The Organising Committee

Vicki Madden

Vicki is a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. Her doctoral project traces the development of the American psychological thriller from 1952 to 1991 and explores the ways in which mental illness, specifically psychopathy and disorders of personality, have been gothicised in Cold War era fiction with an emphasis on the influence of psychoanalysis and the implications of gender. Her wider research interests include Victorian, fin de siècle, and suburban gothic — on which she has published an article in the Journal of American Culture — as well as feminist psychoanalytic theory. Outside of academia, Vicki is an avid writer and horror film enthusiast with a deep appreciation for tea, cats, and world cuisines.

Tim Craven

Tim is an AHRC-funded PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. He has a BSc in neuroscience from the University of Manchester, a poetry MFA from Syracuse University and spent several years working in the pharmaceutical industry. Tim’s current research examines the writing of the Confessional Poets (Sexton, Lowell, Plath and Berryman), specifically their use of metaphor to characterise emotional and psychological extremity. Details of his creative publications can be found at

Jo Wilson

Jo is a final year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Her thesis argues that American literature of the early 1960s stages a cultural critique of psychiatry as a medical discipline, and engages with authors including Richard Yates, Sylvia Plath, Ken Kesey and Joanne Greenberg. Her other interests include antipsychiatry and literary representations of psychosurgery.

Jamie Redgate

Jamie recently submitted his PhD at the University of Glasgow. His AHRC-funded thesis explores the unhappy relationship between body, brain, and soul in David Foster Wallace’s fiction. He is currently writing about the body in Amelia Gray’s fiction, while his article on madness and therapy in Wallace’s and Sylvia Plath’s work is forthcoming in Critique.

Benjamin Noad

Benjamin is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at the University of Stirling. His thesis is a critical study of British and American Gothic prose representations of the madhouse from the mid-nineteenth century onward. His research interests include fictional portrayals of mental ill-heath, epilepsy, Gothic writing, and the history of asylums more generally. Ben has a forthcoming book-chapter publication on madness in Victorian sensation fiction, and has previously worked as a research assistant helping to curate archival materials for a one-day symposium on author Patrick McGrath.