Personal profile

Research interests

Main research areas span from late eighteenth-century to contemporary literature and culture. Research interests include memory, life stories, reading, and libraries, relating to my work as Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded projects Memories of Fiction: An Oral History of Readers' Life Stories and Living Libraries (2014-20).

Long-standing interests in sound feed into my work in oral history and literature, going back to Senses of Vibration: A History of the Pleasure and Pain of Sound (Bloomsbury, 2012) (shortlisted for the British Society for Literature & Science Book Prize; listed as an ICA Book of the Year and Sensory Studies Book of Note).

Research interests in oral history, place and nation, and ghosts, have taken shape in publications including Place, Writing, and Voice in Oral History (Palgrave 2011) and Rocks of Nation: The Imagination of Celtic Cornwall (Manchester UP 2015) (shortlisted and given an 'honourable mention' at the 2016 ESSE Book Awards). These publications derived from my work as researcher on the AHRC-funded project Mysticism, Myth, and 'Celtic' Nationalism at the University of Exeter (2008-11). These publications also illustrate my ongoing concern about the environment, as does some of my creative writing, including my drafted novel-in-progress Ghost Snow & River (first chapters of which won first prize in the Literary Plaza Prize, judged by Simon Trewin).

My third monograph is Sound Writing: Voices, Authors, and Readers of Oral History (Oxford University Press, 2023). 



Sarah Pyke, 'Textual preferences: The queer afterlives of childhood reading' (awarded 2019)

Sarah Hesketh, '2016: A Voice Work' (making poetry from oral history) (awarded 2021)

Jamie Walker, creative memoir writing - childhood trauma (ongoing)

Professional affiliations

Member of AHRC Peer Review College

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Committee Member and Trustee of the Oral History Society

Member of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment


PhD and MA (Birkbeck, University of London)
BA Hons (Bath Spa University)