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Centres and Programmes:
The Twenty-First Century Novel Conference:
For a full report, see our online report on The 21st Century Novel, an international conference on present-day fiction hosted by Lancaster University, 2-3 September 2005. Keynote lectures were delivered by the novelists Patricia Duncker (author of Hallucinating Foucault, James Miranda Barry and The Deadly Space Between) and Andrew O'Hagan (author of Our Fathers and Personality). The conference attracted delegates from the US, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, France, Poland, Germany, Singapore, the Republic of Ireland and the UK. The conference focused on developments in world fiction since 1990, and was designed to foster debate about the condition and future of literary and mainstream fiction after the late-twentieth-century heyday of postmodernism. Authors discussed included Pat Barker, Douglas Coupland, Jonathan Safran Foer, Ian McEwan, Haruki Murakami, and Zadie Smith, and the conference included panels on terrorism, women and authorship, crime fiction, children's/adult's fiction, and fiction after humanism. We are pleased to announce that several conference participants have submitted drafts of their papers for inclusion on the Lancaster University website.
Departmental Research Interests in Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Literary Studies
Most of the dozen or more members of staff who have active research interests in twentieth-century literature also have a very strong commitment to contemporary literary and cultural studies. Their interests include film, youth subcultures, genre fiction (crime novels, children's literature), the contemporary novel, critical theory, literature and politics, postcolonialism, contemporary literature and theology. Please see below for a more detailed description of their past and current research.
Members of staff working on this period include:
Dr Brian Baker works in 20th century and contemporary fiction and film, mainly British and American. He specialises in contemporary British fiction, science fiction, London fictions, and masculinities. He has published Literature and Science: Social Impact and Interaction (with John H. Cartwright, 2005) and Masculinity in Fiction and Film: Representing Men in Popular Genres 1945-2000 (2006). A monograph on Iain Sinclair will be published as part of Manchester University Press's Contemporary British Novelists series in 2007. He is now beginning a comparative project on the relationship between cinema and literature, in relation to visual culture, urban experiences of modernity, and the subject. He is also continuing his work on representations of masculinity, particularly with regard to horror and the figure of Hannibal Lecter.
Dr Arthur Bradley's main research interest is in 19th and 20th century philosophy, theology and literature. He is the author of the monograph Negative Theology and Modern French Philosophy ( London and New York : Routledge, 2004). His publications also include essays and articles on phenomenology, genealogy, deconstruction, contemporary religion and the philosophy of technology in journals such as Literature and Theology and Textual Practice and edited collections like Reinventing Christianity (Ashgate, 2001), and Otherwise than Philosophy (Manchester University Press, 2005). In 2004/5, he will be working on a number of projects including a book-length study of the relationship between religion and technology in modern European philosophy which particularly focuses on Marx, Heidegger, Derrida and the contemporary French philosopher of technology Bernard Stiegler.
Dr Kamilla Elliott works on the interdisciplinary engagements of literature and film. Her book, Rethinking the Novel/Film Debate (Cambridge UP, 2003) historicizes the debate in the context of earlier poetry/painting, novel illustration, and silent film image/title card debates and offers a new theory of word and image dynamics in literature and film and of literary film adaptation.
Dr Michael Greaney's research interests lie in modern/contemporary fiction and theory. His first book is Conrad, Language, and Narrative (Cambridge University Press, 2002). During 2004-5, he is on research leave, completing his new book, Contemporary Fiction and the Uses of Theory, a study of the reception and representation of theoretical ideas in literary fiction since the 1960s. He is also organizing a conference on present-day fiction, to be held in Lancaster in September 2005. Please follow the link for further details: The Twenty-First Century Novel: Reading Contemporary Fiction.
Dr Lee Horsley's current research is primarily in twentieth- and twenty-first century literature, taking in both British and American fiction and film. Over the last fifteen years, she has written two books on literature and politics - Political Fiction and the Historical Imagination (1990) and Fictions of Power in English Literature 1900-1950 (1995) - and, more recently, The Noir Thriller (2001), which ranges from pulp thrillers of the 1920s to neo-noir films and cyberpunk. Her forthcoming book, Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2005, is a study of the main sub-genres of crime fiction from the days of Sherlock Holmes to the present. Work on this project has been supported by a Research Leave Award (2003-04) from the AHRB.
Dr Hilary Hinds' principal area of research is in early modern literature, but she also specialises in twentieth-century women's writing and feminist theory. Publications here include essays on the reception of the television adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and the co-edited collection Working Out: New Directions for Women's Studies (Falmer Press, 1992). More recently, she has begun work, with Jackie Stacey and Lynne Pearce, on a new research initiative on the representation of feminism in the British press between 1968 and 2000. The first publication from this project, entitled 'Imaging Feminism, Imaging Femininity: The Bra-Burner, Diana, and the Woman Who Kills', co-authored by Hilary Hinds and Jackie Stacey, was published in Feminist Media Studies 1 (2), in July 2001.
Dr Lindsey Moore's teaching and research are in postcolonial literatures, broadly defined. Her work is positioned at the interface of postcolonial and feminist theories and she works on both literary and visual representations. She has published articles on Algerian revolutionary women in Fanon/Pontecorvo, on the Iranian-US visual artist Shirin Neshat, and on women in contemporary Iranian cinema. Her book, Arab, Muslim, Woman: Voice and Vision in Postcolonial Literature and Film is contracted to Routledge and is forthcoming: it looks at the interface between visual and textual representations of female identity in texts issuing from nationalist/anti-colonial, postcolonial, and migrant perspectives. Her next research project will be on travel and autobiographical narratives by writers moving between Egypt and England.
Dr. Catherine Spooner's twin interests are manifestations of the Gothic in contemporary literature and culture, and textual representations of post-war youth subcultures. These came together in her first book, Fashioning Gothic Bodies (Manchester University Press, 2004), which discussed among other things the representation of Goth subculture in contemporary film, fiction and fashion discourses. She has recently completed a book on Contemporary Gothic (Reaktion, forthcoming), which explores Gothic phenomena across the fields of literature, film, TV, fashion, art and advertising in the context of modern consumer culture. She is now working on Subcultural Fictions: Writing the Underground, which surveys textual strategies employed for constructing subcultural identities in writers including Kerouac, Wolfe, Carter, Coupland and Warner.
Dr Jayne Steel's main research interests are in: women writers from the north of Ireland, modern literary theories and film theories, especially those following psychoanalytical and postmodern perspectives. Her PhD thesis, 'Representations of the Provisional IRA in British Film, Fiction and the Media: 1968-2000', argues that the Irish paramilitary Other is often a mirror image of the British Self. Her next research projects will be concerned with the women writing the 'troubles'; particularly the work of Jennifer Johnston. Her work as a professional screenwriter has won several awards and her work has been shown at the Cannes Film Festival. She is currently working on two further feature films.
Dr Andrew Tate's research interests include literature and theology, and postmodern fiction, theory and spirituality. He is currently working on a monongraph on contemporary fiction and Christianity and a full-length study of Douglas Coupland.