I’m a senior lecturer teaching on the Media, Culture Communication and English and Media and Cultural Studies degree programmes at LJMU. My research background was originally in literary studies and I was awarded my doctorate by the University of Liverpool for my research on Henry James. I have broad research interests in popular narrative and culture from the nineteenth century to the present day.
**Current research interests**
a) gender and popular narrative and culture
Recent / in press publications examine recent ITV drama and broadcaster identity, and domesticity in contemporary popular fiction for women (relating to a long-standing interest in ‘chick-lit’). Currently completing a journal article on the BBC, public service broadcasting and drama/documentary about Victorian culture. This year I’ve presented papers which draw on my research with the Femorabilia archive of girls’ and women’s magazines held at LJMU, on teenage magazines, the Pet Shop Boys and the representation of pop, and on domesticity in teenage girls’ magazines, which are being written up for publication. I’m also writing on fashion and the professional woman in romantic comedy.
b) nineteenth-century popular writing and culture
Recent research / publications in progress explores the presence of gardens and nineteenth-century ideas about garden design in Victorian popular fiction. I’ve given several conference papers and been a keynote speaker on this topic. Several articles are in progress including one on Mary Elizabeth Braddon for Women’s Writing, forthcoming 2018. I’m also researching Mary Kingsley’s travel writing, gender and notions of scientific professionalism. I am an editorial board member for the Victorian Popular Fictions Association’s book series Key Popular Women Writers and New Paths in Victorian Fiction & Culture (both published with Edward Everett Root). I’ve previously published on Henry James, Dickens and Braddon.
c) persuasion, communication and new media
Recent project on local politicians use Twitter as a long-term PR activity, using content analysis to examine this through 2014 to the 2015 general election. I’m also interested in fashion blogging and questions of creativity, originality and copyright, as well as organisational blogging, lifestyle blogging and identity.
I’d be interested in supervising potential postgraduate students who wish to undertake research related to any of the above areas.
2001, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, PhD, English literature
Knowles J. 2017. The dirty secret: domestic disarray in chick-lit. Chappell JA, Young M. Bad Girls: Recalcitrant Women in Television, Fiction and Film.
Knowles J. The French connection: gender, morals and national culture in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's fictions New Perspectives on Mary Braddon Rodolphi. Amsterdam and New York 978-90-420-3579-9
Knowles J. 2013. An excess of positions: the adaptation of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" from blog to box Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, 6
Knowles J. 2008. Our foes are almost as many as our readers: debating the worth of women's reading and writing - the case of chick-lit. Journal of Popular Narrative Media, 1 :219-233 >DOI
Engagement & Impact
Title of presentation: Future wives and mothers: the domestic sphere in teenage girls' magazines of the 1970s and 1980s, Conference title: International Girl Studies Association inaugural conference, Place/location of conference: University of East Anglia, Presentation type: Oral presentation