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Personal profile

Research interests

My research has focused on the relationships of cultural texts to nations and transnational movements and most recently has concerned the cultural representations of work and workers. My publications explore the way that social, political and economic questions are played out through various kinds of cultural representations and practices including modern and contemporary writing in English, and in visual cultures of the late twentieth and twenty-first century.

I have published widely on the idea of the nation and on the culture of globalization. This research considers how changes in public discourses are reproduced and challenged by creative and cultural texts. This has concentrated on ideas about national and racial difference; on the shape of the global economy since the late 1970s; and on contemporary attitudes towards terror. I have published extensively on  literature and globalization and this work has helped to shape the debates defining this field. In 2010 I co-edited the Literature and Globalization Reader (Routledge) which, for the first time, brought together major theoretical writings on globalization with critical responses to these theories in literary studies. 

My book Precarious Labour and the Contemporary Novel (Palgrave,  2017) explores how regimes of flexible labour in the contemporary economy have been represented in English-language fiction about office work in a range of national contexts. I am currently developing this area of research in a project on the concept of intimate economies; looking at various forms of intimate labour, this work attempts to explore how cultural texts have narrated and defined the changing boundary between the economic and the non-economic during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.



Supervisory Interests

I currently supervise PhDs on twentieth and twenty-first century literature. I would be happy to talk to students about PhD projects in literary and cultural studies on contemporary fiction or visual culture.

Specific areas within literary and cultural studies might include:

  • the cultures of work
  • social reproduction
  • globalization and culture
  • border studies
  • representations of migration
  • contemporary fiction
  • postcolonialism
  • contemporary visual culture

My current supervision includes the following PhD projects:

Kadija George Raising the voice and visibility of independent Black publishers

Chris Griffin Crises of Citizenship in Contemporary Fiction https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/persons/chris-griffin

Saiying Xu Translation and Reception of Jin Yong's Fictions in the English-Speaking World


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Sussex


Award Date: 31 Jul 2000

Master, University of Southampton


Award Date: 1 Oct 1995

Bachelor, University of Glasgow


Award Date: 31 Jul 1992


  • PE English
  • Globalisation
  • Labour Theory
  • Nationalism
  • Work Culture
  • Fiction
  • The Novel
  • Migration
  • Social Reproduction
  • Gender


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