Dr Dorothy Butchard

Dr Dorothy Butchard

Department of English Literature
Lecturer in Contemporary Literature & Digital Cultures

I teach and research contemporary and twentieth century literature, with particular interest in digital cultures and creative representations of technological change in the modern age.


  • BA English Literature (University of Cambridge)
  • MSc Literature and Transatlanticism (University of Edinburgh)
  • PhD English Literature (University of Edinburgh)


I joined Birmingham in 2016. Before this, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (IASH), after completing my doctoral thesis and masters at the University of Edinburgh.


I teach on the following undergraduate modules: New World Orders, Transatlantic Literary Relations (Convenor), Prose, Discovering American Literature (Convenor) and the postgraduate MA Module Textualities and Materialities. I am also contributing lectures for Plays and Performance and Writing London.


I research and teach contemporary literature and digital cultures, with particular interest in creative responses to technological change in the twentieth and twenty-first century.

My research traces connections between contemporary literature and digital cultures in American, British, and international anglophone literature and visual arts. My first monograph, Digital Anxiety in Contemporary Literature (currently in process), discusses the intersection of digital technologies and literary writing in the decades around the turn of the millennium. Digital Anxiety draws on literary criticism and cultural theory to explore how poetry, fiction and digital works published in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century reconfigure the tropes, conventions and aesthetic innovations of earlier eras to grapple with the conceptual and practical shifts of an emerging "digital age."

More broadly, my interests in twentieth and twenty-first century literature include: popular cultures, genres and new media; emergent literary forms including digital poetics and experimental writing; surveillance studies and creative responses to changing power structures in technologized environments. 

Other activities

I have spoken on my research at conferences and events across the UK and internationally. Most recently I have given talks on transatlantic communications in contemporary fiction (IASH, 2016) and surveillance poetics (Secret Poetry, 2016).

In addition to speaking at conferences, I’ve convened and/or co-organised a number of events, talks and symposiums in recent years. These include a workshop on the theme of "Atlantic Exchanges" (Edinburgh, Spring 2016), two events on new directions in academic publishing (Stirling, 2016 and 2017), and a conference themed around aesthetic representations of "Information Overload" (Edinburgh, 2014).

I co-convene the Postgraduate Doctoral Seminar for PhD students in English Literature at Birmingham.


Recent publications


Butchard, D 2019, 'Secrecy, surveillance and poetic “Data bodies”', Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, vol. 100, no. 1. <https://poetry.openlibhums.org/article/id/731/>

Butchard, D, Rowberry, S & Squires, C 2018, 'DIY Peer Review and Monograph Publishing in the Arts and Humanities', Convergence, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 477-493. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856518780456

Butchard, D 2018, '“Speaking distance”: fantasies of immediacy and the transatlantic telegraph', Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 97-119. https://doi.org/10.30395/WSR.201806_11(2).0005

Butchard, D 2015, 'Drones and Dissociation', Alluvium. https://doi.org/10.7766/alluvium.v4.2.02

Butchard, D 2015, 'Time, data and transatlantic longing in Spindrift and The Sun King', Symbiosis: a Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 193-210.

Butchard, D 2014, '‘The Poet from the Periphery’: Derek Walcott, Prestige and Literary Centrality', Comparative Critical Studies, vol. 11, no. Supplement, pp. 45-60. https://doi.org/10.3366/ccs.2014.0143

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Butchard, D 2019, Identification and the “intelligent city”. in The Art of Identification: Forensics, Surveillance, Identity .

Butchard, D, Rowberry, S, Squires, C & Tasker, G 2017, Peer Review in Practice. in S Rayner & R Lyons (eds), The Academic Book of the Future: BOOC (Book as Open Online Content) . UCL Press. https://doi.org/10.14324/111.9781911307679.15


Butchard, D 2018, Jennifer Egan. in R Eaglestone & D O'Gorman (eds), The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction. Routledge.

Butchard, D 2015, What no’un alive und’stands: David Mitchell’s 21st Century recontextualisation of oral culture. in B Leggett & T Venezia (eds), Twenty-First-Century British Fiction. Gylphi, pp. 313-332.

View all publications in research portal