Portrait of Dr Jodie Matthews Dr Jodie Matthews

j.matthews@hud.ac.uk | 01484 471455


Jodie researches nineteenth-century representations and experiences of people who travelled around Britain (including Romanies/Gypsies and canal boat people). In 2016 she was appointed the Canal & River Trust’s first Honorary Research Fellow. She takes the ethical responsibilities of her research seriously, demonstrating the legacies of nineteenth-century texts and attitudes in the present day and communicating with writers, activists, and practitioners beyond the university. With the Canal & River Trust she organises a Waterways Research Network. Please contact j.matthews@hud.ac.uk to get involved. You can watch a YouTube video about Jodie’s research on canal boat people.   

Jodie is the editorial co-ordinator for Identity Papers: A Journal of British & Irish Studies. To submit an article to this peer-reviewed, online open access journal or for more information, please contact identitypapers@hud.ac.uk.

Jodie is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College, and has acted as a peer reviewer for numerous academic journals, including Social History and History & Anthropology. She served on the international editorial board for Island Studies Journal. She writes regularly for the LSE Review of Books and has reviewed books for the British Association of Victorian Studies.

Jodie has fully engaged with the RCUK Connected Communities scheme, including two grants under this heading. The podcast from one of these projects is online. She won a place on the first AHRC/Institute for Government ‘Engaging with Government’ programme in 2012, focused on increasing the impact of Arts and Humanities Research. She co-organised an event at Imperial War Museum North in 2015 called ‘Rethinking the Nation’, funded as part of the AHRC’s tenth anniversary celebrations. She has worked with Professor Wendy Webster on the AHRC-funded ‘Mixing It’ project.

She is a full member of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies, and is linked to other scholarly networks such as the British Association of Victorian StudiesInterdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies, and the Northern Theory School. She is one of the organisers of the Northern Nineteenth Century Network, a collaboration between universities in the north of England and France. She has given papers on her research across Britain, in the US and in Korea.

Jodie is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has taught English Literature, Film, Critical Theory, and History, with teaching experience at Cardiff University and the University of Huddersfield. She is Recruitment Tutor for English Literature and Creative Writing. If you are from a school or college and would like to speak to Jodie about a campus visit, Extended Project Qualification, or university taster sessions, please email j.matthews@hud.ac.uk.

Research and Scholarship

Jodie’s research focuses on the nineteenth-century representation and experience of groups that travelled around Britain. This work emerges from her PhD thesis completed at Cardiff University’s Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory on the Victorian representation of Romanies/Gypsies in literature, art, newspapers, pamphlets, and children’s fiction. Her focus has widened to compare these representations with those of canal boat people, seasonal agricultural workers (such as hop pickers), and showpeople. She examines the ways in which these representations are translated from form to form, textually circulating in an analogue of people’s internal migration. She is interested in the legacies of nineteenth-century texts and attitudes in contemporary media and culture, and collaborates with researchers, writers, activists, and practitioners outside academia to consider the effects of historical representation. Jodie’s next book, The Gypsy Woman: Representations in Literature and Visual Culture will be published by I.B. Tauris in 2018. Her research has been funded by the AHRC (Connected Communities programme – full details of this project are available online, and a Heritage Legacies ‘micro-grant’) and the Institute of Historical Research (Scouloudi Foundation). Her work on canal boat people led to her appointment in 2016 as the Canal & River Trust’s first Honorary Research Fellow.

Please contact j.matthews@hud.ac.uk if you are considering postgraduate (masters or doctoral) research on the following topics, from a literary or interdisciplinary perspective:

·         Representations of Gypsies, Roma or Travellers, especially in the nineteenth century

·         Waterways and their cultures in the nineteenth century

·         Race, gender and identity in the nineteenth century

·         Travel in the nineteenth century

·         Co-production in Humanities research

Previously, as Research Fellow with the Academy for British and Irish Studies at the University of Huddersfield (2009-2015), Jodie also researched forms of identity in Britain. This included the organisation of a multidisciplinary seminar series in 2009-10, ‘New Perspectives on Britishness’. Speakers included Romani journalist Jake Bowers and authors Bernardine Evaristo and Paul Burston. In 2010, she co-organised an international conference, ‘Identity and the Other British Isles’, with speakers from (to name a few) Cyprus, Malta, Shetland, Man, Jamaica, and Grenada. Jodie presented work on Samuel Butler’s Erewhon, a novel based on Butler’s emigrant experiences in New Zealand. The conference culminated in an edited collection, Islands and Britishness, which was launched at the Institute for Commonwealth Studies in London.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Matthews, J (2017) Book Review: Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People by Timothy Morton Available at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2017/11/03/book-review-humankind-solidarity-with-nonhuman-people-by-timothy-morton/

Matthews, J (2017) ‘Editorial for Issue 3Identity papers: A journal of British and Irish studies , 2 (1). ISSN 2058-6205


Matthews, J (2016) ‘Flows of Thought: On Canals, Materiality and Humanities ResearchLSE Review of Books .

Matthews, J (2016) ‘Book Review: Lines of Flight: For Another World of Possibilities by Félix GuattariLSE Review of Books .

Matthews, J (2016) ‘Book Review: Critical Condition: Replacing Critical Thinking with Creativity by Patrick FinnLSE Review of Books .


Matthews, J (2015) ‘Gypsies in Germany and Italy, 1861–1914: Lives Outside the LawSocial History , 40 (4), pp. 553-555. ISSN 0307-1022

Matthews, J (2015) ‘Mobilising the Imperial Uncanny: Nineteenth-Century Textual Attitudes to Travelling Romani People, Canal-Boat People, Showpeople and Hop-Pickers in BritainNineteenth-Century Contexts , 37 (4), pp. 359-375. ISSN 0890-5495

Matthews, J (2015) Fellow Travellers - Victorian representations of showpeople, canal boat people, hop-pickers and Romani people Available at: http://www.leedstrinity.ac.uk/News_Events_Blogs/Pages/Fellow-Travellers---Victorian-representations-of-showpeople,-canal-boat-people,-hop-pickers-and-Romani-people.aspx

Matthews, J (2015) ‘EditorialIdentity papers: A journal of British and Irish studies , 1 (1), pp. 1-2. ISSN 2058-6205

Matthews, J (2015) ‘Where are the Romanies? An Absent Presence in Narratives of BritishnessIdentity papers: A journal of British and Irish studies , 1 (1), pp. 79-90. ISSN 2058-6205

Matthews, J (2015) ‘Book Review: Nancy Now edited by Verena Andermatt Conley and Irving GohLSE Review of Books .


Matthews, J (2014) Book Review: Female Masochism in Film by Ruth McPhee. London, UK: London School of Economics Review of Books .

Matthews, J (2014) Book review: The Most Sublime Hysteric: Hegel with Lacan by Slavoj Žižek Available at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/10/16/book-review-the-most-sublime-hysteric-hegel-with-lacan-by-slavoj-zizek/


Matthews, J (2013) ‘Sonia Tilson, The Monkey Puzzle Tree. (Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2013), 220pp UK £11.99, US$ 16.95 CDN$19.95 pbk.North American Journal of Welsh Studies , 8, pp. 136-139.

Matthews, J (2013) ‘Dai Smith, Dream On (Cardigan: Parthian, 2013), 335pp. UK £14.99 US$16.95 CDN$ 23.99North American Journal of Welsh Studies , 8, pp. 139-140.

Matthews, J (2013) ‘“Thousands of these floating hovels”: Picturing Bargees in Image and TextNineteenth-Century Contexts , 35 (2), pp. 121-142. ISSN 0890-5495

Matthews, J (2013) ‘‘Tsiganes on the Brain’: The‘Last Gypsy’ as a Case of Archive FeverImmigrants & Minorities . ISSN 0261-9288


Matthews, J (2012) Gypsies, Roma and Irish Travellers: Histories, Perceptions and Representations [Audio] (Unpublished)

Matthews, J (2012) ‘Gypsies, Roma, and Irish Travellers: Histories, Perceptions, and Representations, A Review. Project Workshop Summary.’. In: Gypsies, Roma, and Irish Travellers: Histories, Perceptions, and Representations. Workshop, 3 September 2012, University of Huddersfield

Matthews, J (2012) ‘"'Thousands of these floating hovels': Picturing Bargees in Image and Text"’. In: Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies, March 22-25 2012, University of Kentucky, USA

Matthews, J (2012) ‘Being Cut Off from All One’s Kind: Samuel Butler, New Zealand, and Colonial Identity’. In: Islands and Britishness: A Global Perspective. Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 245-260. ISBN 9781443835169

Matthews, J. and Travers, D. (2012) ‘Introduction’. In: Islands and Britishness: A Global Perspective. Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 1-11. ISBN 9781443835169

Matthews, J (2012) Romanies/Gypsies, Roma & Irish and Scottish Travellers: Histories, Perceptions and Representations, A Research Review Discussion Paper. Huddersfield, UK: Jodie Matthews (Unpublished).


McAuley, J., Ward, P., Thomas, P., Mycock, A., Matthews, J., McGlynn, C., Hayton, R. and Webster, W. (2011) ‘Academy for British and Irish Studies, 2011’. In: Academy for British and Irish Studies (relaunch), December 2011, University of Huddersfield

Matthews, J (2011) ‘Borrowing Welshness: wild Wales, affiliation and identityNorth American Journal of Welsh Studies , 6 (1), pp. 53-61. ISSN 1554-8112


Matthews, J (2010) ‘Back where they belong: Gypsies, kidnapping and assimilation in Victorian children’s literature'Romani Studies 5 , 20 (2), pp. 137-159. ISSN 1757–2274

Matthews, J (2010) ‘Gypsies, Kidnap, and Familial Dislocations’. In: Family/resemblance: Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies, 25-27 March 2010, University of Texas at Austin

Matthews, J (2010) ‘Theodore Watts-DuntonThe literary encyclopedia . ISSN 1747-678X


Matthews, J (2009) ‘The legacies of 'divide and rule'Cyprus Weekly .

Matthews, J (2009) ‘Top Gear goes backwardsThe Guardian Newspaper . ISSN 0261-3077

Matthews, J (2009) Lessons Learnt on Stock Transfer in Wales Wales: Constructing Excellence in Wales


Matthews, J (2008) ‘George Eliot: The Spanish GypsyThe literary encyclopedia . ISSN 1747-678X

Matthews, J (2008) ‘Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903)The literary encyclopedia . ISSN 1747-678X

Matthews, J (2008) Reading the Victorian Gypsy Doctoral thesis, Cardiff University.


Matthews, J (2007) ‘Review of Deborah Epstein Nord. Gypsies and the British Imagination, 1807-1930.Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net (RaVoN) (47). ISSN 1916-1441

Matthews, J (2007) ‘Deborah Epstein Nord. Gypsies and the British Imagination, 1807-1930. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. ISBN 978-023113704. Price: US$41.50.Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net (RaVoN) (47). ISSN 1916-1441


Poppleton, J (2005) ‘“Tsigane on the brain”: Romantics, Victorians, and the effects of the Long View’. In: British Association of Victorian Studies Conference. Victorians in the long view: Contrasts and continuities, 5-7 September 2005, University of Gloucestershire