I completed my PhD on Samuel Beckett and J. M. Coetzee at the University of London, Goldsmiths College. I have extensive teaching experience in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, and have previously taught at the University of London, the University of Bonn, as well as Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.
Broadly my research areas include: World Literatures in English; Modern and Contemporary Literature; Literary and Cultural Theory (esp postcolonialism); Modernism and Postmodernism; Archives and memory cultures (inc. life writing); History of the Novel.
My research seeks to combine my expertise in modern and contemporary literature with wider interests in politics and philosophy. At the moment I am working on a project that seeks to investigate the relation between the decline of liberalism and contemporary literary practice, both creative and critical. Questions I hope to answer include: how does the contemporary novel function as a form of critical thinking? What has the changing status of the university, and of literary and cultural theory, meant for the practice of contemporary novelists and readers? Finally, how might we perceive contemporary novels (in the guise of autofictions or theory fictions) as resistant to both neoliberal and populist attacks on free expression?
Another keen interest is the relation between the singularity of literary expression and alternative modes of being (affective, embodied, lived). My PhD investigated this relation through a wider focus on the influence of modernist aesthetics on contemporary literature, notably Beckett's influence on Coetzee. I argue that Coetzee exemplifies the legacy of (late) modernist thinking in contemporary anglophone literature, and this thinking involves attempts to express modes of being that challenge conventional Western socio-political forms (such forms include the discourse of rights; of the private individual; and of the national citizen).
Alongside academic journals and publications, my work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, LA Review of Books and openDemocracy, and I am a Senior Editor at Review 31 and a co-convenor of the ASCA reading group on “Aesthetics and Politics in Critical Theory”. I am a member of the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL).
I also teach literary and cultural theory at Amsterdam University College. At the UvA I will be teaching academic writing, literary theory, big books and two courses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature.