Before joining Keele in January 2015, I studied and worked at Loughborough University, where I obtained my doctorate in 2011. My thesis focused on seventeenth-century women’s religious writings, particularly the life-writings and prophecies of Baptist women and the role of these writings in seventeenth-century dissent. This research was published by Ashgate Press in 2015 and was nominated for the Richard L. Greaves prize by the International John Bunyan Society in 2016.
I continue to work on seventeenth-century Protestant dissenting communities, ritual and memory, and early-modern women’s writing. I am also an experienced textual editor, producing a teaching edition of seventeenth-century women’s writing in 2014, and contributing editions of two plays to the new eight-volume edition of Aphra Behn’s works with Cambridge University Press.
I would welcome PhD applications to work in any of these areas and seventeenth-century literature and culture more generally.
Research and scholarship
My research centres on women’s textual participation in seventeenth-century dissenting communities, particularly the function of women’s religious treatises, spiritual testimonies, and prophecies in early Baptist congregations. I completed my AHRC-funded PhD on this topic in 2011 and the revised version of this research was published by Ashgate Press in 2015: Baptist Women’s Writings in Revolutionary Culture, 1640-1680. Some of this research appeared in article form in The Seventeenth Century, Prose Studies, and Notes and Queries, and was the focus of a display at the Devon Heritage Centre. My work on the Devon Baptist, Deborah Huish, has since appeared on the National Trust’s webpage for Loughwood Baptist Church, South Devon, where she worshipped.
I am also interested in seventeenth-century dissenting culture more generally, particularly the role of ritual in the formation of dissenting communities. I am involved in the Dissenting Experience project, which aims to catalogue and encourage further study into seventeenth-century church books. I also sit on the Executive Committee for the International John Bunyan Society as European Treasurer and am Co-Editor of the Society’s journal, Bunyan Studies: A Journal of Reformation and Nonconformist Culture.
I also remain committed to the recovery and exploration of early-modern women's writing. In 2014 I co-edited Flesh and Spirit: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women’s Writing (Manchester University Press) which was concerned with exploring the relationship between spiritual and corporeal understandings of religious experience. I am also editing two Exclusion Crisis plays for the new eight-volume, original spelling edition of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn (Cambridge University Press). In 2021, Volume IV, which contains my edition of Behn’s The City-Heiress, won the Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition, presented by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and since 2018 I have been the Careers and Employability Lead for the School of Humanities. I have been running work placement modules in the School since 2016 and much of my teaching seeks to support students in recognising how their degree skills can be utilised in the world outside academia. In 2022 I was awarded Keele University TIPS project funding (with Jonathon Shears) to develop a framework for supporting authentic assessment in the School through a project with Tatton Park Library.
In the 2022-23 academic year I am convening:
ENG-20064 Literature and Social Change
ENG-20055 Work Placement for Humanities Students
ENG-30088 Work Placement for Humanities Final-Year Students
ENG-40057 Work Placement for Humanities Postgraduates
I also contribute teaching to Reading Literature, Texts and Contexts, Methods and Approaches, The Renaissance: Shakespeare and Beyond, English Dissertation, and Criticism, Analysis, Theory.
When I am not on research leave, I teach a research-led Level 6 module: ENG-30077 Gender and Power in Restoration Literature.
School of Humanities
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733109