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Current Research

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Sympathetic Texts: Collaborative Writing in the Long Nineteenth Century

My first monograph delves into the archive to explore a theory of “sympathetic collaboration.” I draw from Adam Smith’s 18th-century moral philosophy to argue that the collaborative process is a form of liberal and communal self-identification, indebted to the imaginative power of sympathy. All of the chapters offer an interdisciplinary understanding of the relation of the creative work to its social environment. The book investigates collaborations between individuals—Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Michael Field—together with the aesthetic press movement (using William Morris’s Kelmscott Press as a case study), and between Vernon Lee’s partnerships with A. Mary F. Robinson and “Kit” Anstruther-Thomson.

Image Source: http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/frank2.html

Drafting the Pre-Raphaelites

In addition to its focus on the Pre-Raphaelites’ engagement with imperial, urban, and gendered life, this second monograph also interrogates theories of the archive. Rejecting academic approaches to creativity, the Pre-Raphaelites were known for their bohemianism and the challenge they posed to traditional markets and ways of life. Delving into the Pre-Raphaelite archive to trace the creative process, this project explores the interconnections between creative inspiration, coterie culture, and engagement with transnationalism and intersexuality. My monograph will use theories of the avant-garde to question what traditional narratives of Pre-Raphaelitism have privileged in their focus on the gendered divisions of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood. Moreover, I remain invested in identifying the aspects of historical and poetic creativity that have been ignored by tendencies to recuperate creative and social rebellion into icons of British nationalism. In doing so, this project uses the archive to diversify the literary canon: it celebrates multiplicity, the circulation of ideas, and the unfinished as touchpoints for how words work, how forms affect the poem, and how these thought processes are shaped by involvement in communities that remain mindful of immigration, imperial expansion, and diversity.

Image: https://hrc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p15878coll35/id/959/rec/2

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rossetti dante gabriel pre raphaelite K9

Defining Pre-Raphaelite Poetics                      Co-Edited Collection

This specially commissioned edited collection seeks to define Pre-Raphaelite poetics. The Pre-Raphaelites were a group of nineteenth-century poets, artists, and critics who sought to reform art—broadly construed—by rejecting academic and mechanistic approaches. The collection hopes to broaden the scope of Pre-Raphaelite literary scholarship (as opposed to the visual and material), by codifying the methods, forms, and commonalities identifiable as Pre-Raphaelite poetry. Primary themes of the collection include formalist or prosodic approaches, expanded networks of literary and artistic influence within Pre-Raphaelitism, and critical legacies and responses to Pre-Raphaelite poetry. Ultimately, this edited collection argues that the plurality of Pre-Raphaelite poetics is its consummate defining quality.

Image: https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/pre-raphaelite-journal-the-germ