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What is a typical day at work for you?

Well, there is no such thing as a typical day because the role of a lecturer is so varied, which means I am never bored!  However, a typical teaching day for me this year starts at 6am when I get up : ) I get to work at about 8am (I was always a bit of a swot, and sadly this continues). 

Then I teach a range of classes with different year groups: so recently I taught Queer Theory to second years via the means of my alternative-teaching-persona (a technique they teach you at lecturer school) who is called Pierre.

Over the past few weeks, I have also taught the Kill Bill films using film clips, which was great, and Twelfth Night to first years using two dressing-up boxes, which I have to say was an absolute scream!     

What is your favourite part of your job?

Teaching. When a seminar really flies, it is the greatest feeling ever. It is a joy, and a privilege. 

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?

I recently published two edited collections of essays, one on Hilary Mantel (Bloomsbury) the other on British literature published between 1980-2000 (Cambridge University Press).  The monograph of my PhD on Mantel (Routledge) has also just gone into production, which is very exciting!

What is the best thing about English literature?

Reading and thinking about books teaches you about difference, the lives and workings of other people who are different from you. And, more than that, it teaches you compassion.

What has been your proudest moment while working at the University of Chester?

When I became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. To become a Senior Fellow you have to demonstrate how and why you teach, as well as the ways in which you influence the teaching of others. I am proud to be an SFHEA.

What do you enjoy most about teaching your subject?

For an oyster to produce a pearl all it needs is one grain of sand inside its shell. For me, teaching English is being that grain of sand.

What is the most memorable lesson you’ve ever taught?

When I taught students on Chester Retold (my module with Storyhouse) about the Situationists. Then we went to Storyhouse and did a flashmob in the foyer of the building to the soundtrack of Johnny B. Goode.  We put the theory of the Situationists – live life anew through spectacle – into practice!

What do you like about being a PAT (Personal Academic Tutor)?

Watching students grow, develop and change over the three years: it is a remarkable transformation to witness.

Choose a movie title for your life

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.  Just kidding. More seriously, the movie title of my life would be, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

If you could have a superpower what would it be?

Bilocation. Basically, the ability to be in two places at once would be really, really useful. And I have been working on it.  I mean who can say, maybe I can already do it...

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