Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

Department of English Literature
Teaching Fellow in English Literature

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I teach and research twenty-first and twentieth-century North American and British fiction. My main research interest is the nexus of narrative and time, with a particular focus on the contemporary post-apocalyptic novel.


  • PhD in American Studies, University of Nottingham
  • MPhil in Philosophy, Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy)
  • BA in Philosophy, Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy) 


Before moving to the UK to undertake a PhD on the contemporary post-apocalyptic novel at the University of Nottingham, I studied philosophy, with a concentration on aesthetics, at the University of Milan and Paris IV Sorbonne. This double interest in literary studies and philosophy remains very much at the core of my research. Prior to joining the University of Birmingham in September 2017, I taught English and American Studies at De Montfort University, Harlaxton College (British campus of the University of Evansville, US), the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham. I spent periods of research at the University of Texas at Austin and Utrecht University.


  • Discovering American Literature
  • C20 American Literature and Culture
  • Out There: Writing North American Regions
  • Prose


My primary specialism is in late twentieth-century and twenty-first-century North American and British fiction, and my research takes place at the intersection of literary studies and philosophy to interrogate the way in which contemporary narratives construct time and history. I am currently working on my first monograph, which explores the contemporary post-apocalyptic novel through the lens of postmodern theories of historiography and narratological analyses. By introducing the notion of critical temporality, I aim to offer a new critical model for our cultural obsession with the end. My specialism in post-apocalyptic fictions and, more broadly, utopias/dystopias is also evolving into a keen interest in the fiction of the Anthropocene, on which I am co-editing (with Dr Daniel Cordle, Nottingham Trent University) a special issue of C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writing.

Other activities

In 2017-18 I was the recipient of a Harry Ransom Center Fellowship in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin with a project on time in Jim Crace’s fiction. In 2012, I was a Visiting Student Researcher at the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University.

I am Vice-Chair of the Contemporary Studies Network, which I co-founded with Dr Rachel Sykes (University of Birmingham) and Dr Arin Keeble (Edinburgh Napier University), and which holds bi-monthly reading groups, and supports public engagement and publication opportunities.

I have given public lectures on the contemporary apocalyptic imagination at Durham University and Harlaxton College, which are available online as podcast and video, respectively.

I am co-editing two forthcoming special issues, one on The Literature of the Anthropocene for C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writing and one on Station Eleven and Twenty-First-Century Writing for Open Library of Humanities.  

I organise #bookhour twitter chats on contemporary novels for U.S. Studies Online, a publication of the British Association for American Studies. 


Peer-reviewed journal articles

[Forthcoming] “’Time, no arrow, no boomerang, but a concertina’: Cloud Atlas and the Anti-Apocalyptic Critical Temporalities of the Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction.

 “The Representational Impasse of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction: The Pesthouse by Jim Crace.” Altre Modernità 9 (2013): 66-80. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13130/2035-7680/2987

Chapters in edited collections

[Forthcoming] “Beyond the Sense of an Ending: The Pesthouse and Being Dead.” Jim Crace: Into the Wilderness. Ed. Kate Aughterson and Katy Shaw. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

[Forthcoming] “’Borrowed time and borrowed world’: Anti-Apocalyptic Chronotopes in The Road.” Carrying the Fire: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and the Apocalyptic Tradition. Ed. Rick Wallach. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Edited special issues

[Forthcoming] Station Eleven and Twenty-First-Century Writing. Special collection of Open Library of Humanities.

[Forthcoming] The Literature of the Anthropocene. Special issue of C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writing.

Public engagement pieces

“Contemporary Studies Network Roundtable: Responding to Robert Macfarlane’s ‘Generation Anthropocene’.” Open Library of Humanities 3.1 (2017). DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/olh.153

Selected reviews

[Forthcoming] “ANT Contemporary Literary Studies”. Contemporary Studies Network Roundtable rev. of Hungerford A., Making Literature Now. Journal of American Studies.

“Low Theory for the End of Pre-History.” Rev. of McKenzie W., Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene. Postmodern Culture 27.1 (2017).