BiographyMy PhD was on the poet Shelley, researching his interest in science and natural philosophy and how this profoundly shaped his imaginative vision of the world. This galvanised my interest in the relationship between the scientific and poetic modes of relation to the world, which I explored more recently in terms of hemispheric lateralisation, in 'The Divided Therapist: Hemispheric Difference and Contemporary Psychotherapy’ (Routledge, 2020). After completing my graduate studies at Oxford, I worked as editor for Karnac Books, and then as Senior Commissioning Editor for Routledge, and Commissioning Editor for Confer, the UK’s leading mental health conference and public education organisation, helping to set up their new publishing house, Confer Books.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
The areas I’m particularly interested in are psychology and politics, how they interact and shape each other. In my edited volume ‘The Political Self’ (Routledge, 2017) I explored the social contexts for mental distress and illness, focussing in particular on how contemporary capitalism is a chief driver of alienation, pathology, and dissociation. I’m also interested in the relation between creativity, the arts and wider society, and have written a number of articles on Romanticism and the English Romantics. A key figure for me is William Blake, and as well as writing a recent study of Blake’s work in the light of modern neuroscience (‘The God of the Left Hemisphere: Blake, Bolte Taylor and the Myth of Creation’, Karnac 2012), which Philip Pullman very kindly described as “revelatory and thrilling”, I was also Secretary and a trustee of the William Blake Society.
I see the relationship between the brain hemispheres as being central both to mental health and to wider aesthetic and spiritual dimensions, and have been strongly influenced by the recent work of Iain McGilchrist (‘The Master and his Emissary', 2009), as well as by Blake’s own profound understanding of human embodiment and the deeper dimensions of who we are.
I’ve always been interested in transformational politics and have written a number of articles on war and militarism, including ‘My Name is Legion: The British Legion and the Control of Remembrance’ (2015) and a review of Ernst Friedrich’s remarkable work ‘War against War!’ in ‘How We See War’ (2014). I am also an active supporter for the campaigning group Veterans for Peace UK.
I also write and play music, and am currently working on a music project based on the texts of Wilfred Owen, which I’m hoping to produce in London in 2022.