At the University of Sheffield I shall complete my second book: a comparative, cultural history of the hairdresser.


For May 2018 I am organising the Prokhorov Centre’s annual conference. This year’s theme is “Ritzy, Recuperative, Critical: The Representation of Central European Hotels, Spas and Resorts in Cultural Critiques since circa 1900”. Given my interest in the hairdresser, I’ve become curious about critical conceptions of “wellness”.



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.

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 organize 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