Women In The Hills is directed by a leadership group consisting of Rachel Hewitt (until early 2023), Kerri Andrews and Joanna Taylor.
Rachel Hewitt: Principal Investigator (until early 2023)
Rachel Hewitt was PI on the network until early 2023, but she has not been involved in network activities since early 2022, due to personal circumstances. She is Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and Director of the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts. She writes works of creative non-fiction, mixing history, biography, memoir, nature- and landscape-writing, feminism, literary criticism and psychology. She is author of In Her Nature: How Women Break Boundaries in the Great Outdoors (Chatto & Windus, April 2023), which has won the prestigious work-in-progress prize, the Eccles British Library Writer’s Award. Her first book was Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey (Granta, 2010), which won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Galaxy Non-Fiction Awards, the Scottish Book Awards, the Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize, and BBC HistoryMagazine’s Book Prize. Her second book was A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind (Granta, 2017), which won a Gladstone’s Library Political Writing Residence. She writes and reviews for, among others, the Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times, Economist, New Statesman, and TLS, and she has appeared on the BBC’s Coast and Timeshift programmes, as well as numerous programmes on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018. She was also one of the first cohort elected as New Generation Thinkers by the AHRC and BBC Radio 3, and a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow from 2009-12. Rachel lives in Yorkshire, and runs in its moors and dales.
Kerri Andrews: Co-Investigator (PI from early 2023 onwards)
Kerri Andrews took over as PI on the network in early 2023, and was chiefly responsible for its activities over the whole of 2022, after Rachel Hewitt had to stand back for personal reasons. She lives in Scotland. She is a keen hillwalker and wild swimmer, and has walked extensively in the Scottish Highlands and Borders, the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales, as well as in the US and New Zealand. Her book, Wanderers: A History of Women Walking, which charts the history of women’s walking from the early eighteenth century to the present day, was published by Reaktion in autumn 2020. An article on Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt, the intrepid nineteenth-century solo adventurer who was married to the essayist William Hazlitt, was published in History Today in September 2018. She has published widely in academic journals on women’s writing in the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. Her next book project is A Child of the Anthropocene, which explores parenting, climate crisis, and post-natal depression.
Joanna Taylor is Presidential Academic Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Manchester. Her research focuses on literary geographies, spatial humanities and nineteenth-century poetics. For the past few years, she has worked especially closely on literature of the Lake District, combining literary studies, corpus linguistics and geographical information sciences to explore this complex cultural landscape. She has worked with partners including the National Trust and Wordsworth Trust; in particular, she collaborated with the Wordsworth Trust alongside local artists and filmmakers on the exhibition ‘This Girl Did: Dorothy Wordsworth and Women Mountaineers’ (2018). You can watch Journeywoman, the project’s film, here. She has previously appeared on Woman’s Hour and Clare Balding’s Ramblings, both on BBC Radio 4. Her new research project uses a multi-scalar approach that combines digital with humanities methodologies to explore a large corpus of women’s writing about landscape in the long nineteenth century. This project ultimately seeks to unpack an alternative environmental history that asks how women’s perspectives might offer new solutions to the environmental challenges we are facing. She lives in Lancaster, from where she gets up to the Lake District with her dog as often as possible to work their way through the Wainwrights.