Jessica obtained her PhD from Swansea University in 2007 and worked as a lecturer at the University of Wales Lampeter before moving to Brunel in 2009. A senior lecturer in English, she has research interests in the cultural history of breastfeeding, Victorian popular fiction (especially sensation fiction), the Brontës, first-wave feminism, and neo-Victorianism. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and currently Programme Lead for English (undergraduate).
Jessica’s research interests include the cultural history of infant feeding, Victorian sensation fiction (particularly the work of Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins), the Brontës, the Victorian popular press, neo-Victorian literature and culture, and feminism and popular culture. She would welcome research students working in any of these areas. She is currently working on a research monograph examining the afterlife of the Victorian sensation novel in contemporary literature and culture, and developing a major project on cultural representations of breastfeeding.
She has published widely on Victorian and neo-Victorian literature and culture. Her most recent publication examines the afterlives of Jane Eyre's Bertha Mason (in Amber K. Regis and Deborah Wynne, eds., Charlotte Brontë’: Legacies and Afterlives, Manchester University Press, 2017). She is editor of a collection of essays on Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Rodopi, 2012), as well as co-editor of a major anthology on Women and Belief (Routledge History of Feminism series, 2012), and of a special issue of Neo-Victorian Studies (2010). She has contributed blogs to the Journal of Victorian Culture online, and the History of Pregnancy Network.