Research

I have published widely in the field of psychoanalysis and visual culture. My work is deeply engaged by the power of the image - be it visual or verbal - in public discourse: for example, the figure of the black child in civil rights discourse; the idea of 'welfare' in contemporary discussion of the postwar settlement; the representation of sexuality and terrorism in contemporary fiction and painting; the figure of the child in contemporary cinema. 

At present, my focus is on two broad topics: 'Psychoanalysis, the humanities and the social state' and and 'Humanities and Health'. I am particularly interested in the British Independent Tradition, and in bridging the apparent divide between the work of Jacques Lacan - so crucial to the development of psychoanalytic film theory - and D.W. Winnicott, one of the most original contributors to psychoanalysis as a theory and a therapy in which the relation between mother and baby comes right to the fore. Whilst his work remains underexplored on the cusp between psychoanalysis and the humanities, Winnicott's psychoanalysis introduces a vital emphasis on the concept of the environment - a concept whose influence on the development of the British welfare state remains to be thought. The writings of  Freud, Winnicott, Andre Green, Jean Laplanche, Serge Leclaire, Michael Eigen, Joyce McDougall and Christopher Bollas are also central to my research, as is the work of Shane Meadows, Lynne Ramsey, Ken Loach, Michael Haneke, Gerhard Richter and Don DeLillo. 

'Humanities in Future Health' is a new network of Sussex scholars and GPs and complementary health practitioners in Brighton. We are exploring the role of the humanities and social sciences in the development of health and wellbeing policy as well as delivery of clinical services. My own research in this area is looking at the relations among psychoanalysis, the humanities and the welfare state; I also have a particular interest in exploring the uses of psychoanalysis in the medical humanities. 

I welcome enquiries about doctoral supervision in psychoanalysis, visual and literery culture (late 19th- contemporary), and medical humanities. I also have particular interests in 20th century women's fiction (e.g. Doris Lessing, Margaret Drabble) as well as contemporary cultural forms (e.g. cinema - art and popular - from British social realism to horror). I am very committed to the idea of popular culture as a form of critical thinking and to moving away from models of 'application' of theory to culture. I am used to working with both full and part-time doctoral researchers and am also keen to support those returning to research after periods away from study.