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Professor Andrew BennettB.A.(Hull), Ph.D.(E.Anglia)

Professor of English

Andrew Bennett

Professor Andrew BennettB.A.(Hull), Ph.D.(E.Anglia)

Professor of English

Member of

Research interests

My research focuses on Romantic and post-Romantic literature (especially William Wordsworth and John Keats) and on twentieth-century and contemporary literature (including Ford Madox Ford, Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Stevie Smith, Sylvia Plath, Richard Ford, Philip Roth, David Foster Wallace, Kazuo Ishiguro). Topics I have written on include poetics and literary theory, and literature and affect, ignorance, philosophical skepticism, philosophical pessimism, the body, suicide, the sublime, posterity, letters, the historical novel, Englishness, and the ordinary. 

My most recent monograph, Suicide Century: Literature and Suicide from James Joyce to David Foster Wallace (Cambridge University Press, 2017), investigates suicide as a prominent theme in twentieth-century and contemporary literature: I argue that with the waning of religious and legal prohibitions on suicide in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the increasing influence of medical and sociological accounts of its causes and significance in the twentieth-century, literature responds to suicide as an increasingly normalized but incessantly baffling phenomenon. 

With Cambridge University Press, I have published monographs on Keats and audience (1994), on Romanticism and posterity (1999), and on Wordsworth and the theory and practice of writing (2007), and have edited William Wordsworth in Context (2015). My other books include a study of the poetics of ignorance in Romantic and post-Romantic writing (Manchester University Press, 2009), and books on Elizabeth Bowen (with Nicholas Royle; Palgrave Macmillan, 1995) and Katherine Mansfield (Northcote House, 2004). My work on literary theory includes An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory (with Nicholas Royle; 5th edition, Routledge, 2016), This Thing Called Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing (with Nicholas Royle; Routledge, 2015), and The Author (Routledge, 2005). I have also edited two books on reading theory: Readers and Reading (Longman, 1995), and Reading Reading: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Reading (Tampere English Studies, 1993).

I have recently begun a book-length study of Keats's letters (The Letters of John Keats: A Critical Study); I am editing the Cambridge Companion to Kazuo Ishiguro; and I am writing chapters on Ishiguro and on suicide in contemporary fiction.    


Research Supervision

I have supervised research students working on Wordsworth and education; Wordsworth’s spousal verse; Dorothy Wordsworth’s commonplace book; purity and intoxication in Keats; Keats and Benjamin Robert Haydon; Keats and the Pre-Raphaelites; Romantic ‘last man’ literature; De Quincey and reception; Language and Landscape in William Barnes; Mansfield, Bowen, Rhys and exile; Elizabeth Bowen and trauma; modernist writers and boredom; Wallace Stevens and literary theory; DeLillo and communication; Pat Barker and trauma; twentieth-century autobiographical writing; David Foster Wallace and embodiment; Philosophical Scepticism in Stanley Cavell and David Foster Wallace. I am happy to consider supervising prospective research students interested in working on a range of Romantic and twentieth-century writers and topics: please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research plans.


At undergraduate level, I teach on the Literature 3 and Literature 4 period units, and I convene and teach special-subject units on 'Writing the Self: Literature and Autobiography' and 'James Joyce'. For the MA, I contribute to units on 'Romantic Poetry and Poetics', and 'Modernism, Experimentation and Form'.


Room 1.14, 3-5 Woodland Road; Consultation Hours

Tel.: +117 9289120 




Suicide Century This Thing Called Literature   William Wordsworth in Context  

Ignorance  ILCT Wordsworth Writing

  Romantic Poets  Keats, Narrative and Audience  Katherine Mansfield

  The Author Elizabeth Bowen and the Dissolution of the Novel


ILCT 1 ILCT 2 ILCT 3 ILCT 4This Thing Called Literature - Turkish

View research connections

Postal address:
3-5 Woodland Road
United Kingdom

Selected research outputs

  1. Published

    William Wordsworth in Context

    Research output: Book/ReportEdited book

  2. Published

    ‘An Element of Blank’: On Literary Ignorance

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

  3. Published

    Inside David Foster Wallace’s Head: Attention, Loneliness, Suicide and the Other Side of Boredom

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

  4. Published

    Ignorance: Literature and Agnoiology

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

  5. Published

    An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

  6. Published

    Wordsworth Writing (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism)

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

  7. Published

    The Author

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

  8. Published

    Katherine Mansfield

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

  9. Published

    Romantic Poets and the Culture of Posterity

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

  10. Published

    Elizabeth Bowen and the Dissolution of the Novel: Still Lives

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

  11. Published

    Keats, Narrative and Audience: The Posthumous Life of Writing

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

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