I joined Edinburgh Napier in 2007 after completing a PhD at the University of London (Birkbeck). I am Professor in English and Head of Humanities & Culture. I am also a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland and a Fellow of RSA. I sit on the Executive Committee of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH), and I am a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Academic and Knowledge Exchange Peer Review Colleges.
Between July and October 2017 I held a Visiting Researcher Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh to conduct research on Stobsiade, a German-language magazine produced by German prisoners of war at Stobs camp near Hawick in the Scottish Borders, during WWI.
My recent work has focused on representations of crime and imprisonment from a historical and contemporary perspective, and women in prison especially. I am the author of Convict Voices: Women, Class, and Writing about Prison in Nineteenth-Century England (University of New Hampshire Press, 2014), and coauthor 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 the chapter “Frederick William Robinson, Charles Dickens, and the Literary Tradition of ‘Low Life’” in Nineteenth-Century Radical Traditions, ed. Joseph Bristow and Josephine McDonagh (2016).
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). In the longer term, I will be researching towards a new monograph project on German-British relations and representations 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 the Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, Dr Sarah Armstrong, I co-founded and co-convene the Scottish Universities-Prisons (UP) Network.
I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2009. I teach modules in nineteenth-century literature and culture, literary and cultural theory, and a special honours-level option on "Crime in Text & Film." I welcome applications from prospective PhD students in all of the areas mentioned above.