I joined the UvA in January 2023 as Assistant Professor in English Literature. Previously, I was lecturer and then senior lecturer at Bristol University (2015-22) and lecturer at Liverpool Hope University (2012-15). I received my PhD from the University of St Andrews and my undergraduate degree from Cambridge University.
My main area of research is the relationship between literature, science and religion in the period. My second book, Perception and Analogy, was published by Manchester University Press in 2021. It explores what it means to ‘see scientifically’ in the eighteenth century by looking at the descriptive strategies of poets, natural philosophers, and theologians from the period.
I have also written on poetry and Linnaean botany, scientific satires about reproduction, Christian ideas in Romantic literature about science, and anti-Newtonianism in the works of Christopher Smart and his contemporaries. My first book, Christopher Smart's English Lyrics (2014), considers Smart’s reception of Biblical and classical verse in terms of national and religious identity.
My current research considers scientific self-experimentation and the development of aesthetic categories between 1660 and 1830. This project looks at how different scientists and physicians (including Joseph Priestley, Anton von Störck, George Cheyne and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek) documented trials on their own bodies and how their narrative accounts relate to the development and refinement of concepts such as genius, originality, taste, and inspiration.
I teach and supervise across the period 1600-1900 and I welcome supervision enquiries related to any of the topics outline above or to poetry more broadly.
I am always delighted to hear from potential collaborators, and to connect with other scholars on questions of research content and method.