My main field of research interest is the relationship between literature, science and technology, particularly in the eighteenth century. My most recent book, Imagining Solar Energy (2020), argues that the literary, artistic and mythical resonances of solar power – from the Renaissance to the present day – have not only been inspired by, but have also cultivated and sustained its scientific and technological development. My first monograph Swift and Science (2012) explores how literature, and particularly satire, can be an active and unique participant in debates about enquiries into nature. As a post-doctoral research fellow I worked on the Cambridge University Press edition of Swift's A Tale of a Tub (2010) with Professor Marcus Walsh. I am currently co-editing (with Professor Paul Baines) the 'Early Prose' volume of the OUP Works of Alexander Pope. PhD topics I have supervised include: the picturesque and the novel; epigraphs in the novel; propaganda and satire associated with the Harley ministry; mentoring relationships in eighteenth-century prose. I would especially welcome enquiries regarding postgraduate study of: literature, science, technology and the environment; energy humanities; the long eighteenth century; eighteenth-century Liverpool writing.
My academic support and feedback hours in Semester 2 of 2023/24 are Mondays and Fridays 9-10am - email me at those times, and I'll call you back via Teams, or we can arrange a time to meet on campus.
Prizes or Honours
- Book Award: Literatures in the English language Category A (Open), for Imagining Solar Energy (European Society for the Study of English, 2022)
- Winner of Literature and Sustainability essay prize/ Hay Festival lecture (ASLE-UKI/ INSPIRE, 2022)
- Richard H. Rodino Prize for best essay on Swift and his age in 2011 and 2012 (The Ehrenpreis Center for Swift Studies, 2013)
- Shortlisted for BSLS Book Prize 2013 (British Society for Literature and Science, 2013)