I am Professor in English and Director of the Centre for Literature and Writing (CLAW). I joined Edinburgh Napier in 2007 after completing a PhD at the University of London (Birkbeck). I represent Edinburgh Napier on the Executive Committee of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH). I am also alumna of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland and a Fellow of RSA, as well as a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Academic and Knowledge Exchange Peer Review Colleges.
My work is concerned with representations of crime and imprisonment from a historical and contemporary perspective, most recently with a focus on WWI internment. I am the author of Convict Voices: Women, Class, and Writing about Prison in Nineteenth-Century England (University of New Hampshire Press, 2014), and co-author of How to Read Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (Pluto, 2011). Most recent publications include a special issue of Television & New Media on “Screening Women’s Imprisonment: Agency and Exploitation in Orange Is the New Black” (2016) , and chapters on “Frederick William Robinson, Charles Dickens, and the Literary Tradition of ‘Low Life’” (2016) and the First World War internment camp newspaper Stobsiade (2020).
I am currently working on a scholarly edition of A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four for the Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Arthur Conan Doyle (General Editor Douglas Kerr). With Tara Thomson, I am also contracted to edit the Palgrave Handbook of Digital and Public Humanities. In the longer term, I hope to begin a new monograph project on German-British relations and perceptions of Europe in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War (1870/1).
I have an interest in prison-university partnerships and set up a peer-learning placement scheme for undergraduate students at HMP Edinburgh's learning centre, in collaboration with the Scottish Prison Service and Fife College. This initiative won the Herald Higher Education Partnership Award 2016. With Dr Sarah Armstrong (University of Glasgow), I co-founded and co-convene the Scottish Universities-Prisons (UP) Network.
A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2009, I lead undergraduate modules in nineteenth-century literature and culture, literary and cultural theory, and a special honours-level option on "Crime in Text & Film." I have supervised several PhD projects and welcome applications from prospective PhD students in the areas of Victorian Studies, gender, crime and prison studies.