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Personal profile

Research interests

My main research areas span from late eighteenth-century to contemporary literature and culture. Research interests include oral history, reading, memory and forgetting, 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' (2014-2020).

Long-standing interests in sound feed into my work in oral history and literature, going back to my first monograph, Senses of Vibration: A History of the Pleasure and Pain of Sound (Bloomsbury 2012). I am currently working on Sound Writing, contracted with Oxford University Press.

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). These publications derived from my work as researcher on the AHRC-funded project 'Mysticism, Myth, and 'Celtic' Nationalism' at the University of Exeter from 2008-2011. These publications also illustrate my ongoing interest in/concern about the environment; my future plans involve interviewing environmental activists and exploring the relationship between reading and action.


Current PhDs

Sarah Pyke, 'Textual preferences: The queer afterlives of childhood reading' (2014-2019)

Emily Mercer (2015-), 'Remembering the dead, re-membering the text: rewriting and grief in the poetic works of Anne Carson'

Sarah Hesketh (2017-), 'Making Poetry from Oral History'

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)

Research Output

Forgetting Fiction: An Oral History of Reading

Trower, S., 5 Jun 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Book History. 30 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Interviews and Reading

Trower, S., Smith, G. & Tooth Murphy, A., 15 May 2019, Participations Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 16, 1.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationSpecial issue

Open Access
16 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
7 Downloads (Pure)


Trower, S., Apr 2019, (Accepted/In press) Literature and Sound. Cambridge University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Auto/biographical oral histories, from 'oral memoirs' to The Life of Nate Shaw (1948-1974)

Trower, S., 1 Mar 2017, In : Oral History. 45, 1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
82 Downloads (Pure)


International Oral History Association conference, 'Memory and Narration'

Shelley Trower (Keynote/plenary speaker)

18 Jun 201821 Jun 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Oral History Society (External organisation)

Shelley Trower (Member)

Aug 2018 → …

Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

Sound Arts Series

Shelley Trower (Speaker)

25 Jan 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

The Audible Spectrum: Sound Studies, Cultures of Listening and Sound Art (conference)

Shelley Trower (Speaker)

7 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

AHRC (External organisation)

Shelley Trower (Member)

1 Jan 20171 Jan 2021

Activity: MembershipMembership of council


Textual preferences: the queer afterlives of childhood reading

Author: Pyke, S., 16 Apr 2020

Supervisor: Waller, A. (Supervisor) & Trower, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis