Projects per year
My broad research interests lie in twentieth-century American literature, and more specifically the intersection between medicine and literature. I am currently writing a monograph, Retroviral Writings, which examines how poets such as Thom Gunn, Mark Doty and James Merrill wrote about the first wave of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s, paying particular attention to how these writers place their work on AIDS within a historical or literary continuum. The monograph also considers the work of the more recent poets D.A. Powell and Danez Smith. The question of AIDS and history, and how the early years of the epidemic are being historicised, is another major interest: I have published an article on John Weir's fiction in this context, and for the last two years have been involved in World AIDS Day events with Bristol's HIV/AIDS organisation, the Brigstowe Project.
My next project will focus on literature and anxiety, considering how changing understandings of the condition of anxiety have impacted upon American literature in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I am keen to work on an interdisciplinary level and welcome the possibility of collaborations in this field. I organised a conference, Cultures of Anxiety, in June 2017.
Other research interests include queer / LGBTQ+ writing, and recent representations of the 1980s in British and American fiction. I'm also co-editor of a collection of essays, Poetry and the Dictionary (Liverpool University Press, 2020), which considers the relationship between poetry and lexicography.
I would be keen to hear from any postgraduate research students interested in working on the HIV/AIDS and literature; queer and/or LGBT+ writing; literature and mental health, especially anxiety conditions; medical humanities more broadly.
Blades, A., 31 Jan 2020, Poetry and the Dictionary. Blades, A. & Pennington, P. (eds.). Liverpool University Press
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter in a book