Guest Speakers

Professor Susan Zieger

(University of California Riverside)Susan_Zieger_8_Author-Photo-200x300

Susan Zieger (B.A., Dartmouth College, MSc., London Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) specializes in nineteenth-century British and related literatures and cultures, with an emphasis on the novel, ephemera, and other mass media forms. Her first book, Inventing the Addict: Drugs, Race, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century British and American Literature (University of Massachusetts Press), describes how metaphors of addiction such as exile, self-enslavement, and disease circulated through literature and culture to forge the new identity of the addict. Her second book, forthcoming from Fordham University Press in 2018, is The Mediated Mind: Affect, Ephemera, and Consumerism in the Nineteenth Century. The book contends that our twenty-first century moment of digital media saturation was formed through nineteenth-century encounters with printed ephemera. Zieger is currently researching Logistical Subjects, a cultural history of the rise of efficient shipping and transportation in commercial and military spheres since 1800. In 2019, she will hold a visiting fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin to support this project.


Dr Noelle Plack

s200_noelle.plack(Newman University, Birmingham)

Noelle Plack is Reader in French History at Newman University, Birmingham. She is a historian of the French Revolution and her work focuses on the social history of alcohol in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Her first book, Common Land, Wine and the French Revolution (2009) charted changes in wine production and vineyard expansion in southern France. Noelle’s research focuses on how ordinary people – both rural and urban – engaged with the French Revolution in terms of the politics of consumption. She is interested in how alcohol is bound up with protest, liberation and national identity.

Her current project, Consumption Politics: Wine and Taxation in Revolutionary France, 1789-1848, explores how wine and revolution, two of France’s most iconic symbols, became inextricably linked during upheavals of 1789 and into the nineteenth century. At this conference, she will be speaking on ‘Alcohol, Power and Identity in the Age of Revolution’.


Dr Douglas Small


(University of Glasgow)

Douglas Small is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Literature and Medicine. His current project, entitled ‘Cocaine and Cultural Mythology, c. 1860-1919,’ examines cultural and literary depictions of cocaine in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. He specialises in Victorian literature, with a particular focus on the literature of the fin-de-siècle, drug narratives, and 19th C popular receptions of medicine and bio-science.

He is the author of ‘Sherlock Holmes and Cocaine: A 7% Solution for Modern Professionalism’ (English Literature in Transition, 58.3) and ‘Masters of Healing: Cocaine and the Ideal of the Victorian Medical Man’ (Journal of Victorian Culture, 21.1). He is currently working on a monograph on the cultural significance of cocaine in Victorian and Edwardian Literature.


Dr Hannah Tweed


(University of York)

Hannah Tweed is a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the ‘Cultures of Care’ project at the University of York, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Academy of Medical Sciences. Her research specialisms include twentieth and twenty-first century literature and disability studies. She is currently researching the cultural history of care in the UK since 1965.

She has published on representations of autism and cognitive disabilities in contemporary literature and her edited collection Medical Paratexts from Medieval to Modern: Dissecting the Page (originally a Wellcome Trust Small Grant) was published by Palgrave in 2018. Her second edited collection, Discourses of Care: Media, Medicine, Society (also originating as a Wellcome Small Grant), is due to be published next year with Routledge. She co-founded the Glasgow University Medical Humanities Network ( and the Disability Studies Network (

Hannah will be chairing our PG/ECR Discussion Panel.