Personal profile

Research interests

I read English at Oxford and received my MPhil and PhD from Cambridge, spending a year of my doctorate at Princeton, as a Jane Eliza Procter Visiting Fellow in American History. I'm completing a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Bristol before taking up a Lectureship in 20th and 21st Century American Literature from September 2024. 

My research focuses primarily on modern and contemporary American fiction. I am particularly interested in connections between the history of the novel and the history of ideas; in psychoanalysis; in Jewish American writing; in the institutional contexts of literary production; in the vicissitudes of literary taste, style, and fashion; in neglected, minor, and ‘failed’ writers and literary forms.

My previous work considered the intersection of fiction and political philosophy, especially theories of citizenship, cosmopolitanism, and human rights. These interests informed my first book, The Politics of Male Friendship in Contemporary American Fiction (Manchester University Press, 2021), which explores portrayals of civic association in works by Jewish American and African American writers. Research for the book also inspired a collection of essays on the work of novelist Benjamin Markovits

My current book project considers how a group of critically neglected mid-twentieth-century writers reimagined the novel as a minor form, defined by its constraints rather than its possibilities. Reflecting a broadly held view that midcentury fiction was in crisis or decline, these ‘minor writers’ sought to make a virtue of what were taken to be the novel’s bleak prospects, fashioning fictions that reflexively explore their own aesthetic limitations. The Midcentury Minor Novel is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press. 

At Bristol I teach 'American Revolutions' and 'American Short Stories', and contribute to an MA course on 'Contemporary Literature'. I'm always happy to hear from PhD applicants.

 

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