I am a Lecturer in English at York St John University where I currently teach on a range of undergraduate modules, including: Reading Texts 1, Imaginary Worlds: Researching Science Fiction, Writing for Academic Success, Literary Theory, Contemporary Writing, Gender and Sexualities and Literature at Work.
I am also an Honorary Research Fellow the Sheffield Centre for Archival Practices. Until recently I also worked as a Cultural Engagement Assistant on an AHRC-funded project anthologizing poems of protest printed in Sheffield’s radical press at the dawn of the nineteenth century.
For the past few years I have also been a Co-Lead Educator on a Massive Open Online Course titled ‘Literature of the Country House’ and I am a long-serving Co-Editor for the Media pages of CRITICKS (The Online Review Site for the British Society of Eighteenth Century Studies).
My doctoral research was on early eighteenth-century periodicals that were funded by political parties but never signaled their partisan credentials. My PhD centered on one periodical in particular, Joseph Addison’s The Free-Holder. I am now building on this work to produce a monograph examining all Whig funded periodicals printed during Addison’s time as the party’s Chief Propagandist.
All of the papers I looked at for the PhD were printed in London and by the end of the project I’d noticed that they were all smugly metropolitan, regardless of their political affiliations. The good voter always seemed to be defined in contrast to a patronizing and pejorative representation of the Northerner. This troubled me, so much so that when the PhD was eventually over I was left with one burning question: how did people express political opinion in the North? What does Northern partisanship actually look like, discounting the way it was represented in the Southern, Metropolitan press?
And it is this question that led me to the man I am most interested in at the moment: James Montgomery, a poet, hymn-writer, statesman, slavery abolitionist and editor of Sheffield’s radical press at the turn of the nineteenth century.