Hannah Lewis-Bill



College: College of Humanities
Discipline: English
Department: English
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Victorian Studies

My research explores the role of commodities within Dickens's novels from China such as tea, silk and opium. The thesis questions the complex relationship between Britain and China and examines the ways in which commodities enter the novel's space and shape ideas about identity and Britishness. By considering the inclusion of tea in the novels I begin to identify a Dickensian consciousness of the world beyond Britain and move on to reflect on the role of trade, statistics in the analysis of this relationship. My research concentrates on the novels as opposed to the journalism in a concerted effort to draw out the reflexivity between Britain's trading abroad and an increasingly British dependence on the spaces inhabited by the transnational 'Other'.

I completed my BA (hons) in English at Royal Holloway University of London in 2005. During my BA I began working as a private tutor which is something I continue to do assisting those from Key Stage 2 to Undergraduate level.

I was awarded an MA in Victorian Literature, Art and Culture in 2009 at the Centre for Victorian Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. My MA dissertation considered Dickens and serialisation concentrating on Hard Times and the act of reading. During my MA I was selected through a competitive interview process to complete a six week internship at the British Library cataloguing and researching part of the Dexter Collection. The Dexter collection has a wonderful selection of Dickens related ephemera. In 2010 I attended the Rare Books School at the Institute of English Studies for which I was awarded a bursary.  I was also awarded a BAVS postgraduate conference presenters bursary in 2012.  I completed the LTHE Level 1 and Level 2 Training at the University of Exeter and I am now an Associate of the Higher Education Academy.