Dr Nathan Waddell BA, MPhil, PhD, PGCHE, FHEA

Photograph of Dr Nathan Waddell

Department of English Literature
Senior Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century and Modernist Literature

Contact details

Address
Arts Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

I teach and research early twentieth-century literature, with a core emphasis on the life, work, and controversies of the painter and writer Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). All of my research is collaborative—with students, postdoctoral scholars, university administrators, and individuals based outside of higher education—and I seek always to make my teaching similarly reciprocal, treating literary scholarship as an urgent conversation about culture and its indispensable place in the world.

Qualifications

  • BA (University of Birmingham)
  • MPhil (University of Birmingham)
  • PhD (University of Birmingham)
  • PGCHE (University of Nottingham)
  • FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

Biography

I’m a Senior Lecturer in Birmingham’s Department of English Literature, where I’ve worked since October 2017. Between 2012 and 2017 I worked in the School of English at the University of Nottingham. Before that, between 2008 and 2012, I taught at the University of Birmingham, where I also studied for my BA, MPhil, and PhD degrees. I attended a secondary school in Somerset and grew up in the West Country.

Teaching

Although my teaching now tends to concentrate on early twentieth-century literature, I’ve worked with students selectively across English literary history from the 1300s to the present. In the 2018-19 academic year I’ll be teaching and lecturing on the following modules:

  • UG year 2: ‘Aspects of Modernism’
  • UG final year: ‘Orwell’s Book: Deciphering Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • MA: ‘Modernism’

Postgraduate supervision

Although I’ll consider proposals for general modernism-related theses, I’m most interested in supervising MA and PhD candidates in my core research area: i.e. the life, work, and controversies of the painter and writer Wyndham Lewis, 1882-1957. I’m also very keen to consider projects on material related to the work of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.

Current PhD students include:

  • William Bateman, ‘Landscape, Exile, and Form in the Collected Works of D. H. Lawrence’
  • Daniel Buckingham, ‘Constructing the Middlebrow Satirist’
  • Sophia Day, ‘Eliot and Economics: The Difficulties of a Statesman’
  • Emily Heathcote, ‘Postmodernist Literature and Postmodernist Editing’
  • James Hirst, ‘Modernist Magazines, Editing Networks, and Short Fiction’

Former PhD students include:

  • Hollie Johnson, ‘Ecodystopia: Environmental Apocalypse and the Ecocidal Imagination’
  • Emma Zimmerman, ‘Architexture: Space, Form, and the Modernist Novel’

In addition to the above-mentioned students, I’ve acted as the internal examiner for multiple PhD theses and as the external examiner for theses at the University of Strathclyde and King’s College, London.

Research

To date, my research has focused on contextual interpretations of early twentieth-century and modernist literature in relation to questions to do with music, politics, utopianism, and the genre of dystopian fiction. The fiction and non-fiction of Wyndham Lewis, Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell tend to feature prominently in my scholarship. Current projects include:

  • a scholarly edition of Wyndham Lewis’s little-known novel Snooty Baronet (1932), for Oxford University Press
  • an edited collection of essays on Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, as part of the Cambridge University Press Cambridge Companions series
  • essays on dirt and the abject in works by Orwell; on biographical sources in Huxley’s Antic Hay; and on Lewisian presences in The Sackbut magazine
  • a book on tyranny in relation to works by Lewis, Orwell, Huxley, and Rebecca West, for Princeton University Press

I regularly speak about my research at academic conferences and at public institutions. Recent talks include:

  • ‘Work in Focus: “Portrait of T. S. Eliot” by Wyndham Lewis’ (The Royal Academy of Arts, London, July 2018)
  • ‘Katherine Mansfield, George Meredith, and Beethoven’s Hearing Eyes’ (CLEMT Summer Symposium, University of Birmingham, May 2018)
  • ‘Beethoven, Dorothy Richardson, and Musicology’ (Transitions: Bridging the Victorian-Modernist Divide, University of Birmingham, April 2018)
  • ‘Ford Madox Ford’s Evanescent Cities’ (The City as Modernist Ephemera, London South Bank University, June 2017)
  • ‘Moonlighting: Beethoven, Literature, and the First World War’ (Modern Literature Graduate Seminar, University of Oxford, January 2017)
  • ‘Beethoven and British Literature, 1902-1927’ (Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, November 2016)
  • ‘Facing Beethoven: Literature, Sculpture, and Identity’ (Royal Society of Edinburgh, September 2016)
  • ‘Problems, Possibilities, and Polemics: Taking the Arrows of Wyndham Lewis’ (Editing Modernism, Edinburgh Napier University, May 2016)

Other activities

With my colleague Dr Chris Mourant, I co-direct Birmingham’s Centre for Modernist Cultures. Aside from that, a lot of my professional activity is concerned with supporting the scholars who research the life and work of the modernist painter and writer Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). I’m current Chairperson of the Wyndham Lewis Society; co-editor of The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies; and a member of the Editorial Board of the Wyndham Lewis Complete Critical Edition commissioned by Oxford University Press. As of 2017 I have been a trustee of the Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust, a registered charity which promotes the study and preservation of Lewis’s output.

Publications

Solo-Authored Books

  • Moonlighting: Beethoven and Literary Modernism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, in press)
  • Modernist Nowheres: Politics and Utopia in Early Modernist Writing, 1900-1920 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
  • Modern John Buchan: A Critical Introduction (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009)

Co-Edited Volumes

  • Jonathan Greenberg and Nathan Waddell (eds), ‘Brave New World’: Contexts and Legacies (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
  • Andrzej Gąsiorek and Nathan Waddell (eds), Wyndham Lewis: A Critical Guide (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015)
  • Alice Reeve-Tucker and Nathan Waddell (eds), Utopianism, Modernism, and Literature in the Twentieth Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • Kate Macdonald and Nathan Waddell (eds), John Buchan and the Idea of Modernity (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013)
  • Andrzej Gąsiorek, Alice Reeve-Tucker, and Nathan Waddell (eds), Wyndham Lewis and the Cultures of Modernity (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011): 163-82

Co-Edited Periodicals

Journal Articles and Essays in Edited Volumes

  • ‘Ford’s Artistic Contexts: Family and Music’, in Laura Colombino, Sara Haslam, and Seamus O’Malley (eds), The Routledge Research Companion to Ford Madox Ford (London: Routledge, in press)
  • ‘H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds and the Crimson Map of Empire’, emagazine: The Magazine for Advanced Level English, 80 (April 2018): 20-22
  • ‘Modernism and Music: A Review of Recent Scholarship’, Modernist Cultures, 12.2 (Spring 2017): 316-30
  • ‘Signs of the T: Aldous Huxley, High Art, and American Technocracy’, in Jonathan Greenberg and Nathan Waddell (eds), ‘Brave New World’: Contexts and Legacies (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016): 31-49
  • ‘Lawrence Atkinson, Sculpture, and Vorticist Multimediality’, Modernism/modernity Print Plus, 1.3 (September 2016): online, n.p.
  • BLAST (1914-15)’, in Stephen Ross (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (Routledge, 2016): online, n.p.
  • ‘Lewis and Fascism’, in Tyrus Miller (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Wyndham Lewis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016): 87-99
  • ‘Lewis and Politics’, in Andrzej Gąsiorek and Nathan Waddell (eds), Wyndham Lewis: A Critical Guide (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015): 128-42
  • ‘Wyndham Lewis’s “Very Bad Thing”: Jazz, Inter-War Culture, and The Apes of God’, Modernist Cultures, 8.1 (Spring 2013): 61-81
  • ‘Providing Ridicule: Wyndham Lewis and Satire in the Postwar-to-end-war World’, in Alice Reeve-Tucker and Nathan Waddell (eds), Utopianism, Modernism, and Literature in the Twentieth Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013): 56-73
  • ‘Bohemian Retrospects: Ford Madox Ford, Post-War Memory, and the Cabaret Theatre Club’, in Kate McLoughlin (ed.), The Modernist Party (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013): 192-209
  • ‘Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight: An Unacknowledged Adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent?’, Adaptation, 6.1 (February 2013): 43-59
  • ‘John Buchan’s Amicable Anti-Modernism’, The Journal of Modern Literature, 35.2 (Winter 2012): 64-82
  • ‘Technocracy and the Fordian Arts: America, The American Mercury, and Music in the 1930s’, in Sara Haslam and Seamus O’Malley (eds), Ford Madox Ford and America, International Ford Madox Ford Studies Vol. 11 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2012): 167-80
  • with Alice Reeve-Tucker, ‘Wyndham Lewis, Evelyn Waugh, and Inter-War British Youth: Conflict and Infantilism’, in Andrzej Gąsiorek, Alice Reeve-Tucker, and Nathan Waddell (eds), Wyndham Lewis and the Cultures of Modernity (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011): 163-82
  • ‘Modernist Coteries and Communities’, in Peter Brooker, Andrzej Gąsiorek, Deborah Longworth, and Andrew Thacker (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010): 740-61
  • ‘Buchan and the Pacifists’, in Kate Macdonald (ed.), Reassessing John Buchan: Beyond ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2009): 91-101
  • ‘Pathology in John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps’, The Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language, 1.2 (2008): 4-11