Karen's research focus is on dialogues in medievalism and early modernism with digital humanities and heritage studies, in relation to early East Anglian literary cultures. She is currently exploring the three hundred year collection of the Paston letters. This work builds on her experiences in mapping wellbeing narratives of community co-production and in exploring connections across disciplines (as in her studies of medieval imaginings of time).

Research impact legacies are arising from this research, in the form of the Paston Footprints NHLF funded project, of which she is Co-Director, in collaboration with the Paston Heritage Society, Norfolk Record Office and multiple heritage, educational, creative, wellbeing, religious and tourism partners. Karen is co-designing a major 'Finding Paston Footprints' exhibition to be held April-June 2021 at the Norfolk Record Office, with dual digital immersive delivery and public online webinars, In Conversations, and workshops. 

Karen is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern Literature. Prior to joining UEA, she held a lectureship in Old and Middle English at the University of Nottingham, after being the Bloomfield Visiting Fellow at Harvard University, having completed her degrees at the Queen's University of Belfast.

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