Research

I have worked on the intersection of psychoanalysis, interest in the supernatural at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, and new technologies. I have also published on music, popular culture and film. I'm especially interested, right now, in the question of how you work on what you love, from high cultural artifacts to favorite pop songs. My current book, about representations of adolescence in literature and culture, is  titled Keep your back to the Future: Adolescent Time Travel across the 20th Century. It ranges from novels by Henry James and Thomas Hardy in the 1890s, to teen time travel movies of the 1980s and 90s to more recent works such as Daniel Clowes' Ghost World and Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad. I am on the steering committee of CIRCY, the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth.  Most of my recent publications have been on some aspect of adolescence, from the late 19th century to the contemporary moment.

 

In July 2014, I organised Here by the Sea and Sand: A symposium on the album and film Quadrophenia. Featured speakers include the director of the film, Franc Roddam, and Professor James Wood (Harvard University and The New Yorker).  In October 2016, I organised Late and Later James/James at Lamb House, a symposium on the centenary of Henry James's Death, co-sponsored by the Centre for Modernist Studies and the National Trust, which took place at Lamb House, Rye.

 

For potential Phd students: I welcome Phd proposals that relate to my interests in the modernist and contemporary novel, and the theory and history of childhood and adolescence. I am interested in work at the intersection of late 19th, 20th, and 21st century literature, and one or some of the following: psychoanalytic history and theory, queer cultural theory, the history of technology, popular music, economic/Marxist theory, and the Anthropocene. Some of my favourite writers are Henry James, George Eliot, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, Elizabeth Bowen, Don DeLillo, Ali Smith, Greil Marcus, and Dana Spiotta.  I am not interested in proposals that focus solely on YA literature (except in special cases). I am not a big fan of vampires (except for Dracula).