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Personal profile


My research and teaching interests focus on twentieth-century and twenty-first century Anglo-American literature, discard studies (also known as waste studies), literary materialities (the representation of objects and the material world), ecocriticism, and Marxist theory. I have a particular interest in the writing of JG Ballard and Don DeLillo, and in Cold War American literature. I am the founder of WasteInLit: The International Literary Waste Studies Network (https://literarywaste.com/), which aims to bring together literary scholars working on waste representations across periods and genres and to think critically about the language of waste's role in creating and upholding categories of gender, race, class, nationhood, and otherness.

My first book, Consumerism, Waste and Re-use in Twentieth-century Fiction: Legacies of the Avant-Garde (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), examined the representation of garbage and human beings deemed worthless in a range of experimental Anglo-European and American novels across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, and argued that re-purposing, celebrating, or simply paying attention to the stuff that capitalist society deems useless has provided one of the pre-eminent means for writers to oppose capitalist consumer culture.

My second book, "All-Electric" Narratives: Time-Saving Appliances and Domesticity in American Literature, 1945-2020 (Bloomsbury, 2021), extends my interest in literary objects to examine the representation of vacuum cleaners, garbage disposal units, refrigerators, and other household gadgets in U.S. literature published after 1945. The book demonstrates how writers across genres and of radically different political persuasions have engaged with domestic appliances' shifting gendered, racial, and class connotations. It also recovers the neglected history of appliance advertising featuring and aimed at Black Americans, and Black writers' engagements with this commercial landscape.

I am currently editing an essay collection titled Queer Trash and Feminist Excretions: New Directions in Literary and Cultural Representations of Waste, under contract with SUNY Press, which brings together the work of scholars working on literary waste across genres, periods, and forms, in order to re-dress the male- and heterocentric focus of much literary waste criticism to date (including my own!).

My newest project, provisionally titled Postmillennial Nostalgia, examines the origins and ramifications of the explosive popularity, since the early 2000s, of mid-century interior designs, fashions, and consumer goods, and mid-century period television dramas. To whom does this aesthetic mode appeal, and why--and what does its predominance tell us about our own time? 

I am a peer reviewer for ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment; C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century WritingsGreen Letters; and Journal of American Studies, and a book reviewer for Journal of American Studies, and European Journal of American Studies.

My research interests are partly informed by my previous career in advertising and market research. So broadly speaking, I am interested in any text that challenges the quantification of value, and in the ways in which advertising and critical theory have fed off of each other over the last several decades.

I welcome research students interested in any aspect of feminist fiction and theory; discard studies; science fiction; dystopian fiction; object theory/thing theory; literary avant-gardes; twentieth-century Anglo-American fiction; ecocriticism; neoliberalism in literature; twentieth-century advertising; literature of the Cold War period.

You can find my personal website here. You can find my Academia.edu profile here.


Undergraduate Teaching:

London in Literature (Year 1)

American Literature, 1865-1915 (Year 2)

Modernist & Postwar Literature (Year 2)

Modern American Literature (Year 3)

Contemporary Literature: Dystopias (Year 3)


MA Teaching:

Popular Identities: Gender, Sexuality, and Race

Popular Ecologies: Literature, Philosophy, and Environmental Ethics

MA Dissertations, MA in Popular Literature and Culture

MA Dissertations, MA in Children's Literature)


Education/Academic qualification

University College London

Award Date: 28 Sep 2015

King's College London

Award Date: 15 Sep 2011

University of Cambridge

Award Date: 25 Jun 2005


  • PR English literature
  • E151 United States (General)
  • NE Print media