Matilda is a third year doctoral student at the University of Birmingham, funded by the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership and supervised by Dr Deborah Longworth and Professor Andrzej Gasiorek. She graduated with a distinction in her MA Writing the Modern Age from Queen Mary University, and holds a first class BA Hons in English Literature from the same institution.

Her research explores the bathroom’s function in early twentieth-century women’s writing, charting the evolution of this everyday space by drawing together literature and lived experience. She reads the literary bathroom through a historical and material lens, aiming to dissect the tensions of this dirty space dedicated to keeping clean.

Matilda’s current project focuses on five unique bathroom spaces that played a key part in early twentieth-century Britain and America as a way to interrogate their abject connotations. She considers the different spatial implications of the asylum bathroom, the cafe lavatory, the hotel bathroom, the shared lodging-house bathroom and the middle-class family bathroom, re-situating these sites as ambivalent spaces of refuge for modernity’s ‘dirty’ individuals – rendered abject through age, sexuality, class and/or sex.

More broadly, Matilda is interested in feminism, queer theory, domestic space, middlebrow fiction, Sussex modernism, the Bloomsbury Group and forgotten women writers, especially within the early 20th century.

Matilda is a founding member of the Modern and Contemporary Forum, an interdisciplinary forum that brings together scholars from literary, history and arts backgrounds through monthly seminars and events. These events have been successful in breaking down the barriers between disciplines and fostering a supportive space for debate and participation. Alongside this, she was the lead organiser of the fabulous Modernism in the Home conference, held at the University of Birmingham in July 2019.

She volunteers with the Learning Department at the Birmingham Museum and Gallery and worked as an archive assistant cataloguing Lakshmi Holmström’s new archive with SADAAShe is also an Assistant Writer for the Spark Young Writers creative writing program. And has just completed an internship with Medicine Bakery and Gallery as their new Events Programmer. For the last couple of months she has taken some time away from her studies to undertake a placement with Writing West Midlands, putting together an Impact and Outreach report assessing their impact in local, often marginalised, communities.

She is passionate about HE and an avid reader of WonkHE! Alongside her doctoral work, she is on the committee of the Staff Women’s Network at the University of Birmingham, campaigning to make meaningful change for women in the workplace and beyond.

Matilda also puts her love of neglected women writers to good use through her #ReadMoreWomen Twitter campaign.

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