I started my academic career with an MA in English Literature, Modern History and Spanish / Latinamerican Literature & Culture at the University of Saarbruecken in Germany (1998), which I followed with my PhD on literary and cultural representations of the English Gentleman in the twentieth century at the University of York in 2004. Since October 2002 l had already been working as Lecturer in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century English and European Literature at the University of Derby, a position I held until summer 2009 when I came to Portsmouth.
My teaching is strongly informed by my research. I co-ordinate the Level 5 unit 'Nation & Travel' which focuses on national identity, in particular Englishness, and the Level 6 option 'Holocaust Literatures' which examines a cross-section of commemorative writing on the Holocaust, ranging from survivor to second-generation accounts, and 'perpetrator' writing to fictional engagement with the Holocaust. On this latter topic I have recently organised a major international conference dedicated to 'Trauma & Memory: the Holocaust in Contemporary Culture' which took place here at the Centre for Studies in Literature in July 2013.
I have two distinct research specialisms. For the past decade I have been working on literary and cultural representations of English national identity. Apart from my book on The Image of the English Gentleman in Twentieth-Century Literature (Ashgate 2007), I have published widely on Englishness in contemporary literature, as well as co-edited a book on These Englands: a Conversation on National ldentity (MUP, 2011). l am now focusing more specifically on the relation between 'Englishness' and 'landscape', here in particular the 'affective' nature of landscape in the formation of a specific national identity. l have recently co-edited the book Land & Identity. Theory, Memory & Practice (Rodopi, 2012) and am currently co-editing Affective Landscapes in Literature, Art and Everyday Life (forthcoming 2015). My new monograph project looks at the current craze for the 'Home Tour', traveling around England in order to find the self.
More recently, I have moved into Holocaust Studies. My interest here is in particular in contemporary fictional representations of the Holocaust and their ensuing problematics. I am particularly interested in contemporary German writing on the Holocaust, and here especially the new critical engagement with perpetrator accounts. ln July 2013, I hosted a major international conference on 'Trauma & Memory: the Holocaust in Contemporary Culture' here at the Centre for Studies in Literature and am hoping to publish an edited collection on that theme in 2014/15.