Dr Kiron Ward

Dr Kiron Ward

Department of English Literature
Teaching Fellow (Modern and Contemporary)

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a teacher and researcher of modern and contemporary literatures, with a background in hemispheric American Studies. I am especially interested in encyclopaedism, totality, epistemic injustice, and literary aesthetics; my work draws particularly, but not exclusively, on 20th and 21st Century British, Irish, North American, Caribbean, and Latinx fiction.


  • PhD English (University of Sussex)
  • MA Issues in Modern Culture (University College London)
  • BA American & English Literature (University of East Anglia)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE)


Following a brief career in English local government, I undertook a PhD on encyclopaedism in modernist and contemporary literature at the University of Sussex, supervised by Prof. Peter Boxall. Since then, I have worked at the University of East Anglia, as a Postdoctoral Lecturing Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Literatures, and at the University of Sussex, as a Teaching Fellow in Postcolonial Literatures. Most recently, I have worked as a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department for English, German, and Romance Studies (ENGEROM) at the University of Copenhagen, where I contributed particularly to the expansion of the teaching of ‘postcolonial’ and ‘world’ literatures.


Autumn 2021:   Prose, Dystopias

Spring 2022:     Poetry, Rags to Riches


My current major research focuses on the relationship between literature and totality, particularly as it pertains to questions of epistemic violence and injustice. This work builds from my PhD research, which focused on the ways that modernist and contemporary writers work with and against the history and practice of Western, modern (post-1700s) encyclopaedic thought. That work led me to consider in greater detail the ways that the concepts of ‘totality’ and ‘the totalising imagination’ are being re-developed in 21st Century fiction. This research, which will be published in my forthcoming monograph, Encyclopaedism and Totality in Contemporary Fiction (Bloomsbury, 2023), focuses particularly on the works of Leslie Marmon Silko, Don DeLillo, Roberto Bolaño, and Karen Tei Yamashita.

Alongside this, I am currently working on a smaller project that commemorates the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses; key outputs include a co-edited collection of articles for Textual Practice, including my own contribution, which uses Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners to open up questions about Joyce’s ‘hypercanonicity,’ and an event, to be held in June 2022 at the University of Sussex. I am also finalising commissioned articles on Joyce’s influence on Don DeLillo, for Edinburgh Companion to Don DeLillo and the Arts, and on the ‘decolonial’ ontological anthropology of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro as understood through Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man, for Oxford Handbook to Herman Melville.

My next project returns me to global modernist studies and the 20th Century: looking specifically at the development, circulation, and impact of the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, this project will consider the extent to which the Britannica and its widely advertised brand of imperial, Anglocentric epistemology can be understood as a key artefact both in the emergence of late colonial and postcolonial literatures.


Recent publications


Ward, K 2021, 'Hypercanonical Joyce: Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners, creative disaffiliation, and the global afterlives of Ulysses', Textual Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2022.2003088

Blackwell Phelan, J & Ward, K (eds) 2018, 'Encyclopedia Joyce', James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 1-2. <https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/39927>

Blackwell Phelan, J & Ward, K 2018, 'Introduction to "Encyclopedia Joyce": on being very big', James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 1-2, pp. 27-33. https://doi.org/10.1353/jjq.2017.0027

Ward, K 2018, 'Paradise and the Periphery: the New Bloomusalem and Bloom Cottage', James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 1-2. https://doi.org/10.1353/jjq.2017.0032

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Da Cunha Lewin, K & Ward, K 2018, Introduction: A Trick of the Light: Don DeLillo in the Twenty-First Century. in K Ward & K Da Cunha Lewin (eds), Don DeLillo: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. 1st edn, Contemporary Critical Perspectives, Bloomsbury Academic. <https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/don-delillo-9781350040878/>


Da Cunha Lewin, K & Ward, K (eds) 2018, Don DeLillo: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Contemporary Critical Perspectives, Bloomsbury Academic.

Ward, K & Blackwell Phelan, J 2018, Encyclopedia Joyce. James Joyce Quarterly, no. 1-2, vol. 55. <https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/39927>

Book/Film/Article review

Ward, K 2021, 'Kandice Chuh, The Difference Aesthetics Makes: On the Humanities “after Man” (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019, $23.95). Pp. 192. ISBN 978 1 4780 0092 1', Journal of American Studies, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 517 - 518. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021875821000104

Doctoral Thesis

Ward, K 2017, 'Fictional Encyclopaedism in James Joyce, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Roberto Bolaño: Towards a Theory of Literary Totality', University of Sussex.

Other contribution

Bone, MR & Ward, K 2020, Learning from Black Lives Matter. Universitetsavisen. <https://uniavisen.dk/en/learning-from-black-lives-matter/>

Ward, K 2016, Spanish in an Anglophone Novel: Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead..

Review article

Ward, K 2020, 'Rebecca Tillett, Otherwise, Revolution! Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead', Yearbook of English Studies.

Ward, K 2016, 'Roberto Bolaño, A Less Distant Star: Critical Essays, ed. Ignacio López-Calvo', Textual Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2016.1233702

Ward, K 2016, 'The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature by Cóilín Parsons', James Joyce Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1353/jjq.2016.0046

Ward, K 2015, 'Howling for Justice: New Perspectives on Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead, ed. Rebecca Tillett', Excursions Journal. https://doi.org/10.20919/exs.6.2015.206