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.


In 2016-17, 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.


My research traces connections between contemporary literature and digital cultures in American, British, and international anglophone literature and visual arts. I am currently working on my first monograph, Digital Anxiety in Contemporary Literature, which discusses the intersection of digital technologies and literary writing in the decades around the year 2000. Digital Anxiety draws on literary criticism and cultural theory to explore how poetry, fiction and digital works published in the late twentieth and twenty-first century reconfigure the tropes, conventions and aesthetic innovations of earlier eras to grapple with swift technological changes at the turn of the millennium.

More broadly, my interests in twentieth and twenty-first century literature include: digital poetics and emergent literary forms; book history and new media; transatlantic communications and exchange; surveillance studies and ideas of the posthuman/transhuman. These are linked by my fascination with 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.


Articles and book chapters

  • ‘Time, Data and Transatlantic Longing in Spindrift and The Sun King’ in Symbiosis (2015)
  • ‘Fight or Flight? Drones and Dissociation’ in Alluvium (2015)
  • ‘What No’un Alive Und’stands: David Mitchell’s Recontextualisation of Oral Culture’ in Twenty-first Century British Fiction- Critical Essays, ed. Bianca Leggett & Tony Venezia. (Gylphi, 2015)
  • ‘The Poet from the Periphery? Prestige and literary centrality in Derek Walcott’s Omeros’ in Comparative Critical Studies (2014).
  • ‘Jennifer Egan’ in The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Literary Fiction, ed. Robert Eaglestone and Daniel O’Gorman (Abingdon: Routledge, forthcoming).
  • Review: ‘Sinéad Moynihan, Other People’s Diasporas: Negotiating Race in Contemporary Irish and Irish-American Culture (2013)’ in Symbiosis (2016)

View all publications in research portal