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Personal profile

Biography

I joined the Department of Humanities at Northumbria University in 2021, after working for 12 years at the University of Washington in Seattle.  My teaching focuses on literatures of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglophone Atlantic World, and I have a wide range of research interests including

  • Scottish and Irish literatures
  • Migration, diaspora, and settler colonialism
  • Women writers
  • Print culture
  • the Enlightenment and Romanticism
  • Critical race studies
  • The history of the novel

Research interests

I work on the on the intersections among nationality, race, and gender in literatures of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglophone Atlantic World.  I'm particularly interested in how the material conditions of imperial endeavours and settler colonialism shaped these literatures and mediated colonial and indigenous voices.  My first book, Sentimental Literature and Anglo-Scottish Identity(Cambridge, 2010) explored representations of racial difference in what has been called England’s internal empire—its Celtic peripheries, and my later booksNation and Migration: The Making of British Atlantic Literature (Oxford, 2016) and Mary Prince, Slavery and Print Culture in the Anglophone Atlantic World(Cambridge, 2021), have gradually extended the focus of my research to encompass Britain’s North American colonies and its colonial projects in the broader Atlantic World, including the Caribbean, South Africa, and India.  I’m currently working on two projects that grow out of my previous research.  One examines how enclosure and depopulation altered the aesthetics of landscape description and transformed the meaning of indigeneity during the Romantic era. The other explores the functions and meanings of white womanhood in abolitionist literature by Black and white, male and female authors, from the early eighteenth-century to the beginning of the American Civil War.

My work in Scottish literary studies reflects my broader commitment to recovering marginalized voices in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies.  Scottish Women’s Writing in the Long Nineteenth Century: the Romance of Everyday Life (Cambridge, 2021) draws on my research as a Fulbright scholar at the National Library of Scotland in 2016-17 to introduce readers to some of the Scotswomen whose work has been unjustly overshadowed by that of their more famous male predecessors and contemporaries such as Robert Burns, Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson.  You can read more about the book on Cambridge University Press’s blog.  I’ve also created a website, Scottish Women Writers on the Web, that provides information about a much wider range of Scottish women writers than I was able to discuss in my book, and that features entries by other experts in Scottish Studies.  

Education/Academic qualification

English Literature, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

1 Sep 19991 May 2004

Award Date: 1 May 2004

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