Modern and contemporary literature

Our research in modern and contemporary literature is rich and diverse, covering the full sweep of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries across the English-speaking world.

Chronologically it begins with work on the classic writers of High Modernism, including Henry James, Ford Madox Ford, Virginia Woolf, Wyndham Lewis and Dorothy Richardson, and comes right up to date with the study of digital culture both as a proliferation of new cultural forms and reading experiences, and as a subject within contemporary literature and the arts.

The geographical and cultural range of work is reflected in our research on English and Irish fantasy fiction, early twentieth-century American magazines, reading cultures in Canada, African American literary and visual culture, Black British and British Asian fiction, and South African novels and poetry.

As this suggests, much of our work is interdisciplinary. In addition to visual culture, which stands alongside literary culture in our research from modernism to the contemporary, we explore the relationship between modern literature and several other disciplines and fields in our work, including the law, evolutionary biology and the history of science. 


Dr Amy Burge - Popular fiction and romance

Dr Rona Cran - Twentieth century American literature

Dr John Fagg - American art and literature

Dr Rex Ferguson - Historical specificity of texts

Professor Andrzej Gasiorek - Twentieth century British literature and Modernism

Dr Richard Graham - Contemporary digital culture

Dr Dave Gunning - Contemporary Anglophone literature and postcolonial studies

Professor Alexandra Harris - British art and literature, especially in relation to landscape

Dr Matt Hayler - Contemporary literature and digital cultures

Dr Oliver Herford - British and American literature of the long nineteenth century, with a special focus on the late writings of Henry James

Dr Andrew Hodgson - English poetry and individualism

Professor John Holmes - Scientific ideas and cultural forms in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including poetry, architecture and the visual arts

Professor Tom Lockwood - Early modern and into the Romantic periods

Professor Deborah Longworth - Nineteenth and twentieth century women writers

Dr Daniel Moore - Nineteenth and twentieth century literature and visual culture

Professor Peter Morey - 20th century, contemporary and postcolonial literary studies

Dr Jimmy Packham - American Gothic literature and maritime writing

Dr Rebecca Roach - Literature, media and book history

Dr Asha Rogers - Modern and contemporary writing in English from across the postcolonial world

Dr Philippa Semper - Modern fantasy literature

Professor Max Saunders - Modern literature and culture

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge - Twentieth-century and contemporary literature, political theory, and history

Dr Rachel Sykes - The twenty-first century American novel

Dr Nathan Waddell - Early twentieth-century and Modernist literature

Dr Sara K Wood - American literature and culture

Dr Jarad Zimbler - Decolonization

Major publications


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American art and literature - John Fagg

English literary tradition and landscape - Alexandra Harris
Literary modernism and artistic modernism - Dan Moore
Modernism, Beethoven and controversy - Nathan Waddell