About the Author

Borneo (2009) and the best meal I have ever eaten

My PhD is entitled Food and the Male Body: Narratives of Consumption in the Nineteenth-Century Novel. This is a field that has not yet been covered in scholarship, although the link between women and food has been extensively examined. Therefore, my work establishes connections between existing research on women, food, consumption, and the presentation of the female body, and the unexplored territory of her male counterpart. I am particularly interested in discovering how the depiction of these themes within popular fiction reinforce or expose the rigid construction of masculinity within this period and how they reflect contemporary cultural discourses. My research is heavily embedded in medical humanities and literature and considers authors such as Wilkie Collins, R. S. Surtees, Charles Dickens, Ellen Wood, Emily Brontë, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon.

Extending out from my thesis my research interests include: British nineteenth-century literature with particular reference to the novel; sensation fiction, in particular the work of Wilkie Collins; Victorian popular fiction; the Gothic; medical humanities; the body; fat studies; the representation of food in literature and food history; masculinities; gender and sexuality; the Silver Fork novel. I have a side interest in neo-Victorianism.

I am a lecturer at Falmouth University where I lead the Politics of Subjectivity and Identity second year module. I also teach on the Introduction to Literary Studies II module. I am also a lecturer at Bath Spa University. Here, I teach on the first year core module and Scandal and Sobriety 1750-1890.

I am the editor of the Wilkie Collins Journal. Alongside Dr. Sarah Chaney (UCL), I co-convene the Damaging the Body series of seminars and events. I also the organise  Victorian Popular Fiction Association‘s research seminar series and manage their Twitter page. I am the media officer for the Journal of Victorian Culture.  I was the managing editor and founder of the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association blog.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@joparsons).

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Me

My academia page can be found here.