I am a Lecturer in English Literature.
My research will focus on how states of rest were imagined, explored and problematised in literary, cultural and medical narratives of the nineteenth century. I am particularly curious about the complex and contradictory values that were attached to the state of rest in this period. For some, rest was synonymous with idleness and irresponsible torpor; for others, rest was not a betrayal of the work ethic but an indispensable support to the business of labour and productivity. A more radical perspective on these issues was offered by politically-minded aesthetes who argued for inactivity as an end in itself, and for rest, sleep and idleness as legitimate and indeed pleasurable forms of being in the world. These questions are, by their nature, cross-disciplinary, and I am looking forward to participating in an inter-disciplinary conversation about the histories, values and meanings of rest.