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 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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 can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Teaching and supervision
- English Literature (BA (Hons))
- English Literature with Creative Writing (BA (Hons))
- English Literature (MA, PGDip, PGCert)
- Culture, Criticism, Literature
- American Vistas: Literature and Culture of the USA (module leader)
- Special Topics (Genres) American Poetry: Origins & Legacies (taught jointly with Dr Eric White)
- Advanced Options II (Urban Jungle: The American City in Modern and Postmodern Literature and Culture)
- English Studies Dissertation
- Critical Debates and Methods
- MA Dissertation
I was recently the second supervisor for Jennifer Wong's critical/creative PhD on poets of the Chinese diaspora and am currently the second supervisor for Susie Campbell's PhD about prose poetry and the legacy of Gertrude Stein and for Bernadette Carter's PhD about regionality in the work of R. S. Thomas and Basil Bunting.
|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|
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.
- Modernist studies
- American modernism
- American poetry
- Literary memory of the American Civil War
- Writing and commemoration
- Queer theory
Centres and institutes
I have organized/co-organized several conferences in recent years, including:
- (Co-organizer with Prof Steven Matthews and IPSI, University of Canberra) 'moments/that stretch horizons': an international poetry symposium for practitioners, 28 June 2017, Oxford Brookes
- (Co-organizer with Dr Eric White) Avant Gardes Now! Symposium, 1 May 2015, Oxford Brookes
- (Co-organizer with Dr Wim van Mierlo) New to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry, 13-14 March 2015, Institute of English Studies, London
- (Co-organizer with Dr Anna Hewitt and Dr Nissa Parmar) Shifting Territories: Modern and Contemporary Poetics of Place, 22-23 May 2013, Institute of English Studies, London
- (Co-organizer with Dr Alex Goody and Dr Eric White) Modernist Magazines in the Americas: Points of Departure, 12 December 2012, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford