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Portrait of Dr Jodie Matthews Dr Jodie Matthews | 01484 471455


Jodie researches nineteenth-century representations and experiences of people who travelled around Britain (including Romanies/Gypsies). She takes the ethical responsibilities of this research seriously, demonstrating the legacies of nineteenth-century texts and attitudes in the present day. She investigates emerging co-production methodologies in the Arts and Humanities and works and communicates with writers, activists, and practitioners beyond the university. She collaborates across academic disciplines, using her background in Critical and Cultural Theory as the basis for interdisciplinarity. Jodie 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.

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 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 Studies, Interdisciplinary 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 sits on the Human and Health Sciences Ethics Research Panel at Huddersfield. Jodie is the Editorial Co-ordinator for a new online open access journal to be launched in spring 2015, Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies. She recently earned a place at a workshop to crowd-source PGR and ECR ideas for marking the AHRC’s 10th anniversary. 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 has supervised postgraduates on subjects as diverse as ‘Northernness’ in film, representations of African-Caribbeans in regional newspapers, student mentoring, and co-production. She is a regular reviewer for the LSE Review of Books.

Research & 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. 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).

As Research Fellow with the Academy for British and Irish Studies, Jodie also researches 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 (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:,-canal-boat-people,-hop-pickers-and-Romani-people.aspx

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) ‘EditorialIdentity papers: A journal of British and Irish studies , 1 (1), pp. 1-2. 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:


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

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 (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. 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) ‘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 (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 Gypsy The 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) ‘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

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


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

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