists: Roland Barthes, Henri Michaux, Cy Twombly. 

My experience in commissioning roles in poetry and contemporary artists’ book publishing, as well as for a number of arts and literary journals, also informs my thinking here, on literary production and reception, and on women and the material text. Working alongside a wide range of women writers and artists, I’ve been prompted to consider how we use and investigate new media for publishing, and develop new forms of dissemination.



I would be happy to hear from postgraduate students wishing to pursue research in any of my areas of interest: 20th-21st century women writers; modern and contemporary poetry; the avant-garde and experimental forms; creative non-fiction; post-war British and American fiction; gender and sexuality; theories of visuality; visual culture; visual arts, print and digital culture; studies in secrecy; histories of intelligence work and forms of surveillance; histories and theories of sensory overload. 

Office: 1.01B, 71 Cotham Hill 

Office Hours: Mondays 16.00-17.00 / Tuesdays 12.00-13.00

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  • women's writing
  • gender and sexuality studies
  • art history
  • visual culture
  • experimental form
  • modernism
  • postmodernism
  • poetry
  • interdisciplinarity


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