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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

I graduated with a BA in English Language and English Literature and then went on to undertake my postgraduate studies at London Metropolitan University, receiving an MA with Distinction in Literature and Modernity. I completed my PhD in 2010 at Kingston University (fully-funded, ORSAS and Teaching Assistant scholarship). I have taught at Kingston University (2007-2011) before joining the Literature team at Brighton in 2012. I currently hold the position of a Principal Lecturer in Literature. I was a Course Leader for the BA in English Language and Literature (2016-2020) and the Academic Programme Leader for English Literature, Media and Creative Writing UG and PG courses (2017-2020). I was the University's Academic Lead for Decolonising the Curriculum and co-chair of the School of Humanities Equalities Committee (2020-2021). I am a co-founder, with Dr Vy Rajapillai, of the student-staff DeCol Collective, where we continue our grassroots and ongoing decolonisation activities and events https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/decolonisingatfalmer/.

Research interests

My reseach interests are in contemporary literature and culture, most specifically in Black British and post-communist/'Eastern European' writing.

My 2019 monograph - the first book about the representations of 'Eastern European' migrants in contemporary British literature and culture - provides a comprehensive study of this 'wave' of migration to the UK and Western Europe following the enlargement of the EU in the 21st century, the social and political changes after the fall of communism, and the Brexit vote. It explores the recurring figures of 'Eastern Europeans' as a new reservoir of cheap labour in multiple contemporary cultural texts:


Recent publications include 'Eastern Europeans and BrexLit' (JPW Special Issue Writing Brexit: Colonial Remains), 'Redressing Racist Legacies in the Melancholic Nation: Anger and Silences in Andrea Levy’s Fruit of the Lemon' (Special In Memoriam Issue of Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, ed. by Henghameh Saroukhani, Sarah Lawson-Welsh and Michael Perfect) and (with Jo Hall and Vy Rajapillai), ‘Students as partners in decolonising the curriculum: lessons learnt at the University of Brighton, UK’ (Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 2021). I am currently working on a series of invited contributions and on my next monograph on contemporary Black British women's writing.

I have built long-lasting partnerships with local organisations, most notably with New Writing South, Marlborough Productions and The Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence (Sussex University) through our work on the The Coast is Queer, Brighton and Hove's LGBTQ+ literature festival (https://coastisqueer.com/). With Bea Hitchman and Vy Rajapillai, we've recently established a new partnership with Afrori Books, Brighton's first black-owned bookstore, specialising in books by black authors.

Recent events/projects/conferences:

An interview with Monique Roffey for the Big Read Event: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/bigread/2021/03/31/2021-monique-roffey/

Queer Writers from the Post-Yugoslav region, The Coast is Queer Festival, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gilVnrAl-pU&t=79s

Within the Four Walls: Queer Lockdown Stories Project, 1-4:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwaC7xY_pro&t=77s (with Juno Roche, Nehaal Bajwa, Mikey Birtwistle and Zia X)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqfyzLnKDq4&t=59s (with Annie Whilby – AFLO. the poet, Nat Raha, Razan Ghazzawi and Savannah Sevenzo)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIcC59HnC7E&t=116s (with Tanaka Mhishi, Daniel Spelman, Jane Traies and Subira Wahogo)


(with: Sea Sharp, John McCullough, Ray Filar and Roxana Xamán).

Common Threads: Black and Asian British Women's Writing Conference 2022 (co-organised with Prof Suzanne Scafe, Dr Kadija George and Dr Sarah Lawson-Welsh) https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/decolonisingatfalmer/common-threads-black-and-asian-british-womens-writing-international-conference/

Black British Women's Writing conference, 2014

Bernardine Evaristo keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBP2688NvCg

Valerie Mason-John: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZYzQOJSbXk

Dorothea Smartt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZDN5f4u8x4

Supervisory Interests

I would be happy to talk to students about PhD projects in contemporary literature, cultural and queer studies.

Specific areas might include:

  • Black British Literature and Culture
  • BrexLit
  • European Literature
  • Postcolonialism
  • Postcommunism
  • Literary and media representations of migration and specifically 'Eastern European' migration
  • LGBTQ+ Literature

My current supervision includes the following PhD projects:

(COMPLETED) Kadija George, Raising the voice and visibility of independent Black publishers (TECHNE-funded) http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/techne/for-students/techne-students/techne-students/techne-students-2016/george

Najma Yusufi, Leave To Remain” (novel); Dissertation component –“The theoretical fictional study of Faria’s character in Leave To Remain and the impact of double consciousness in second generation British Asian writing.’’, https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/persons/najma-yusufi

Amanda Holiday, 'Poetry, Race and Art' (TECHNE-funded), https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/persons/amanda-holiday

Veneta Neale, 'This is our History: Diasporic Feminist Black British History'.




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