Thesis Title: The representation of composers in the nineteenth-century novel
Supervisor: Susan Jones
My thesis spans the nineteenth century, taking in primarily English-language novels (George Eliot's Daniel Deronda and George du Maurier's Trilby) but with supplementary material - biographies and criticism - from across Europe. My range of critical approaches includes celebrity theory, nationalism, Orientalism and studies of Jewishness, gender, theories of genius, and evolution and degeneration. My approach is interdisciplinary, combining literary criticism with musicology, employing an understanding of music both as an aesthetic force within the novel and as a historical context interacting with the production of the novel.
In 2020, I spoke at conferences organised by the Victorian Popular Fictions Association, the Word and Music Association Forum, and the AHRC Open-Oxford-Cambridge DTP; on the topics of late-nineteenth-century female composer novels, the interaction between the music and writing of Ethel Smyth, and memorial texts about Frédéric Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn.
In 2021, I will be presenting research on Romantic reputations in romans a clef featuring composers in mid-nineteenth-century France, and on 'queer listening' in late-nineteenth-century novels.
At Oxford, I have led seminars and tutorials on Prelims Paper 3: Literature in English 1830-1910.