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Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in supervising PhDs in 19th and early-20th-century French and Belgian Studies. I have significant experience in supervising interdisciplinary projects (art history, literature, architecture).


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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am a 19th-century art historian, based in French Studies whose research and teaching are interdisciplinary, drawing upon the methods and fields of art history, literature and history of design.

My research may be categorised into two distinct but inter-related areas: (1) interior studies; (2) 19th-century art history and aesthetics. I have published peer-reviewed articles and books on major figures in 19th-century literature (Baudelaire, Nerval, Rodenbach, Maeterlinck, Verhaeren) and art (Manet, Courbet, Daumier, Redon, Gauguin, Ensor, Morisot).  I am particularly interested in how the material conditions of 19th-century France shaped artistic process and aesthetic form. I explored the role of marketing and the nascent modern media in the artistic output and public profile of Courbet, Gauguin and Ensor in my 2016 monograph, Staging the Artist (Routledge). Most recently,  I have published the edited volume, Domestic Space in France and Belgium (2022) and co-edited two special issues (on the Belgian Interior and on Intimacy) with the leading nineteenth-century journal Dix-Neuf  (2019 and 2021).

I am currently completing my second monograph, Morisot’s Modernism and Impressionist Art, contracted with Routledge, for which I was awarded the prestigious Society of French Studies Prize Research Fellowship in 2021. This project seeks to recalibrate the position of the female Impressionist, Berthe Morisot and challenge public and critical understanding of the Impressionist movement more broadly by focusing on the interior culture which shaped it. 

Together with Prof Dominique Bauer, I co-direct the Interior Spaces research platform based at KU Leuven, and I have given several invited papers on the interior and on 19thc art history at research institutes, museums and Universities.

I am interested in hearing from potential students who would like to work on interdisciplinary projects (art, literature, architecture, theatre studies).

Recent PhD Dissertation topics have included:

The Mirror in 19th-Century Toilette Art (Rebecca Gosling)

Interior Spaces in Belgian Art and Architecture (1880-1914): Domesticity, Materiality and Intimacy (Apolline Malevez)

Parisien Poesis: Space in the Poetry of Michel Houellebecq, Jacques Roubaud and Jacques Reda (Lauren Quigley).

I have also supervised MRes dissertations on Dali, Monet, Cassatt and Baudelaire.

I am the associate editor of the Interior Spaces series at Amsterdam University Press and I am also the Editor for French of the Modern Language Review and Director at the Modern Humanities Research Association. I am also the Conference officer for SDN https://uksdn.wordpress.com/about

I have served as an invited assessor for grants for the European Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Institute and Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and am a member of the AHRC Peer-Review College. 










I currently offer the following research-led undergraduate modules:

Level 1 - 'Introduction to French Studies 1 - Impressionism and Nineteenth-century France'

Level 2 - 'Symbolism - From the Exotic to the Femme Fatale'

Level 3 - 'Home Matters'  and 'Paris, Capital of Modernity'



I studied English and French at University College Galway (1994), spending my Erasmus year at the University of Poitiers. I was granted a Lectrice position at the University Bordeaux III (1995) and then awarded a Postgraduate Fellowship to complete my Masters in English (Literature and Publishing) in 1996. Having  spent two years teaching English and French in Ireland and Spain, I returned to study for an MPhil/DEA in Textual and Visual Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and the University of Paris X, Nanterre (2000). I was awarded the Claude Pichois Award and The Trinity Trust Award to pursue my PhD on Self-representation in Charles Baudelaire, Odilon Redon and James Ensor, supervised by Barbara Wright. I carried out research for my PhD dissertation at the University of Belgium (ULB) under the guidance of Paul Aron, and at the Royal Museums of Fine Art, Brussels (MRBAB), under the supervision of Michel Draguet and Gisèle Ollinger-Zinque and for which I was awarded a grant from the French Community of Wallonie, Belgium. I was the recipient of a scholarship as Pensionnaire scientifique étrangère at the École normale supérieure, Lyon (Fontenay-aux-Roses) for 2002-03, where I specialised in poetry and was supervised by Jean-Marie Gleize. I was also awarded a Levanthal travel award (2001) to the Ryerson and Burnham Librairies at the Art Institute of Chicago to prepare my chapter on Redon and publish my first book on his writings. As I completed my PhD, I was awarded the Samuel Beckett prize as Pensionnaire scientifique étrangère at the École normale supérieure, Paris (2004), where I was supervised by Ségolène le Men and I also worked as a Lectrice at the University of Paris III. While at the ENS, I was awarded a summer scholarship from the National Insitutute of Art History in France (INHA) to study at the Villa des Médicis, Rome (2004). I took up my first temporary academic post at University College Dublin in Sept. 2004 and then moved to a permanent Lectureship in Queen's University, Belfast in 2006. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2018 and to Reader in 2022.




I am passionate about equality and diversity and this underpins every role I have taken both within and beyond the University.  My commitment to the QUB institutional SWAN and D&I priorities of the University is visible in my sustained work as Athena SWAN Champion 2014-2018 and Chair of the Athena SWAN committee resulting in the first successful award for AHSS in the UK and Ireland; as Faculty Rep for the 2019 Institutional Silver; in my on-going work as Chair and Reviewer of Athena SWAN applications for Advance HE; and my recent successful hosting of a HR workshop for all staff at the world-leading customer Intelligence firm Intent HQ. I am available to give Diversity and Equality talks and workshops  at Universities and other organisations. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality


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