I'm a writer and storyteller who had no plans to go into academic research until a fascinating idea for a PhD landed as I was lifting a tray of pizza into the oven. I went straight online to search for doctoral programmes (the pizza got a bit singed). A few months later I was a student at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester. Drawing on my experience of working in a creative arts centre in Bethlehem, I carried out research into how stories are told, transmitted, and halted among young people living in areas of especially high friction in Israel/Palestine, and how this storytelling process affects their conceptions of community and belonging. It will soon be published as a book by I.B. Tauris. I am also working on a novel informed by my experiences in Bethlehem.
In February 2016 I was awarded a two-year Max Batley Postdoctoral Fellowship in Peace Studies by the University of Sheffield. I am carrying out an ethnographic study of how reconciliation is imagined, narrated, and lived out by the Little Sisters of Jesus, an international Catholic community of nuns who make a conscious choice to live in situations of political violence and inequality. See my current projects for more info.
As we are all connected to issue of peace and violence in some way, I care strongly about making my research accessible to a wider public, whether through offering workshops and university-style taster seminars to secondary school students or collaborating with museums and other local cultural centres on their events programmes. Contact me for further details.