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The University of Southampton
Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing

Our staff

The Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing is home to many outstanding member of staff. On this page you will find information about their teaching and research interests.

Dr Devorah Baum

Over the last couple of years I’ve co-directed a creative documentary feature film, The New Man, and published two books, Feeling Jewish (Yale University Press) and The Jewish Joke (Profile Books), and I’m still very interested in feelings and their absence, humour and humorlessness, film, documentary, psychoanalysis, trauma, Jewishness, religion, hermeneutics, ethics, life writing, essaying, and postwar American writing. Recently, I’ve written an essay for Granta on Grace Paley after #TimesUp and a short article for the Financial Times about being British and Jewish right now. I also have a small role in a new film, Female Human Animal, reviewed here and here.

Dr Kevin Brazil

Kevin Brazil’s research focuses on the relationship between the novel and visual art and culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and on modernism and its relationship to the present. He is also interested in the longer history and theory of the novel, especially the genre of the historical novel, and the relationship of the novel to time.

Ms Carole Burns

I am a writer working in fiction, both the short story and the novel, as well as creative non-fiction. I am particularly interested in fiction that delves into other disciplines, and the intersection of the personal with the political. I am also co-curator on on-going project, “Imagistic,” in which writers respond to image with flash fiction or poetry.

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh is a Lecturer in Modern and contemporary Drama and Theatre Studies. Alireza is a Howard Barker specialist. He has written and published two monographs and numerous research articles on Barker’s work. His research and teaching, however, focus more largely on almost all aspects of Modern and Contemporary drama and theatre in conjunction with philosophy of art and literature, medical humanities, and critical and literary theory. He is particularly interested in the philosophy of the body and the concomitant issues of somaesthetics, theories of consciousness, memory, and trauma. Concurrently with the preceding areas, Alireza has been developing both a module and a research project on World Dramas and Oil Studies with a particular focus on the Middle East.  Alireza is also an established academic translator of literary and philosophical works. 

Dr Mary Hammond

Mary is an Emeritus Professor working on 19th century literature and culture with a specialism in book history, and has particular research interests in the history of reading and the publication and circulation of Victorian and Edwardian popular texts. Mary is also the Founder and Director of the interdisciplinary Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research, in which postgraduates play a full and active part

Dr Sarah Hayden

Sarah Hayden’s research focuses on the points of intersection between art, experimental writing and vocality. She is currently leading the Voices in the Gallery project (2019-2023), in conjunction with Nottingham Contemporary and John Hansard Gallery, and writing a book about voice in contemporary art. Recent projects include a monograph on avant-garde artisthood, Mina Loy and contemporary experimental poetry (University of New Mexico Press) and a book (with Paul Hegarty) on the German 1960s artist, Peter Roehr (Snoeck), both of which came out in 2018.

Professor Philip Hoare

My research/writing/curation/performance continues to be marine based with specific interests in shape-shifting whale/bird/animal/human cultures as expressed by human/natural histories in Southampton, the UK, Netherlands, New England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, with a particular focus on queer nature, literature, art and physical immersion.

Dr Eleanor K. Jones

My research interests range across the literatures, cultures and histories of the Portuguese-speaking world and Africa more broadly, with a particular focus on themes relating to the body, including gender and sex, race, disability, violence, health, disease and mortality. A large part of my work is concerned with the critical theorisation of those themes, both within my regions of specialisation and beyond. My current focus is on how the triangulation of power, pathology and the body has been enacted in various African nations, and how it has been represented and resisted in textual and visual cultures. Of particular interest to me at the moment is how concepts of futurity and disability fit into this schema.

Dr Stephanie Jones

Stephanie is interested in water in its many material and abstract forms. She is particularly curious about the place of the ocean in histories of ideas about justice, right, and obligation. Over the past few years, she has written about the relationship of poetry to maritime and imperial law; about islands in the colonial and postcolonial imagination; and about stories of privateering and piracy. She is currently writing a book about pirates.

Dr James Jordan

My research interests are broad and include questions of identity, ‘race’, sexuality, gender and religion in twentieth century UK and beyond, looking at literature, film, radio and television. My current work explores the role and representation of Jews and Jewishness at the BBC from 1936-1979. This looks at the careers of significant individuals (for example, Ronald Waldman, Rudolph Cartier, Sydney Newman, Verity Lambert, Jeremy Isaacs, Brian Tesler and Paul Fox), alongside the analysis of the on-screen image of ‘the Jew’, Jews, Jewish culture and traditions, and Judaism. This involves working closely with the BBC’s Written Archives in Caversham. I am currently writing an article on the BBC and the Holocaust for a volume on Britain and the Holocaust. This will consider how BBC radio and television have engaged with the Holocaust and its legacy in the form of staffing, news reports, documentaries, dramas and magazine programmes. This will include case studies such as an analysis of the important but long-neglected radio play No Luggage, No Return (June 1943), the first on British radio to describe the deportation of Jews to Treblinka. I am CI on the Leverhulme Writing Places project and editor of Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History. Recent publications include a chapter on the East End, television and the documentary imagination, July 1939 for Migrant Britain: Histories and Historiographies: Essays in Honour of Colin Holmes, ed. Jennifer Craig-Norton, Christhard Hoffmann, and Tony Kushner (London: Routledge, 2018). 

Professor Nicky Marsh

Nicky Marsh works on representations of finance in contemporary culture, her books include Credit Culture: The Politics of Money in the American Novel of the 1970s,  Show me the Money: the Image of Finance, Literature and Globalization: A Reader. She is currently working on the economies of gender.  

Dr Will May

Will May is drawn to poets that bother critics and modes that bother poets. Currently, he is currently researching the history of modern British poety and mentoring, supported by an AHRC Leadership Fellow grant. As part of the project, he helped set up Poetry Ambassadors, a new regional mentoring scheme working with Artful Scribe and Winchester Poetry Festival. Previous publications include The Collected Poems and Drawings of Stevie Smith, and Reading F.T. Prince

Professor Peter Middleton

Peter Middleton is an Emeritus Professor who has just assembled a collection of previously published and new essays, provisionally entitled Extended Authorship, for University of New Mexico Press. He is currently working on a book about the mixed legacy of wartime cryptography on theories of communication, postmodern theory, neurodiversity, and current debates about the role of internet platform corporations. 

Professor Stephen Morton

My current research includes two major new scholarly book projects: Indigenous Thought and the Invention of the World System and In the Debt Colony: A History of Colonial Debt. I have recently edited a special issue of the journal Research in African Literatures on Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God (with Ranka Primorac), and completed a chapter on ‘Colonial Violence, Law, and Justice in Egypt’ for a major new collection of essays on The Postcolonial Middle East, edited by Anna Ball and Karim Mattar. I have published books on States of Emergency in colonial and postcolonial literatures and law; the fiction of Salman Rushdie; and the postcolonial thought and criticism of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. I have also co-edited Terror and the Postcolonial (with Elleke Boehmer); Foucault in an Age of Terror (with Stephen Bygrave); and a special issue of the journal New Formations on Hannah Arendt after Modernity (with Devorah Baum and Stephen Bygrave).

Dr Ranka Primorac

I am interested in Africa’s literatures and cultures. This sometimes involves looking at the effects of postcolonial politics on everyday lives and all kinds of writing: Zimbabwe’s Mugabe looms large in my 2006 book on that country’s novels. But more than that, I want to understand how Africa’s fictions have participated in producing new kinds of beauty and pleasure, in giving meaning to their readers’ understanding of space and time, and in surviving and resisting many kinds of crisis and oppression. Sometimes, I have found, this kind of questioning leads to other questions, about the nature and meaning of ‘literature’ itself. I am currently working on my second monograph, to do with representations of modern subjectivity and genre in South-Eastern Africa. I am the PI on an AHRC-funded networking grant related to the textual worlds of that region.

Ms Rebecca Smith

Rebecca teaches creative writing and is currently working on her fifth novel. She welcomes proposals for PhDs based on fiction or creative non-fiction for adults or children.

Ms Rebecca Smith

Rebecca teaches creative writing and is currently working on her fifth novel. She welcomes proposals for PhDs based on fiction or creative non-fiction for adults or children.

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