I am Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, and was from 2006–11 Head of the Humanities Division of the University. Previously I had held posts at the Universities of Princeton, Leeds, and Sheffield, and fellowships at Harvard and Cornell Universities. In my book, The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature, Science and Medicine, 1840–1900 (OUP, 2010), I looked at a range of literary texts, including Dickens, Brontë, Eliot, Meredith, James, Hardy, and Gosse, in the light of the emerging sciences of child psychology and psychiatry, and the impact of evolutionary theory. I am currently extending my work on the interface of literature, science, and culture with two large projects, for which I am Principal Investigator. I hold a European Advanced Investigator grant for a five year project, ‘"Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives." I am also Principal Investigator for a large AHRC four year grant in the field of Science and Culture, on "Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries." I am working with Dr Gowan Dawson at the University of Leicester, and my colleague in Astrophysics at Oxford, Dr Chris Lintott, and also our partner institutions, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Society, and the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. During my time at the Institute I am conducting research for both projects, and building academic links for joint activities.
George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science (1984),
Charlotte Bronte and Victorian Psychology (1996),
Embodied Selves: An Anthology of Psychological Texts, 1830-1890 (1998), ed. with Jenny Bourne Taylor;
The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature, Science and Medicine, 1840-1900 (2010).
Nature Transfigured: Science and Literature 1700-1900 (1989);
Body/Politics: Women and the Discourses of Science (1990);
Memory and Memorials, 1789-1914: Literary and Cultural Perspectives (2000);
Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media (Ashgate, 2004),
Reading the Magazine of Nature: Science and the Nineteenth-Century Periodical (Cambridge University Press, 2004)
Science Serialised (MIT Press, 2004).