Tom teaches a wide range of literature including nineteenth- and twentieth-century prose, Shakespeare and poetry.

He has also taught creative non-fiction; introductory skills courses, for those returning to study after a gap; and interdisciplinary humanities courses, including a module on ‘What does it mean to be human?’ on the Foundation Year at Bristol.

Tom has taught in universities, with students aged from 18 to over 80, and in a wide variety of community settings. Some recent courses include:

Representations: Re-making the world


The Representations course on the Foundation Year explores the theme of ‘life chances’ in film (including Andrea Arnold’s American Honey), photography, fiction (such as Clarice Lispector’s Hour of the Star), historical sources, philosophical essays and in a work of sociological fiction produced by researchers in Bristol and Cardiff about experiences with universal credit, Life Chances.

Students can write their own creative response to the unit, in place of a conventional essay.

Dangerous Books

Since 2013, Tom has taught this course at Bristol, which considers books that have been banned, censored, challenged, produced in secret, or put the author or reader in danger.

The course considers works from an international range of contexts, and looks at autobiographies, fiction, polemics and essays. A sample of the books can be seen below, although the content varies from year to year.

Nineteenth-Century Prose Writing

Tom has often taught this course on the BA English Literature and Community Engagement. It considers works of fiction, such as Charles Dickens’s Hard Times or George Eliot’s Romola, alongside nonfiction prose works such as Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species or Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor.