Dr Theophilus Savvas

BA (Cantab.), MA (London), PhD (Essex)

  • BS8 1TB

Personal profile

Research interests

Currently, I am working on a monograph titled Created out of Chaos: Modern Literature and The Elements. This uses the Aristotelian elements to conceptualise Anglo-American writing from the late-nineteenth century to the present; the book will feature extended analyses of writers including Whitman, Hardy, Lawrence, Conrad, Di Prima, and Morrison. The project follows recent work on literary representations of vegetarianism--several articles and a monograph: Vegetarianism and Veganism in Literature from the Ancients to the Twenty-First Century  (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2024, 264pp.). The book hopes to demonstrate the way that ideas related to vegetarianism and veganism circulated through creative literature. Its historical scope--from Hesiod to Franzen--is complemented by a cross-cultural focus which emphasises that the philosophy behind these diets developed through a dialogic relationship between east and west. It also hopes to demonstrate how carnivorism has functioned as an ideology--one which has underpinned actions harmful to both human and non-human animals alike. I am also editing a collection of essays on the topic, Vegetarianism & Literary Studies, in the Cambridge Critical Concepts series.

I have strong interests in twentieth-century American writing too. In 2019, I co-edited with Christopher K. Coffman of Boston University a special issue of Textual Practice on American fiction after postmodernism. In 2021 this was republished as After Postmodernism: The New American Fiction (New York: Routledge, 2021, 158pp.). Previous to this I published several articles, and the 2011 monograph American Postmodernist Fiction and the Past (London: Palgrave 2011, 224pp.), on the relationship between history and fiction; this remains an interest, as do literature and ecology/animal rights, and the history of criticism.


At Bristol, I have devised and/or convened the following undergraduate units: American Revolutions; American Literature (ELCE); Contemporary Writing; Contemporary Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States; US Postmodernist Fiction; and contributed to, Approaches to Poetry; Critical Issues; Literature 1740-1900; Literature 1900 to the Present.

I have convened the following postgraduate units: Contemporary Literature; Animal Planet; Introduction to Literary Research; and contributed to, Literature 1940-1970; Literature & Medicine; Modernism, Experimentation and Form.

I have supervised 2 PhD projects to completion and would welcome applications from students wishing to work on: twentieth-century American writing; literature and ecology/animal rights; history and fiction; the history or theory of literary criticism.



  • Postmodernism
  • American Literature
  • Vegetarianism
  • History & Fiction
  • veganism


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