Matilda is a second year PhD student at the University of Birmingham, funded by the Midlands3Cities 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 1st class BA hons in English Literature from the same institution.
Her research explores the bathroom’s function in early twentieth-century fiction, 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 men’s public toilet and the domestic 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, medical humanities, middlebrow fiction, Sussex modernism, 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. 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 SADAA. Matilda is an Assistant Writer for the Spark Young Writers creative writing program with Writing West Midlands. And has just taken up an internship with Medicine Bakery and Gallery as their new Events Programmer. Currently, she is organising a conference on Modernism in the Home, set to be held at the University of Birmingham in July 2019.