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Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I would welcome new PhD proposals in - Dickens studies - 19th-century British writers - 19th-century Irish literature and culture - 20th-century Irish literature - Modern post-colonial fiction and theory - 19th-century women's travel writing - The literature of landscape - Film and fiction - TV adaptations of 18th-century/Victorian fiction - 20th and 21st-century fiction and poetry - Textual criticism - Landscape literature - The literature of place

19962021

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Interests

  • 19th-century British & Irish literature, esp. Dickens
  • Victorian Journalism
  • Art History
  • History of Photography
  • Architectural History
  • Museums & Galleries
  • Promotion of the Arts
  • Northern Ireland politics & society
  • Middle Eastern politics & society
  • Literature and Imperialism
  • The literature of place
  • Canadian and Commonwealth literature
  • Modern fiction
  • World Religions
  • Moral & ethical issues
  • 19th, 20th and 21st-century history
  • Politics and society in the UK, Europe and North America
  • Literature, politics & economics in India

My interests are represented through my varied range of activities:

  • academic work
  • community engagement work
  • speaking engagements in the UK and abroad
  • broadcasting for the BBC and other media outlets

Particulars

I grew up in Toronto, and have been at Queen's since 1991.

Research Statement

My primary research area is the life and works of Charles Dickens. I am the Principal Editor of the Dickens Letters Project, and an expert analyst of Dickens's letters, manuscripts, and handwriting. I am highly adept at finding new Dickens letters that have never before come to the attention of scholars. I have written and lectured widely on Dickens, his works and his world. I have curated Dickens exhibitions at major institutions, and have made these the substance of my impact cases for presentation to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) evaluation.

Most of my research has used historicist and post-colonial modes of criticism. I am an expert investigator of archival sources, and I have developed new approaches to Dickens's life and work as a result of my findings.I have been appointed to the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives, by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

I have done significant work in bibliography, the interaction between literature and the visual arts, and in textual criticism. I am working on the authoritative critical edition of Dickens's last completed novel, Our Mutual Friend, for Oxford University Press

I have successfully supervised PhDs in the following areas:

  • Dickens studies
  • 19th-century British writers
  • 19th-century Irish literature and culture
  • 20th-century Irish literature
  • Modern post-colonial fiction & theory
  • 19th-century women's travel writing
  • The literature of landscape

I would welcome new PhD proposals in the above areas, as well as in

  • Film and fiction
  • TV adaptations of 18th-century/Victorian fiction
  • 20th and 21st-century fiction and poetry
  • Textual criticism
  • Landscape literature
  • The literature of place

Teaching

I have extensive teaching experience in the following areas:

  • Dickens
  • 19th-century British fiction, poetry and drama
  • 19th-century Irish fiction, poetry and drama
  • 20th-century British fiction, poetry and drama
  • Canadian literature, culture & history
  • Commonwealth literature/diasporic English literature
  • Romantic literature
  • Dystopian literature
  • Metafiction
  • Autobiography

I currently teach/co-ordinate the following courses at Queen's:

  • Stage 1: English in Context: An Introduction to Contemporary Fiction
  • Stage 2: Dickens and the Cult of Celebrity
  • Stage 3: Televising the Victorians; English Dissertation
  • MA: Dickens in Context

Achievements

I currently hold a two public appointments:

  • The Advisory Council on National Records and Archives
  • Board Member and Chair of the Audit & Risk Assurance Committee for National Museums Northern Ireland

From 2014 to 2019 I was a Board Member & Chair of Finance & Capital Committee for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

I am a Board Member of the Charles Dickens Museum in London. I have expert knowledge of the institution's collection of 100,000 objects, and I contribute in the areas of collections development, education, interpretation, public engagement, finance, and operations.

I previously held a Government appointment as a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, and served as Chair of the organisation's Victims Committee, responsible for distributing £12 million of Government funding to Victims and Survivors Groups.

I recently completed a report for the Governments in Northern Ireland and India on Demonetisation and Emerging Challenges. The project was funded through a £25,000 grant from the Northern Ireland Dept for the Economy.

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