Stephen Morton

Primary position:


The University of Southampton
Professor Stephen Morton's photo

I was appointed as a lecturer in Anglophone Literature at Southampton in 2003 after teaching at Tampere, Finland and studying at Leeds, Nottingham, Sheffield, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008.

My research interests include Anglophone literatures from Canada, South Asia and the Caribbean, postcolonial theory, critical theory, poetics and politics, visual culture and globalisation.

I have published books, articles and reviews on postcolonial literature and theory, critical and cultural theory, visual culture, and recent Canadian writing.


The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)


Morton, Stephen (2012) Fictions of sedition and the framing of Indian revolutionaries in colonial India. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 47, (2), 175-189. (doi:10.1177/0021989412447489).
Baum, Devorah, Morton, Stephen and Bygrave, Stephen (2011) Introduction to Special Issue of New Formations. Hannah Arendt After Modernity. New Formations
Morton, Stephen (2010) Introduction to special issue: Migration and Terrorism. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 46, (3-4), 246-250. (doi:10.1080/17449855.2010.482359).
Morton, Stephen (2010) States of emergency and the apartheid legal order in South African fiction. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 46, (5), 491-503. (doi:10.1080/17449855.2010.517054).
Morton, Stephen (2009) Multiculturalism and the formation of a diasporic counterpublic in Roy K. Kiyooka's StoneDGloves. [in special issue: Disappearance and Mobility] Canadian Literature, 201, Summer Issue, 89-109.
Morton, Stephen (2007) Terrorism, orientalism and imperialism. Wasafiri, 22, (2), 36-42. (doi:10.1080/02690050701336774).
Kelly, Susan and Morton, Stephen (2004) Annie Moore and the archives of displacement: towards an immigrant history of the present. Social & Cultural Geography, 5, (4), 633-650. (doi:10.1080/1464936042000317749).
Kelly, S. and Morton, S.C. (2004) Calling up Annie Moore. Public Culture, 16, (1), 119-130.
Morton, Stephen (2003) “Workers of the world unite" and other impossible propositions. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 5, (2), 290-298. (doi:10.1080/1369801031000113003).


Morton, Stephen (2012) States of emergency: colonialism, literature and law, Liverpool, GB, Liverpool University Press, 239pp. (Postcolonialism across the Disciplines, 11).
Morton, Stephen and Boehmer, Elleke (eds.) (2009) Terror and the postcolonial: a concise companion, Chichester, GB, Wiley-Blackwell, 408pp. (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture).
Morton, Stephen and Bygrave, Stephen (eds.) (2008) Foucault in an age of terror: essays on biopolitics and the defence of society, Basingstoke, GB, Palgrave Macmillan, 248pp.
Morton, Stephen (2007) Gayatri Spivak: ethics, subalternity and the critique of postcolonial reason, Cambridge, UK, Polity, 216pp. (Key Contemporary Thinkers).
Morton, Stephen (2007) Salman Rushdie: fictions of postcolonial modernity, Basingstoke, UK; New York, USA, Palgrave MacMillan, 200pp.
Morton, Stephen (2002) Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, London, UK; New York, US, Routledge, 192pp. (Routledge Critical Thinkers).

Book Section

Morton, Stephen (2012) Writing Muslims and the global state of exception. In, Ahmed, Rehana, Morey, Peter and Yaqin, Amina (eds.) Culture, Diaspora, and Modernity in Muslim Writing. Abingdon, GB, Routledge, 18-36. (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures).
Morton, Stephen (2012) Metaphors of the secular in the fiction of Salman Rushdie. In, Sell, Jonathan P.A. (ed.) Metaphor and Diaspora in Contemporary Writing. Basingstoke, GB, Palgrave Macmillan, 151-169.
Morton, Stephen (2012) Reading Kenya's state of emergency after Agamben. In, Svirsky, Marcelo and Bignall, Simone (eds.) Agamben and Colonialism. Edinburgh, GB, Edinburgh University Press, 110-127. (Critical Connections).
Morton, Stephen (2011) Beyond the visible: secularism and postcolonial modernity in Salman Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh, Jamelie Hassan's Trilogy, and Anish Kapoor's Blood Relations. In, Mendes, Ana Cristina (ed.) Salman Rushdie and Visual Culture: Celebrating Impurity, Disrupting Borders. Abingdon, GB, Routledge, 32-49. (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature).
Morton, Stephen (2010) Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (1942-). In, Simons, Jon (ed.) From Agamben to Zizek: Contemporary Critical Theorists. Edinburgh, GB, Edinburgh University Press, 210-226.
Morton, Stephen (2010) Marginality: representations of subalternity, aboriginality and race. In, Chew, Shirley and Richards, David (eds.) A Concise Companion to Postcolonial Literature. Oxford, UK, Wiley-Blackwell, 162-181. (Blackwell Concise Companions to Literature and Culture). (doi:10.1002/9781444317879.ch8).
Morton, Stephen (2009) Terrorism, literature and sedition in colonial India. In, Boehmer, Elleke and Morton, Stephen (eds.) Terror and the Postcolonial: A Concise Companion. Oxford, GB, Wiley-Blackwell, 202-225.
Morton, Stephen (2008) Anti-Americanism and U.S. imperialism in Salman Rushdie's Fury. In, Shackleton, Mark (ed.) Diasporic Literature and Theory: Where Now? Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 104-119.
Morton, Stephen (2008) Torture, terrorism and colonial sovereignty. In, Morton, Stephen and Bygrave, Stephen (eds.) Foucault in an Age of Terror: Essays on Biopolitics and the Defence of Society. Basingstoke, GB, Palgrave Macmillan, 183-195.
Morton, Stephen (2008) The Santhal family and the invention of a subaltern counterpublic. In, Dasgupta, Anshuman, Szewczyk, Monika and Watson, Grant (eds.) Santhal Family: Positions Around an Indian Sculpture. Antwerp, Belgium, Museum Van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerp, 56-61.
Morton, Stephen (2007) Poststructuralist formulations. In, McLeod, John (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Postcolonial Studies. London, UK, Routledge, 161-172. (Routledge Companions).
Morton, Stephen (2004) The unhappy marriage of “third world” women’s movements and orientalism. In, Boer, Inge E. (ed.) After Orientalism. Amsterdam, Rodopi, 165-181.


Research Interests

My research interests include colonial states of emergency, Anglophone literatures from Canada and South Asia, postcolonial theory, critical theory, poetics, and politics, and visual culture.

Research projects

States of Emergency: Terrorism and Colonialism in Literature and Culture 1905-2005
This monograph examines how Third World national liberation struggles and the legal, military and political techniques employed by colonial governments to contain them have been represented in literature and culture of the 20th century and the first five years of the 21st century. The book comprises six case studies of colonial states of emergency in India, Ireland, Israel-Palestine, Kenya, and South Africa, and concludes with an assessment of the continuities between these colonial states of emergency and the current global war on terror post-9/11. By adopting a comparative approach to the representation of colonial states of emergency in literary and cultural texts, the study assesses how the particular cultural and historical experiences of colonial violence and violent anti-colonial resistance in India, Kenya, South Africa, Ireland and Israel-Palestine are negotiated in the narrative structure, generic conventions and rhetoric of literary texts, statutes, minutes, reports and court trials, while also identifying any formal similarities between these very different texts and historical contexts. In so doing, I argue that in spite of the liberal rhetoric of European colonialism’s civilising mission, political government by violence and terror was more often the rule rather than the exception in the European colonies. While colonial rule by force may have seemed to be more pronounced during violent national liberation struggles, I contend that the use of violence and force was in many cases inherent to the entire legal and political edifice of the European colonial state.

The Year’s Work in Cultural and Critical Theory
From December 2004, I have been a co-contributor (with James Procter) to The Year’s Work in Cultural and Critical Theory, to which I contribute an annual essay on the year’s work in Postcolonial Theory.

Research project

International Writing Project - Dormant

The project involved visits and readings by leading international writers, a conference on international migration, and creative writing workshops with local schoolchildren.


Professor Stephen Morton
Faculty of Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/2001

Telephone: (023) 8059 3239
Email: S.C.Morton@soton.ac.uk