BA, PhD, Oxon
I’m interested in literature of various periods and kinds, deconstruction, philosophy and psychoanalysis. In recent years I have actively turned my mind to climate change. I read English at Oxford and came to Kent in 2002 from a tutorial fellowship at Mansfield College. The creative-critical undergraduate module I convene and teach, The Unknown: Reading and Writing, was among the first of its kind.
I’m currently completing a psychoanalytic psychotherapy training and my research and teaching interests include:
- Deconstruction and other kinds of literary theory
- Creative or inventive critical writing
- Literature, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
- Literature, theory and climate change
- Literature and philosophy
My first book, on the writing life of Robert Browning, focused on his conception and practice of writing poetry and on how he was read by Charles Macready, Carlyle, Ruskin, Henry James and other distinguished contemporaries. At Oxford in the early 90s I helped found the theoretical humanities journal Angelaki, and since 2008 I have also been an Editor of Oxford Literary Review. I have published a detailed study of Derrida’s 1967 collection Writing and Difference, and numerous essays about literature, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, philosophy and the arts. These include readings of Hélène Cixous, Shakespeare, Derrida, Freud, Milton, Husserl, Wallace Stevens, Browning, Louise Bourgeois, Kant, Paul de Man, Picasso, Raymond Carver, Plato, Elizabeth Bowen and Leo Bersani. I have edited a number of journal issues on various topics relating literature, deconstruction, psychoanalysis and philosophy: Experiences of Conversion 2015; ‘The Fiction of the World’ and Other Essays 2013;, Deconstruction and Poetry 2011; Writing and Immortality 2009; Hotel Psychoanalysis 2004; Home and Family 1995. Interests in reading, writing, music and visual art led to Blue Guitar, a creative-critical book co-authored with Jonathan Tiplady. My contribution ‘Anew Again’ appears in the anthology Creative Criticism (EUP, 2014). A monograph on reading, the university and climate change, Without Mastery: Reading and Other Forces, came out with Edinburgh University Press in 2014.
I am Director of the Critical Theory MA.
Office: NC 11
School of English
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
I currently enjoy supervising a number of PhDs in literature, literary theory and creative-critical writing:
- Victoria Bennett, Provisionality in the Work of Hilary Mantel
- Mylene Gamache, Reading Things in Contemporary Women’s Writing
- Jonathan Herapath, Philosophical and Psychological Approaches to the Work of Francis Lyte
- Michelle Wood, Spiritual Paths: Reading, Writing, Meditation and Love
I am open to supervising theoretically-informed PhDs on a range of modern and contemporary literature and theory, including interdisciplinary work, and especially topics involving:
- Derrida and deconstruction
- Hélène Cixous
- Psychoanalysis and literature
- Creative-critical writing
- Continental philosophy
- Climate change and the environment
- Animal studies
- Writing and architecture
- Nineteenth-century literature, particularly Robert Browning
- I helped found Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities and remain active on the journal’s executive board.
- I am an Editor of Oxford Literary Review, Britain’s longest-published journal of literary theory.
- I am on the editorial boards of Postgraduate English and the English-language Polish e-journal Explorations.
- I am a member of the Institute for Creative Reading and of Kent’s Centres for Modern Poetry and Victorian Literature and Culture.
- I have acted as an MA external examiner at the Universities of Cork and East Anglia, and in 2016 will take up the role of external on the Creative Critical Writing MA at Sussex.
In my time at Kent I have organized
- two colloquia on Literature and the Humanities
- with Dr. Kaori Nagai, a two-day international conference on the theory and practice of Dream Writing
- a day conference on Reading as a Contemporary Art at the ICA
- a pop-up reading event on Derrida: ‘Aphorism Countertime’ in Real Time
Recent talks include:
- ‘eight aphorisms’ at Macbeth After Time: the Oxford Literary Review Seminar, Centre for Creative and Critical Thought, University of Sussex 2015
- ‘Choral Rings,’ at JD15: Derrida and Architecture, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, 2015
- ‘An Inexperience,’ at Imagining Derrida: A Creative-Critical Symposium, English Faculty, University of Cambridge, 2015
- ‘Too Late to Begin?’ Keynote at Fear and Loathing: Phobia in Literature and Culture, University of Kent, 2014
- ‘Who Do You Work For?’ at Reading as Art: Turning the Pages of Victorian Psychology, Senate House Library and the Bloomsbury Festival, London, 2013
- ‘The First Reader: A Dictation,’ at Reading as a Contemporary Art, ICA London, 2013
- ‘Swans of Life’ at The News From Poems, Kent, 2012
- ‘Writing General All Over,’ at JD11: Dissemination, University of Sussex, 2011
- ‘The Unstoppable University,’ at Resistances: Whose University? Goldsmiths, 2011
- ‘Nightshift,’ keynote at Freud after Derrida, 3rd International Mosaic Conference, University of Manitoba, Canada, 2010
- ‘Contemporary Music and Contemporary Art,’ Deal Festival 2010
- ‘Some Thing, Some One, Some Ghost: About the Fires of Writing,’ keynote at JD09: Where Ghosts Live, University College, Cork, Ireland, 2009.