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Everything. But everything is already nothing. History is in this rhizome. It was to be squidgy. Then the whole world would slop to the ground like a soufflé as it loses its heat, and, in that moment, I would be swallowed within the walls of the building so as to hear the echoes which saturate the concrete drawn upon a sirens whisper from a sad face. They always smiled at me.
My research uses a broad cross section of cultural detritus to consider the narrative of modernity and historical writing. In particular I incorporate the theoretical writings of Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze (in tandem with Felix Guattari).
Mad Love to the Ordinary: History, Modernity and Desire
I completed both my BA and MA in the Department of History at Lancaster University. My masters research, under the supervision of Derek Sayer, investigated avant-garde photography in continental Europe, c. 1918-1945, with a heavy focus on (perhaps) the 20th Century's most influencial art movement, Surrealism. My doctoral research was originally focused on expanding the theoretical critique of Surrealism into the wider sphere of post-World War II philosophy; however, this has expanded to a much wider historiographical effort to incorporate both the critique, and the writing form, into an esoteric history of modernity (and the modernity of history). Of particular concern is the notion of embodiment, which took me to research the environs of Paris to emplot the multiple and slippery ways any sense of coherent identity is undercut by modern life.
I have received several funding awards: most recently a Peel Studentship (2012), previously a Lancaster Pamphlet Fund Studentship (2009-2012), and a Lancaster Pamphlet Fund Bursary (2008).
At present I teach on the History 100 survey course taken by all first year History undergraduates at Lancaster University. I have taught on this for the previous three years. I have also given guest lectures on two courses: one History 100, and another on a part II module entitled "Empire, Race and the French Nation-State, 1870 to the present". Both lectures explored themes of modernity, Surrealism and Paris.
Other Interests and Hobbies
I try to paint and excuse my lack of skill by abstraction, and breaking the frames. I play bridge for Scotland. I spend most of my time reading literature, from Raymond Chandler to odd Surrealists. I like art galleries and grave yards. And wine, too. I try to photograph when I can, and look for odd bits of trash and floating language. And beer.
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