Department of English and Modern Languages

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  • Memory and Life-writing

    Other people, other lives

    So much more than the recording of an individual existence, Life Writing is a crucial genre for exploring the interconnection of public and private experience, and for negotiating the ethics and power relations involved in remembering and re-telling life stories from the past.

    Our staff are actively engaged in writing biographies and life narratives, rewriting the stories of well-known figures and helping to give a voice to those who have been marginalised or neglected by history or in our contemporary world. Our work in this area has included writing the lives of figures as diverse as the Rossetti family, Franz Kafka, and the little-known nineteenth-century spiritualist Florence Marryat.

    Our staff also have particular expertise in the literature of war. Current and future projects include a study of trauma narratives of World War I; of post-war practices of commemoration and reconciliation; and of the transnational 9/11 novel.

  • Academic staff with related research interests


    Dr Niall Munro

    MA (Hons); PGCE (Secondary); MA; PhD

    Senior Lecturer in American Literature & Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

    Department of English and Modern Languages

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

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    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 483433

    Email: niall.munro@brookes.ac.uk

    Location: T4.17 (Tonge Building)

    I am a Senior Lecturer in American Literature and also Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.

    I studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of St. Andrews, and completed a PGCE in English at Oxford Brookes. After teaching at secondary level for a number of years, I returned to Brookes to do an MA in English and then a PhD about the American modernist poet Hart Crane. My main area of research is twentieth-century American literature, particularly American modernist writings, but I have taught a wide range of courses about American, British, and European literature.

    I am the Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, which conducts research into poetry, runs an international poetry competition, a new poetry pamphlet press called ignitionpress, and organizes poetry projects in the community, including a Weekly Poem initiative that I edit. In addition to the website, the Poetry Centre posts details of its news and events on Facebook and Twitter.

    In 2014, I was one of the founding members of the Hart Crane Society, which seeks to encourage scholarly work about the American modernist poet Hart Crane (1899-1932), and also promote a general understanding of the work of Crane. The Society, which now has a regular presence at the American Literature Association's annual conference, is also to be found on Facebook and Twitter.