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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 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' (2014-2020).

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 and Science Book Prize 2012; listed as an ICA Book of the Year 2012 and Sensory Studies Books of Note 2012).

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) (won 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 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.

Ny next monograph is Sound Writing: Voices, Authors, and Readers of Oral History (forthcoming with Oxford University Press 2022). 



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

Sarah Hesketh (2017-2021), '2016: A Voice Work' (making poetry from oral history)

Jamie Walker (2020-), creative writing/life writing, title tbc

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)