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I’m in the sixth year of part-time research, and currently organising my material into something that looks like a doctoral thesis. My research project focuses on allusions to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry in the work of George Eliot. It develops a methodology for reading Eliot’s allusions to Coleridge, and reveals pervasive Coleridgean elements in her work that previously have been under-represented in Eliot scholarship. My thesis is that Eliot’s work contains a Coleridgean presence at a textual level, and that this presence is supported by thematic preoccupations in both writers’ work. Eliot’s hypothetical and procedural approaches to her writing contain Coleridgean confluences which are identified and explored. The development of Coleridgean elements in Eliot’s work is analysed, as are the disruptive effects of Eliot’s adoption of these elements.

My thesis examines Eliot’s use of Coleridgean allusions thematically, commencing with Eliot’s presentation of childhood experience and iterations of the self, and continuing with chapters on other/othered characters, romantic plots, organicism, hermeneutics, and narrative techniques and authority.

Public engagement

Conference papers:

  • ‘The ghost of ‘Christabel’: haunting allusions in later works’, Friends of Coleridge Study Weekend, Halsway Manor, September 2016.
  • ‘‘Then all the charm is broken’: Coleridgean allusion in George Eliot’, Authorship and Appropriation Conference, University of Dundee, April 2016.
  • ‘Intertext: negotiating the space between Coleridge and Eliot’, English Departmental Postgraduate Research Afternoon, University of Chester, November 2015.
  • ‘George Eliot's Dresses’, Dressing and Undressing the Victorians Conference, University of Chester, March 2015.
  • ‘‘Witchery by Daylight: ‘Christabel’ and Daniel Deronda’, North West Long Nineteenth Century Seminar Series, Manchester Metropolitan University, November 2014.
  • ‘‘Witchery by Daylight’: ‘Christabel’ Unbound’, joint paper with Dr Sally West, Biennial Coleridge Conference, Cannington College, Somerset, August 2014.
  • ‘The Uses of Silence: Solitude, Society, and Morality in Coleridge and Eliot’, Romantic Lacunae: Silences, Gaps, & Empty Spaces, Queen's University, Belfast, August 2013.
  • ‘‘From Foulness Afar’: The Uncanny Woman in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's ‘Christabel’ and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda’, Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Symposium, University of Chester, May 2013.
  • 'Symbolic Gestures: Narrative, Community, and Subjectivity in Coleridge's 'Ancient Mariner' and George Eliot's Silas MarnerGladstone Colloquium, Gladstone's Centre, Hawarden, November 2012.
  • 'The Sole Unquiet Thing': Materialising Coleridge In The Work of George Eliot', Gladstone Colloquium, Gladstone's Centre, Hawarden, November 2011.
  • 'Sweet Afton: a Thing Theory Reading of Class-Inflected Objects in the Early Work of Angela Carter', Spectres of Class Conference, University of Chester, July 2011.

Departmental activities:

In 2014, I helped to set up VICReS Shorts, a WordPress site aimed at showcasing ongoing research by PGRs in the English Department: https://vicarageresearchersshorts.wordpress.com

In 2018, I gratefully passed on editorship of the site to the very wonderful Leo Hall. Do take a look!

Since 2015, I’ve co-organised the English Department’s PGR Research Afternoons, which give English postgrads an opportunity to present their research to other PGRs in the Faculty and beyond, as well as to meet and socialise with fellow postgrads.

I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with some brilliant events at the University – Talking Bodies in 2016 and Queen of Suspense: A Highsmith Symposium in 2018. What’s next? Watch this page….

Published work:

  • ‘‘Witchery by Daylight’: ‘Christabel’ Unbound’, with Dr Sally West, Coleridge Bulletin, Winter 2014.
  • Silas Marner: George Eliot's Most Coleridgean Work?’ The George Eliot Review, 2015.
  • I was awarded the 2015 George Eliot Fellowship's Annual Essay Prize for her essay, Silas Marner: George Eliot's Most Coleridgean Work?’