My interests are in eighteenth-century and contemporary Gothic, Romanticism and theatre.
I was educated at the University of Leeds (BA Hons in English, 1986) and the University of Wales, Cardiff (PhD in English, 1994). Before coming to Westminster, I was employed at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. My main areas of research are in Gothic and Romantic Studies.
My major research interests are in Romantic writing and the Gothic (particularly performed Gothic). My monograph on Gothic Tourism is published by Palgrave Macmillan. Its main focus is on contemporary Gothic Tourism in England (in such forms as ghost walks, scare attractions and prison museums), but there are also chapters on Gothic tourism in the eighteenth century (at Strawberry Hill) and in the nineteenth (at Madame Tussaud's). The work considers the origins of modern Gothic, in particular the phenomenon of 'performed architectures'. Underpinning the whole volume are investigations of the relation of Gothic tourism to contemporary debates about heritage and history, to the Gothic aesthetic, and to literature, film, folklore, heritage management, arts programming, and the 'edutainment' business.
I am co-editor (with Catherine Spooner) of the Routledge Companion to Gothic (2007), for which I wrote essays on 'Gothic and the Romantics' and 'Contemporary Gothic Theatre'. I have also published on various other topics in Romantic and Gothic studies, writing on Gothic music, for instance.
I am working on a number of projects. At the moment, I am writing a monograph entitled The Music of the Gothic: 1790-1830 which looks at the music, both real and imagined, of Gothic novels, plays, melodramas and operatic romances. Over the longer term, I am investigating Romantic-period travel journals, particularly those chronicling tours of Wales and England. I am also interested in the relation between literature and the twentieth-century heritage movement.