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Dr Kevin Brazil BA, MSt, DPhil

Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature

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Dr Kevin Brazil is a Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature.

I joined English at Southampton in 2016 after being awarded my DPhil in English Literature by the University of Oxford in 2015. I have an MSt in English Literature from Oxford (2011), and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College, Dublin (2009).

My research and teaching focus on twentieth- and twenty-first century literature, the history and theory of the novel, modernism, and visual art and culture.

I supervise MA and PhD students working on a variety of topics in modern and contemporary literature and culture, from London urbanism to digital sociability, and would welcome inquiries from graduate students interested in working on any aspect of twentieth- and twenty-first century fiction, visual culture, and modernism.

I also write essays, criticism, and art reviews, which are listed here:

Research interests

My first book, Art, History, and Postwar Fiction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), explores the ways in which novelists have engaged with visual art from 1945 to the present day. In chapters on Samuel Beckett, William Gaddis, John Berger, and W. G. Sebald, and shorter discussions of writers like Doris Lessing, Kathy Acker, and Teju Cole, it shows the ways in which visual art, from abstraction to the photographic readymade, provided novelists with means to rethink the relationship between the novel and history beyond models of contextualization or determination, and thus to create fictions which explore literature’s own modes of historicity and contemporaneity.

I am currently at work on a book project, provisionally entitled Telling Time: History, Time, and The Novel, that aims offer a new theory of the relationship between the novel and historical knowledge by focusing on the fictional form’s relationship to different historical temporalities: lateness, the extended present, the series, and the event.

I have published widely on modern and contemporary literature in the Journal of Modern Literature, Modernism/modernity, Tate Papers and Textual Practice: on figures from T. S. Eliot to Doris Lessing; on topics in visual studies such as conceptualism and photography theory; and on contemporary fictional forms.

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Art, History, and Postwar Fiction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

Doris Lessing and the Forming of History, ed. Kevin Brazil, David Sergeant, and Tom Sperlinger (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016)

Articles & Chapters

‘Form and Fiction 1980 – Present’, in The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction 1980 – Present, ed. Peter Boxall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018).

'An Embarrassment of Lateness', in 'Forum: Modernism's Contemporary Affects', Modernism/modernity Print+ (forthcoming)

'Modernist Literature, Disciplines, and the Systematic Pursuit of Knowledge', in Being Modern: Science and Culture in the Early Twentieth-Century ed. Robert Bud and Morag Shiach (London: UCL Press, forthcoming 2018)

‘W. G. Sebald’s Revisions of Roland Barthes’, Textual Practice (forthcoming 2017) (link)

‘Art-Language, Conceptualism, Cosmopolitanism’, Tate Papers 27 (Spring 2017) (link)

‘Character, Sequence, and Series in Children of Violence’, in Doris Lessing and the Forming of History, ed. Kevin Brazil, David Sergeant, Tom Sperlinger (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

‘Histories of the Immediate Future: The Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Reconstruction of Modernism in Postwar Britain’, Modernism/modernity 23.1 (January 2016), pp. 193-217 (link)

‘Beckett, Painting, and the Question of “the human”’, Journal of Modern Literature 36.4 (Spring 2013), pp. 81-99 (link)

I am the convenor for the module Theory & Criticism, which introduces first-year students to debates and reflections about the art and practice of literary criticism: How should we interpret literature? Does literature shape our identity, and does our identity shape how we read literature?

I also teach a second-year research led module on Contemporary Fiction and Visual Culture, which explores how contemporary writers can help us understand the increasingly visual culture in which we live today. Teaching in this course draws on Southampton's leading arts facilities, involving gallery visits to the John Hansard Gallery, guest artist seminars, and writing art reviews of contemporary art exhibitions.


Dr Kevin Brazil
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number: 65

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