am currently a Junior Research Fellow at
College, Oxford. I hold a BA in French and German from Oxford
University (2004), a Masters (M.St.) in European Literature (German, 2006), and a
D.Phil. (German, 2010), also from Oxford.
My broad research interest is in
the experience of reading fiction. Given this focus, I have gravitated towards scientific approaches to the study of
literature as those best able to account for readers’ experiences to textual
features. In particular, I value those that have the potential to combine theoretical
insights from the cognitive sciences, psychology, and neuroscience with
empirical testing of readers’ responses to fictional texts and the close reading
essential to traditional literary criticism.
doctorate was on Kafka and visual perception, and my current research project investigates
other forms of ‘cognitive
realism’ (the ways in which textual evocations correspond to cognitive
realities) with regard to cognitive capacities such as memory, attention, and
emotion, and in the two literary ‘periods’ of Realism and Modernism. My aim is to elucidate the
cognitive effects of specific texts and to draw broader conclusions about
Realist and Modernist aesthetics.
For six years I lived on a narrowboat
in Oxford, and I’ve only gradually adjusted to life on dry land. I find
powerlifting an excellent complement to academic work, and am always trying to find more time to read for pleasure
(especially since that is, after all, the experience I’m attempting to study).