Charley Matthews

Thesis title: The Queer Woman Reader in the Nineteenth Century

English Literature (AHRC)

Year of study: 2

  • English Literature
  • School of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures

Contact details

PhD supervisor:

Background

Charley is currently pursuing their AHRC-funded PhD on nineteenth-century reading practices and queer book cultures. They have previously worked in the book trade (new and antiquarian) and will begin teaching undergraduate English Literature in Autumn 2022.

 

Qualifications

MSc Book History & Material Culture, University of Edinburgh, 2019

MA English Literature, Durham University, 2014

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Reader for the James Tait Black prize (biography category), 2021 and 2022
  • Member of the LLC lifewriting reading group and research network
  • Member of the Eighteenth Century Studies Society at the University of Stirling
  • Member of SHARP

Research summary

Charley is interested in recovering marginalised voices within book history. Their AHRC-funded PhD thesis aims to recover the reading practices of queer women and gender-nonconforming people from the nineteenth century, drawing on diaries, letters, and book reviews. They use both qualitative and quantitative data analysis to understand how private and social reading practices intersected with and influenced emerging queer identities and lived queer experiences in the nineteenth century. Their case studies include Anne Lister, Geraldine Jewsbury, and Mary Diana Dods/Walter Sholto Douglas.

 

Charley's research interests also include radical publishing histories, gothic fiction, reading practices and the development of the novel, and the digital humanities.

Affiliated research centres

Current project grants

AHRC/SGSAH Doctoral Training Programme, 2020-2024

Past project grants

Una Europa Digital Cultural Heritage workshop funding, 2022
SGSAH Research Showcase funding 2022

Papers delivered

"Reading practices in the nineteenth century - a workshop," co-leader, SGSAH symposium, University of Glasgow, 2022

"Anne Lister's reading habits: a queer quantitative approach," Eighteenth Century Studies seminar series, University of Stirling, 2022

"Non-normative lives and the ethics of the private diary," Lifewriting seminar series, UoE, 2021

"Anne Lister, reading, and the creation of genderqueer knowledge," CHAPTER seminar series, IES London, 2021

"Mary Hays' Female Biography," Gender and the Book Trades, University of St Andrews, 2021

"The Queer Woman Reader," lightning talk at Moving Texts: SHARP 2021, online

"Ecofeminism and Thresholds of Disaster in Sylvia Townsend Warner's Kingdoms of Elfin​," Threshold, Boundary, and Crossover in Fantasy, University of York, 2020