Dr Niall Munro

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

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

School of English and Modern Languages

Role

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, poetry workshops for military veterans, 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 FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Teaching and supervision

Courses

Modules taught

Undergraduate:

  • Reading for Meaning (module leader)
  • Special Topics (Genres) American Poetry: Origins & Legacies (taught jointly with Dr Eric White)
  • Advanced Options I ('Our hearts were touched with fire': the American Civil War Era in Literature, Memory, and Myth)
  • English Studies Dissertation
  • The Culture of Criticism (module leader)
  • Independent Project (module leader, Semester 1)

Postgraduate:

  • Critical Debates and Methods
  • MA Dissertation

Supervision

I am currently the second supervisor for Susie Campbell's PhD about prose poetry and the legacy of Gertrude Stein, for Sarah Gilbert's project about women's anti-Vietnam War poetry, and for Jen Gallagher's work on the publication history of Wilfred Owen.

Recently I was the second supervisor for Jennifer Wong's critical/creative PhD on poets of the Chinese diaspora.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Susan Campbell Gertrude Stein, spatial form and contemporary prose poetry Active
Sarah Gilbert Women’s anti-Vietnam war poetry and canon(s): critical and feminist representation of the poetry of Muriel Rukeyser and Denise Levertov Active
Jennifer Wong A transnational poetics of place: identity, otherness and the meaning of home in the poetry of Li-Young Lee, Marilyn Chin, Bei Dao, Hannah Lowe and Sarah Howe 2018

Research

I mainly work in the field of American literature, especially modernist writings. My recent research focusses on the literary memory of the American Civil War and this is the subject of my current book project, ‘Our only “felt history”’: American modernism and the Civil War'. This focus on commemoration, developed through a recent research project, Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconcilation (see below), has led to a broader concern with how writing, especially poetry, is used to commemorate, and how memorials or monuments are co-opted by different groups.

I also have a particular interest in the poetry of Hart Crane (the subject of my first monograph: Hart Crane's Queer Modernist Aesthetic). Other interests include American writing of the Depression-era, contemporary American and British poetry, and American urban writing.

Research Interests

  • Modernist studies
  • American modernism
  • American poetry
  • Literary memory of the American Civil War
  • Writing and commemoration
  • Queer theory

Centres and institutes

Groups

Projects

Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Disruptive Disorder: Dambudzo Marechera in Harare and Oxford (led by University of Oxford) (01/08/2022 - 31/07/2023), funded by: Oxford University, funding amount received by Brookes: £920

Publications

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Professional information

Conferences

I have organized/co-organized several conferences in recent years, including: