About the researcher

Julia Webb-Harvey is a creative writing practitioner with a writing practice rooted in place. In 2018 Julia completed her MA Professional Writing, also at Falmouth. In 2023 Julia was co-creator with Falmouth University’s Tom Scott of a project for “26 Places in Kernow/26 Tyller yn Kernow” for the national writing collective, 26. Julia now sits on their management Board.  

Julia is Chair of Wildworks, a Cornwall-based landscape theatre company.  

Since 2018, she has been a volunteer researcher with The Museum of Cornish Life, leading on and contributing to different heritage projects.  

Julia’s previous professional careers were a Chartered Accountant with PwC, and a psychotherapist, including working with the charity Mosac and a Domestic Abuse service. 

Research interests

  • Narrative non-fiction 
  • J M W Turner studies  
  • Romanticism / the sublime 
  • Cultural Geography – particularly in relation to place 
  • Critical theory around the idea of the trace 
  • Psychogeography 
  • Affect Theory 


PhD abstract

Thesis title

Exploring J M W Turner’s Cornwall 


In 1811, J M W Turner toured Cornwall in search of the picturesque, filling sketchbooks with pencil drawings and lines of verse. In a period spanning the next 25 years Turner used his sketches to create paintings of nine locations in Cornwall. Using a practice-based approach as a writer, I am exploring Turner’s route and creative outputs to interpret how Cornwall has changed. 

Despite the extensive scholarship within Turner Studies, this tour has not been studied in detail. After substantial archival research, I will conduct my fieldwork by re-tracing Turner’s route. I walk where he walked, travelling with the imprints of him (in sketch and painting) to find the precise locations for his paintings. As a walking practice the methodology has its roots in psychogeography, underpinned by Affect Theory, to interrogate the sense of place. As a writer I will use my creative practice as a reflexive tool to query my findings and craft the creative piece. Narrative nonfiction writing about Cornwall since the 17th century has been dominated by male voices. My female gaze, compared with this male-dominated canon and Turner himself, will bring a different perspective to writing about Cornwall. The critical component examines my creative work in terms of the critical theories of place, trace, hauntology and Affect and its position within the new nature writing subgenre of narrative nonfiction.  

The contribution to knowledge will be proposed amendments to previous scholarship of Turner’s route, interpretation of location in some paintings, and identification of previously unknown sketches. As a study of Cornwall, my narrative nonfiction will provide a different way of examining the region, with a female voice, using Turner’s paintings to query how Cornwall has changed.  


Year Qualification Awarding body
1989 BSc Geography  University of Birmingham 
2007 Diploma/BA Person-Centred Counselling  Metanoia/Middlesex University 
2018 MA Professional Writing Falmouth University

Committee Membership(s)

Board Member of ‘26’ 

Chair of Board for Wildworks