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School of English and Modern Languages
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483989
Headington Campus, Tonge Block, T410
I studied for my BA at the University of York and for my MA at the University of Leeds. My PhD on 'Mina Loy’s Modernist Aesthetic’ was awarded at the University of Leeds. My teaching career has taken me from Leeds to Falmouth University in Cornwall before arriving at Oxford Brookes University in 2002. I teach primarily on modernism, women's writing, technology, American literature and culture, and on twentieth-century literature. From 2014-2020 I was on the Executive Committee of the British Association for Modernist Studies.
I work in the field of modernist studies, technology and literature and on American literature and culture. I have published books and articles on Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein, American Modernism, New York Dada, technology and literature, jewish writing, contemporary poetry, modernist drama, and radio.
The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism and Technology - co-edited with Ian Whittington
Reading Black Mirror - co-edited with Antonia Mackay
Of Women and Other Animals: Twentieth-century Women's Poetry and the Non-Human Turn
Modernist Poetry, Gender and Leisure Technologies: Machine Amusements explores how modernist women poets were inspired by leisure technologies to write new versions of the gendered subject. Focusing on American women writers and particularly on the city of New York, the book argues that the poetry of modernist women that engages with, examines or critiques the new leisure technologies of their era is fundamentally changed by the encounter with that technology. The chapters in the book focus on shopping, advertising, dance, film, radio and phonography, on city spaces such as Coney Island, Greenwich Village and Harlem, and on poetry that embraces the linguistic and formal innovations of modernism whilst paying close attention to the embodied politics of gender. The technologized city, and the leisure cultures and media forms emerging from it, enabled modernist women writers to re-imagine forms of lyric embodiment, inspired by the impact of technology on modern ideas of selfhood and subjectivity.
Reading Westworld is the first volume to explore the cultural, textual and theoretical significance of the hugely successful HBO TV seriesWestworld. The essays engage in a series of original enquiries into the central themes of the series including conceptions of the human and posthuman, American history, gaming, memory, surveillance, AI, feminism, imperialism, free will and contemporary capitalism. In its varied critical engagements with the genre, narratives and contexts of Westworld, this volume explores the show’s wider and deeper meanings and the questions it poses, as well considering how Westworld reflects on the ethical implications of artificial life and technological innovation for our own futurity. With critical essays that draw on the interdisciplinary strengths and productive intersections of media, cultural and literary studies, Reading Westworld seeks to respond to the show’s fundamental question; “Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” It will be of interest to students, academics and general readers seeking to engage with Westworld and the far-reaching questions it poses about our current engagements with technology.
With a focus on their depiction of the use of nonhuman animal materials this article examines how Barnes and Loy’s modernism specifically negotiates and disrupts the uncertain boundary between natural and cultural meanings in their engagements with fashion and the decorative. The article considers animal fashions and the limits of the human in Djuna Barnes’s writing, from early pieces such as ‘Vaudeville’ (1915) and ‘Madame Collects Herself’ (1918) to her late poetry, and in her journalism for New York newspapers, Vanity Fair, Charm and elsewhere. It also explores Mina Loy’s engagement with decoration and fashion through her poetry, in her essay on ‘Modern Poetry’ and in her work as a designer and inventor (including her design for a ‘Horse Ear Hat’). The article argues that, through motifs of animal decorations in women’s fashion, Barnes and Loy imagine animal-human confluences that deconstruct those dualisms and hierarchies that sustain an exploitative anthropocentric economy and a patriarchal cultural elitism.
In the years before, and at the outbreak of, the Second World War radio drama on the BBC emerged as a genre through which particular questions about nation, home, decency and morality were articulated. At the same time listener research developed, under the auspices of Reith's BBC, as a vehicle for understanding the preferences, habits and situations of the radio audience. Drama and Features were the first areas of radio output subject to targeted research. The reports that were produced by the BBC Listener Research Section provide an invaluable picture both of the nature and responses of specific communities of listener, and of how the radio listener her/himself was conceived. Such evidence can be usefully analysed alongside the types of drama that were developed and broadcast during this period. This essay examines the different kinds of listening subjects there were for radio drama in Britain in the 1930s and early 1940s, how they intersected with contemporary conceptions of the listener, and what situations (both private and political) came to be meaningful in the event of listening.
This chapter focuses on the intertextual play that marks out Westworld as a distinctive example of Quality TV. The chapter argues that Westworld can be placed in a wider literary-theoretical framework that includes interactive fiction and hypertext which, in turn offers a different perspective on the key questions of the series concerned with the impact of technology on the human. The chapter specifically considers the motif of the maze or labyrinth as synecdoche of the nexus of formal, theoretical and textual explications of nonlinear and interactive and digital narratives that shed light on Westworld’s depiction of its intradiegetic and extradiegetic players or wreaders. By thinking through the history of hypertext, the narratives of interactive textuality and the way both hypertext and Westworld negotiate ideas of (post)human agency in relation to technology, this chapter unearths an alternate lineage for the themes and dynamics of Westworld.