After a circuitous and discipline bending academic journey, I am currently historian of publishing, especially the cultural and business aspects, using interdisciplinary methods that utilise oral history and archival sources. Recent research conducted while Research Fellow on the Leverhulme-funded project The Business of Women’s Words: Purpose and Profit in Feminist Publishing, has focused on the feminist publisher Virago Press. Virago Reprints and Modern Classics: The Timely Business of Feminist Publishing was published in 2021.
Prior to this, my research engaged with questions of transmission, feminism, archives and the digital – my monograph Feminism, Digital Culture and the Politics of Transmission: Theory, Practice and Cultural Heritage won the Feminist Studies Association Book Prize in 2016. My PhD, awarded in 2008, told stories about subjectivity in Kate Bush’s music; in 2019 I was delighted to give the opening keynote at This Woman’s Work, the first academic conference dedicated to Bush’s music and career.
Alongside academic work, I am an experienced curator. I acted as curatorial consultant for the British Library exhibition Unfinished Business: the Fight for Women’s Rights (2020-21) and was guest curator for Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance Act 3 (2019). In 2011 I curated Sistershow Revisited: Feminism in Bristol 1973-75 and in 2012 Music & Liberation, a touring exhibition about music making in the women’s liberation movement.
I am currently working on several projects, including a biography of populist publisher and philanthropist Paul Hamlyn, provisionally titled Business for Pleasure: The Life and Enterprises of Paul Hamlyn; a slate of screenplays for television, including several dramatisations of forgotten feminist and queer histories; and a reprint publishing project.