About

I am an academic and critic based in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. I currently work as Senior Lecturer in Critical and Cultural Theory in the English Department at the University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, where I’m also affiliated with the Cultural Studies and Cinema Studies programmes. I’m a first generation Pākehā New Zealander, and my pronouns are she / her.

I am interested in film (especially horror), popular culture, children’s media and animation, feminist work (especially issues of gender, sex and reproduction), philosophies of aesthetics and embodiment, places / spaces where art and science meet, performance and the arts, and baked goods. My book Women, Monstrosity and Horror Film: Gynaehorror is a part of Routledge’s Film Philosophy on the Margins series. There is more information on the ‘Work’ page, or click here for my UC researcher profile.

“The only good critic is…” – panel discussion at the Christchurch Arts Centre, with Prof. Paul Millar, Dr Erin Harrington, Margaret Agnew and Anna Rogers, 28 May 2019.

Outside of academic settings, I appear often as a speaker, panelist, moderator and keynote, in a mixture of professional and public contexts. These include film, literary and arts festivals, and events in community spaces like galleries, schools, community hubs and libraries. I’ve offered consultation for film and performing arts projects, and I’ve been a judge a number of times over for for the Sheilah Winn Festival of Shakespeare in Schools, the 48 Hour Furious Film-making competition, and the RAW Stand Up Comedy competitions. I’m very good at communicating big, complex ideas to diverse audiences in an engaging way. I do outreach visits to schools and groups, too – get in touch.

When I have time I appear in or make / facilitate / direct performance work. I’m interested in small, boutique interdisciplinary events that present stories in lo-fi but surprising ways. I was fortunate to be a regular panelist and occasional host on the nerdy comedy podcast The Nerd Degree, which used to have live recordings at Orange Studio on the first Wednesday of every month. It’s mostly on hiatus but there are 80+ episodes in the bank, so go wild.

Outside of other activities in support of the arts, I’m also proud to be a board member of WORD Christchurch, an exceptional literary festival that in 2019 won the Booksellers NZ Book Industry Innovation Award.

The ‘horizon of expectation’ is a way of thinking about how we read, value and interpret work. It asks us to consider how our assumptions and reading practices change over time. You can find out more here, here and here.