Skip to main content
Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies+44 (0) 191 33 42570


Career Biography

Office Hour: Friday, 12.00-1.00

After completing a PhD and teaching at the University of Warwick, I joined Durham in 2004. My work is situated at the intersections of such fields as American hemispheric, US and postcolonial studies, with a particular focus on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Black and African diaspora literature and culture.

Previous research has looked at the novels of the contemporary African American author Toni Morrison and appears in various edited collections and journals. My first monograph, 'Shuttles in the Rocking Loom': Mapping the Black Diaspora in African American and Caribbean Fiction, came out with Liverpool University Press in 2013. Engaging with the thought of Édouard Glissant and Paul Gilroy, it asks how the Black diaspora has imagined itself and its history in spatial terms. In particular, it investigates the work done by symbolic sites, journeys and counter-geographies to articulate variegated politics of community, identity and cross-cultural relation, taking a comparative approach to Anglo- and Francophone texts from across the twentieth century by African American, Caribbean and Black British novelists. Other published research includes writing on Paul Laurence Dunbar, W E B Du Bois, Octavia Butler and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

My current book turns to visions of futurity in contemporary African American fiction and visual art. Linked to this work, I was co-curator for the 2017 'Time Machines' exhibition in Durham.

In 2009 I co-organised the international symposium 'Toni Morrison: New Directions' at Durham and in 2014 organised the HEA-sponsored event 'Teaching African American Literature and Culture'. I have been the recipient of travel and research grants from the British Library, the British Association for American Studies, the British Academy, Stanford University, the JFK Institute for American Studies at the Free University of Berlin, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During Spring 2010 I held a Fellowship at the Durham Institute of Advanced Studies and I spent three months in Autumn 2014 as a Research Fellow at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

I was the Secretary of the British Association for American Studies, 2014-17, and a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, 2017-20. I am currently an Associate Editor for the journal Contemporary Women's Writing.

Time Machines Image

I welcome supervisees working in the areas listed under Teaching and Research Interests below. I have supervised research on American, African, African American, British and contemporary women's literature.

Teaching Interests

American Literature

Postcolonial Studies

Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Fiction

Research interests

  • Black Diaspora Literature and Culture (African American, Caribbean, Black British)

Esteem Indicators

  • 2011: Toni Morrison: New Directions: Special Issue of MELUS, 36, 2 (2011) co-edited with Kathryn Nicol


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Supervision students