My first book is with Bucknell University Press, sponsored by the Goethe Society of North America. My second book is under contract with Reaktion Books. A few articles, and a special section of Forum for Modern Language Studies, are in progress.

For May 2018 I organised the Prokhorov Centre’s annual conference. The theme was “Ritzy, Recuperative, Critical: The Representation of Central European Hotels, Spas and Resorts in Cultural Critiques since circa 1900”. Given my interest in the history of the hairdresser, I’ve become curious about critical conceptions of “wellness”. I’m editing a small selection of papers arising from this event.


As well as being named an AHRC New Generation Thinker in 2016, I was selected as an AHRC Engaging with Government Fellow for 2018, for a course held in March.

In 2016 I visited the University of Basel’s Media Studies department, on a Worldwide Universities Network mobility grant (£1,815), in order to speak on the connection between barbers and butlers – Markus Krajewski has written extensively on the latter.


I also collaborated with Vicki Robinson (Sociology, Sheffield/York) and Giselinde Kuipers in the Netherlands, having been awarded £9,962 for strategic alignment with Cultural Sociology in Amsterdam. Part of this project was a conference on aesthetic labour.

I won £3,962 from the Wellcome Trust to collaborate with Oslo’s Institute for Health and Society on hairdressing, healthcare and cancer narratives in particular, working with Kari Nyheim Solbraekke, following a talk I gave in January 2016. Find out more here. This resulted in an academic article, a BBC Arts video, an op-ed in an Indian newspaper, public engagement talks, and I am on the advisory board of the following project, funded by the Norwegian Research council (9 million NOK): “Rethinking Cancer Survivorship: Exploring the foundations of research on how humans experience and voice cancer in a Norwegian context”.

Following on from my earlier interest in prefacing (and other ‘paratextual’ forms),  Rachel Stenner in Sheffield’s English department and I have set up a group for book history. Read about it here.

I organised the research seminars in Germanic Studies at Sheffield, having made the series comparative from 2015 onwards. More information is available here. From the academic year 2017 – 2018 onwards, I am organising the research seminars for the School of Languages and Cultures.


I hold the Association for Project Management’s Project Fundamentals Qualification. I’m a member of the University Senate at Sheffield and the Lead for Impact and Public Engagement in the School of Languages and Cultures. I’m a member of the executive board of the Association of German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland. I’m also an elected Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. In Bern I was the co-ordinator for Erasmus / Swiss Mobility exchanges involving German and Comparative Literature; in Sheffield I have set up an academic exchange with the University of Bern.

Post: Germanic Studies, School of Languages and Cultures
Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield S3 7RA, UK