Background and activities

I completed my PhD in eighteenth-century literature at Aberystwyth University in 2011, where I have also held lectureships in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature. In 2012 I was Associate Professor in English Literature at NTNU, and have also taught at BCU and Loughborough Universities, before moving to Edinburgh as a Teaching Fellow from 2014-2016.

My main areas of research are education and literature in the long eighteenth century, epistemology, cognitive theory, the material book, cultural history, children's literature, and the novel. My first monograph, Written Maternal Authority and Eighteenth-Century Education in Britain: Educating by the Book (Routledge, 2014), forms an investigation of the inconsistent literary representation of mothers, both as pupils and pedagogues, in educative fiction of the Enlightenment era. The central focus of the book is the role of women as maternal educators in the works of Sarah Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Maria Edgeworth, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen and the neglected religious dissenter Ann Martin Taylor, on whom my research was focused whilst visiting fellow at Chawton House Library (2008-9).

My first book examines the ways in which eighteenth-century writers, particularly women writers, negotiated the changing conception of the maternal role both in their works for children and in their writing on education. It demonstrates that the increasing association of maternity with rational education created a ‘written’ mother that was, to a large extent, incompatible with physical maternity. I am currently working on a project which examines the notion of 'genius', particularly 'natural genius', in relation to education rather than purely creative originality.


Semester 1:

ENG1302 Litteratur: Drama og lyrikk / Literature: Drama and Poetry (Course Coordinator)
ENG2302 Litterature og Historie / Literature and History, Literature in eighteenth-century Britain (Course Coordinator)