Dr Dave Gunning BA, MA, PhD

Photograph of Dr Dave Gunning

Department of English Literature
Reader in English Literature

Contact details

Arts Building, Room 117
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I teach and research contemporary Anglophone literature and postcolonial studies.


  • BA English and Philosophy (Manchester)
  • MA Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literature  (Leeds)
  • PhD English (Leeds)
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice (Birmingham)


I joined the University of Birmingham in 2007, having previously held a lectureship in Postcolonial Literature at the University of Leeds.


I’ll be convening four modules in the 2018-19 academic year: New World Orders? at second-year, which looks at Anglophone literature between 1945 and 1999; the final-year Professional Skills in English Literature which allows students to spend time on placement outside the University, the specialist study option Last Year’s Novels, looking at Anglophone fiction published in 2017; and the MA module Contemporary Literature

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome applications for PhD study in the area of 21st-century Anglophone literature.

Current and former PhD supervisions in which I’ve been involved include:

A micro-history of black Handsworth
Local and global identities in the contemporary Irish novel
Arab-American Drama
Narrative and Identity in the fiction of Kazuo Ishiguro
Feminisms in the New Nigerian Novel
The marketing of mixed-race identity in British publishing
Gender Politics in expatriate Arabian Gulf fiction
Douglas Coupland and the transnational
Derek Walcott and the pastoral mode
Contemporary Caribbean Poetics
The textual spaces of Afropolitanism

Find out more - our PhD English Literature  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My current research includes work on the essay as political form, the nature and development of the postcolonial Bildungsroman, and the novel as space of sanctuary: linking these is a concern with how formal innovation allows for political and ethical exploration.

Other activities

I am Head of Education for the School of English, Drama, and American & Canadian Studies.


Recent publications


Gunning, D 2013, Postcolonial Literature. Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.

Gunning, D 2010, Race and Antiracism in Black British and British Asian Literature. Liverpool University Press.


Gunning, D 2015, 'Dissociation, Spirit Possession and the Languages of Trauma in Some Recent African-British Novels', Research in African Literatures, vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 119-132. <https://muse.jhu.edu/article/602744>

Gunning, D 2015, 'The first-person plural in Hanif Kureishi's essays', The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 133-149. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021989414554631

Gunning, D 2012, 'Ethnicity, Authenticity and Empathy in the Realist Novel and its Alternatives', Contemporary Literature, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 779-813. <http://cl.uwpress.org/content/53/4/779>

Gunning, D 2012, 'Race, Community and Agency in Fictional Representations of Sport in Britain', Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 126-135.


Gunning, D 2014, Unhappy Bildungsromane. in J Baxter & D James (eds), Andrea Levy: Contemporary Critical Persepectives. Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 9-22.

Gunning, D 2013, The Limits of Culture and Community in Monica Ali's 'Brick Lane'. in N Birns (ed.), Cultural Encounters. Salem Press, Ipswich, MA, pp. 304-321.

Gunning, D 2012, Concentric and Centripetal Narratives of Race: Caryl Phillips's 'Dancing in the Dark' and Percival Everett's 'Erasure'. in B Ledent & D Tunca (eds), Caryl Phillips: Writing in the Key of Life. Rodopi, Amsterdam, pp. 359-374.

Gunning, D 2011, Claude McKay, Eric Walrond and the Locations of Black Internationalism. in L Evans, M McWatt & E Smith (eds), The Caribbean Short Story: Critical Perspectives. Peepal Tree Press, Leeds, pp. 141-154.

Gunning, D 2011, Infrahuman Rights, Silence, and the Possibility of Communication in Recent narratives of Illegality in Britain. in A Oboe & S Bassi (eds), Experiences of Freedom in Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures. 1st edn, Routledge, London, pp. 141-150.

Gunning, D 2010, Caribbean Modernism. in P Brooker, A Gasiorek, D Longworth & A Thacker (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms. Oxford handbooks, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 910-925.

Gunning, D 2010, Ethnicity Politics in Contemporary Black British and British Asian Literature. in W Zach & U Pallua (eds), Racism, Slavery and Literature. Peter Lang, Frankfurt, pp. 47-59.

Gunning, D 2009, History, Anthropology, Necromancy: Amitav Ghosh's "In an Antique Land". in M Joseph-Vilain & J Misrahi-Barak (eds), Postcolonial Ghosts: With poems by Gerry Turcotte. Les Carnets du Cerpac, vol. 8, Presses Universitaires de la Mediterranee, Montpellier, pp. 305-321.

Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Gunning, D 2009, James Berry. in RV Arana (ed.), Twenty-First-Century "Black" British Writers . vol. 347, Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 347, Gale/Cengage Learning, Detroit, pp. 65-73.

View all publications in research portal


Contemporary literature and culture, especially that of the postcolonial world and of minority communities in the UK

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office