My current work is focused upon the literary notions of the carnivalesque, grotesque, uncanny, and abject. I am interested in how these might be utilized in the development of a more diverse, representative and ethical approach in museum work and museology.
My PhD was entitled Timescapes: The Production of Temporality in Literature and Museums, and in it I explored the temporal nature of museums using the creative strategies of, and the theoretical approaches to, literature as my analytical frame. My current interests lie, broadly speaking, in the relationships between museums and other forms of cultural performance and production – including not just literature, but comics, film, television, theatre, and computer and games.
In museology more generally, I am particularly interested in the development of theoretical approaches to documentation and its practice, about which I wrote my MA dissertation. I am also interested in philosophical approaches to technology and other mediations in the museum, and the relationship between museums, poetics, narratology, philosophy of language and literature, the unheimlich, the unreal, Derridian hauntings and saudades, poetic tangibility and spatial form. .
Beyond museology and museum studies, however, I have a number of other interests. My first degree was in Medieval History and, because of the somewhat unique nature of an education at St Andrews, I was also able to take courses in Linguistics, Art History, Russian and English Literature. The subjects I studied during this period included Nature and Culture in the Middle Ages, Myth and History in Sub-Roman Britain, Heroic History: The Age of Beowulf, Science in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and Shepherds and Sheep in Medieval England and Castile.
Current Research Projects
I am currently writing my book, Time and the Museum: How Temporality Makes Space, Objects, Media and Visitors, which I am hoping to publish with Bloomsbury.
I’m also researching the importance of anxiety in the contemporary museum for a chapter due out next year.
In 2015 I spoke at the Volkekunde Museum in Leiden, on Carnival Temporality and the Ethnographic Museum. The presentation is online, and can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-dcuOqtDLE, and I am hoping to publish this paper as something or the other at some point soon.
I am also working on a paper to do with image, abjection, and carnival ethics in museum spaces.
Completed Research Projects
PhD Thesis, 2013, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester – ‘Timescapes: The Production of Temporality in Museums and Literature’
MA Dissertation, 2009, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester – ‘The Quotidian and the Bizzare: Rewriting the Daybook’
MA Hons. Dissertation, 2007, School of Medieval History, University of St. Andrews – ‘Oh Sisters Too: Women in the Medieval Mystery Cycles’