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Recent conferences


  • ‘Mapping the Paralysed Body from Parkinson to Dickens’, BAVS annual conference, University of Exeter (August)


  • ‘ “A creeping paralysis”; or, the Mind/Body problem in George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss and Middlemarch’, Victorian Psychology Now symposium, Birkbeck
  • ‘The Neurological Case Note, 1860s-80s: narrating patients’, Medical Objects: An Interdisciplinary Workshop, Birkbeck


  • ‘Victorian blindness: a history of advocacy’, public lecture, National Archives, December 2015


  • Public exhibition tour, programme of events for the exhibition How We Read: A Sensory History of Books for Blind People, Birkbeck
  • Workshop on the history of raised print formats using archival material, interdisciplinary conference Blindness, Technology and Multimodal Reading, Wellcome
  • ‘Shaping visual disability: images of blind people in the nineteenth century’, interdisciplinary conference, The Victorian Senses, The Northeast Victorian Studies Association, Stony Brook University, New York
  • 'Touching Blind Bodies’, workshop for The Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities, University of Durham


  • '‘Exhibiting Blindness as it Really is’: Portraits of Blind People in the Nineteenth Century', Public lecture at the National Portrait Gallery
  • 'Who is Harriet Curry? Locating the First Communities of Finger Readers in the Nineteenth Century', part of a special panel ‘Reading Blindness in the Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth-Century Archive’ at Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth Century Studies (October 2013)
  • 'Displaying Blindness', international colloquium The History of Blindness and the Blind: Representations, Institutions, Archives, an International Perspective (Paris, June 2013).
  • 'Touching the Globe: the multisensory travel narratives of James Holman, 1820-40s', The Global and the Local, NAVSA, BAVS, AVSA conference (Venice, June 2013)
  • 'Portraying Blindness in the Nineteenth Century', National Portrait Gallery staff research seminar (March 2013)


  • ' ‘It ought never to be published’: old-maidish scruples and the disappearance of Swinburne’s Lesbia Brandon', Missing Texts, Birkbeck, University of London (June 2012)
  • ‘For I cannot see you Charley: I am blind’. Dickens, Blindness and Narrative, 1842-52 ‘Dickens and the Visual Imagination, University of Surrey (hosted by the Paul Mellon Centre) (July)
  • 'Touch, pleasure, coercion: shaping the queer self in Swinburne’s Lesbia Brandon', Taking Liberties: Sex, Pleasure, Coercion (1748-1928), Newcastle University (July)


  • 'A bespoke fit?: 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century and Open Journal Systems' Panel, ‘Publishing a Journal’ Dandelion postgraduate network event, Birkbeck, University of London (by invitation, June)
  • 'Moving to web 2.0: the challenges for 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century' Panel, 'E-Publishing in Digital Humanities: Opportunities, Funding, and Challenges' Dickens, Journalism, Forms of Publishing, Dickens Day and Dickens Journalism Online event, supported by Institute of English Studies (by invitation, July)
  • 'Beholding the subject: portraiture and blindness in the nineteenth century' National University of Ireland, Galway (by invitation, October)

I also organise the Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities reading group.