I have been a Fellow at St Peter's since 2001, shortly after I finished my doctorate, which was on politics and literature in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, and in particular, the development of Whig literary culture in that period. I am also interested in Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu; textual criticism; eighteenth century poetic miscellanies and popular reception history; obliteration and the revision of eighteenth century texts. I help to organise a termly seminar for St Peter's English students, together with my colleagues, Dr Tessa Roynon and Dr Tara Stubbs, in which visiting speakers come along to tell us what they have done with their English degrees.
At St Peter's I teach undergraduate courses in the period 1640-1832, and the Shakespeare paper. In the Faculty, I lecture on Restoration comedy, High and Low Culture, Pope, Swift, Montagu, Behn and Rochester. Along with Ros Ballaster, Christine Gerrard, and David Womersley, I have also recently started teaching a third year syndicated option on 'Grub Street', which explores the ephemeral productions of the early eighteenth century alongside more canonical texts. I have offered and taught MSt options on Poetry and Politics, and the literature of Grub Street, and am currently co-convening the Mst 1500-1780. I have supervised doctoral theses on: celebrity and female actors in the eighteenth century; Defoe and historiography; quotation of Shakespeare in the eighteenth-century novel, and the correspondence of Jacob Tonson. I convene the Restoration to Reform seminar, the Faculty's eighteenth-century graduate research seminar, currently held at St Peter's College.
Poetry and the Creation of a Whig Literary Culture: 1680-1714. Published in hardback by OUP, April 2005 (paperback March 2009) ed., Jonathan Swift, 'The Journal to Stella': Letters to Esther Johnson and Rebecca Dingley, 1710-1713 (forthcoming, CUP, 2011)
Essay on ‘Whig Literary Patronage' in Cultures of Whiggism: New Essays on Literature and History in the Long Eighteenth Century ed. David Womersley (University of Delaware Press, published October 2005).
‘The poetry of the un-enlightened: politics and literary enthusiasm in the early eighteenth century', History of European Ideas, 31 (2005), 299-311.
‘Whig and Tory Poetics': essays on political aesthetics for the new Blackwell's Companion to Eighteenth Century Poetry, ed. Christine Gerrard (Blackwell's, 2006.) ‘Literary and Intellectual History': essay on the relationship between literary criticism and the History of Ideas tradition in New Approaches in Intellectual History , eds. Brian Young and Richard Whatmore (Palgrave 2006).
‘The Politics of Providence in Dryden's Fables ', Translation and Literature, 17 ( 2008).
'I hope to write as bad as ever': Swift's Journal to Stella and the intimacy of correspondence', forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century Life, 2009.
I am currently finishing an edition of Jonathan Swift's Journal to Stella for the new Cambridge Complete Works of Jonathan Swift. There has been some media coverage of my detective work on the manuscripts, and you can watch me talking about the letters on this Oxford University podcast.
I have also been awarded a Leverhulme Research Project Grant, which will enable the creation and completion of the Digital Miscellanies Index. This three-year externally funded project will create a freely available database enabling researchers to track the changing fortunes of individual poems and authors across the thousand or so miscellanies (popular poetic anthologies) published during the eighteenth century. The Index is currently hosted at the Bodleian Centre for the History of the Book, and the contents of the Index are based on the Bodleian's Harding Collection of Printed Music, left to the Bodleian in 1974 by Walter N.H. Harding, a British-born Chicagoan ragtime pianist. Harding had never seen the Bodleian, but he left the library a comprehensive collection of miscellanies, songbooks, song sheets, folk and instrumental music and music hall ballads. The creation of the Index will also involve a public concert, radio 3 programme and exhbition based on material from the miscellanies.
The web link for my miscellanies project is http://digitalmiscellaniesindex.org/