Dr Angus Connell Brown BA, MA, DPhil

Photograph of Dr Angus Connell Brown

Department of English Literature
Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research explores the history of reading in the long twentieth century. I am primarily interested in the intersections between critical, material, and literary culture.


  • BA English Literature (University of Leeds)
  • MA American Literature & Culture (University of Leeds)
  • DPhil English Literature (University of Oxford)


Following my BA in English Literature at the University of Leeds I completed an MA in American Literature & Culture at the same University. In 2015 I completed my DPhil at the University of Oxford on the history of close reading and took up a fixed-term lectureship at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. I began my fellowship at Birmingham in September 2016.


I currently teach on the postgraduate module ‘Materialities and Textualities’.


As a researcher I want to draw attention to the ways in which reading gives shape to contemporary cultures. My postgraduate research worked out a set of approaches with which to investigate the style of close reading in and around the twentieth-century university. I am currently revising my thesis into a book that will offer one of the first sustained accounts of the cultural influence of close reading from the mid-1920s to the present.

My Leverhulme-funded project, Book Lovers, considers the history of affect in contemporary reading. In pursuing this work, I want to develop a new approach to book history and to the archive that refigures the relationship between reader-response criticism and bibliography in order to explore how the material and textual structures of the book can open up private moments as well as social histories.

Other activities

I am a member of the American Comparative Literature Association, the Modern Languages Association, and the Modernist Studies association.

Recent presentations include:

  • ‘The Style of Close Reading in The Postwar American Novel’, British Association of American Studies Annual Conference, Belfast, 6-9 April 2016.
  • ‘Reckless Pleasure: The Style in Sedgwick’s Preface’, Between Men at Thirty: Queer Studies Then and Now, City University of New York, 23 October 2015.
  • ‘Look With Your Hands: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as Poet’, American Comparative Literature Association Annual Convention, Seattle, 26-29 March 2015.


  • ‘The Touch of Reading in Alan Hollinghurst’s Early Prose’. Writing Under The Influence: Essays on Alan Hollinghurst Ed. Denis Flannery and Michèle Mendelssohn (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016) pp.24-39
  • ‘Wait For It: The Pleasures of Jamesian Style in The Wings of the Dove and Italian Hours’, The Henry James Review 35:1 (Winter 2014) pp.60-67