BiographyI have held a lectureship at Birkbeck since 2015 and have an established research profile in the field of American literature. I have acted as Director of the MA in Contemporary Literature and Culture since 2015 and have delivered teaching from levels 4-7 in American literature and culture.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
I am a specialist in American literature and my work considers the wider, global dimensions of the literature I study with a transnational focus. My expertise is on the human condition and war narratives in American fiction and non-fiction; American cultures of crisis and extinction; and American science fiction (sf). Mainly, my research concentrates on conflict and how genocide and secular apocalypse explore complex themes of alterity, displacement, and trauma in real contexts. As a war scholar, my work is concerned with how American literature responds to events such as World War II and the Cold War; however, I also explore American crises such as terrorism, accidents, and environmental disasters.
My new book Three Mile Island: The Meltdown Crisis and Nuclear Power in American Popular Culture focuses on the lingering fear, but also ambivalence, towards nuclear technology present in American culture. The book places the Three Mile Island crisis (1979) within the wider public debate on nuclear technology. This book is a cultural history of mainstream responses in American society – from news stories to science fiction – involving this influential moment in America’s past. Further, I use this example to consider nuclear culture as a whole and investigate human response, witness testimony, and literature during and after Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and Fukushima by looking at Japanese, Russian, and other transnational sources and how these were received by the American public.
My last publication was a peer-reviewed chapter for Girl Talk (Lexington Books, 2016) entitled Growing up in the 21st Century: Pretty Little Liars and their Pretty Little Devices. In this article, I examine how significantly modern technology impacts the social experience of school children. By focusing on Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series and the popular television show adaptation by I. Marlene King for ABC Family, this chapter addresses how social media, surveillance, and mobile phones in Shepard's eighteen novels comment on the perils of technology and social networking for youngsters.