My doctoral dissertation theorized the relationship between intention and text, arguing that the text itself displays a kind of fundamental 'intentionality', distinct from any authorial intention that might be at work in it. A book based on that dissertation, entitled Intention and Text, was published by Continuum in 2008.
In my subsequent publications, the politics of gender and sexuality have come to play a large part - although in many cases such matters have also been related to issues of textual form and questions of meaning and signification: for example, in my discussion of the 'narrativising' of male homosexuality in Hollinghurst, and my exploration of A.L. Kennedy's perverse romances (in my first book, A.L. Kennedy, published by Palgrave in 2007), or in my work on Sarah Waters for the Contemporary Critical Perspectives collection of essays on her work which I edited (published in 2013). Underlying this is an abiding fascination with the relationships between form, meaning and (gender and sexual) identity and representation.
My third monograph, Writing Shame, published in early 2020, investigates the triangular relationship between shame, gender and writing, via readings of an array of contemporary texts - literary, popular, fictional and autofictional. In Writing Shame I start from the premise that femininity and shame are utterly and necessarily imbricated, and I examine writing that explores and inhabits - rather than seeking to overcome - this state of shame, considering the dissonant effects of such explorations on and beyond the page. I received an Experienced Researcher Fellowship from the Alexander Von Humboldt foundation to support the research and writing for Writing Shame, and from 2014-2015 was based in Berlin.
My current interests lie particularly in experimental writing by women: a special issue on contemporary women's experimental writing for Contemporary Women's Writing was published in 2015; a chapter on realism and experimentalism in postwar women's writing formed part of the History of British Women's Writing, Vol IX, 1945-1975, which was published by Palgrave in 2016; in 2019 Edinburgh University Press published British Avant-Garde Fiction of the 1960s, which I co-edited with Nonia Williams. My new monograph project - tentatively entitled Gendered Experiments - analyses the gender ramifications of three areas/strategies of literary experiment: appropriation, constraint, and excess, through analyses of a range of texts by women from across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
I am Co-Editor of the OUP journal, Contemporary Women's Writing, and a member of the editorial boards of Open Gender Journal (in Germany) and C21 (in the UK).