I research and write about contemporary culture, crises, and the politics of time. I’m particularly interested in fiction, non-fiction, film, TV, and digital culture responding to twenty-first-century anxieties and crises that range from climate breakdown and other apocalyptic threats for my first book to the sleep crisis for my second book project. My work considers the understandings of time that shape these crises and our sense of self. Currently, I am the Principal Investigator of “Writing the Sleep Crisis”, a research project funded by the European Commission and the Wellcome Trust, based between Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and Northumbria University (UK).
I am an expert in the apocalyptic imagination. My book on the topic, The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Critical Temporalities and the End Times, is out with Bloomsbury. In this book, reviewed as “a landmark study of 21st century fiction” and “a theoretical tour de force”, I offer a critical model for our cultural obsession with the end by focussing on the significance of time in the 21st-century post-apocalyptic novel.
I’m now working on my second book project, “Writing the Sleep Crisis”, funded by the Wellcome Trust (Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science 2020-21) and the European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship 2021-22). In this project, I explore representations of sleep in contemporary culture and the so-called sleep crisis, namely, the idea that contemporary society is profoundly sleep-deprived.
My criticism, essays and reviews have appeared in venues like Salon, RTÉ, boundary 2 online, ASAP/J, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Open Library of Humanities, C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writing, edited collections published by Palgrave and Cambridge University Press, and elsewhere. I’m a public speaker, have written for the media, contributed to literature and science festivals, and appeared on podcasts.
Feel free to get in touch to discuss my research, opportunities for publications, talks, and consultancy.
October 2021: I recorded an introduction to the second episode of “Sleep Stories”, a three part podcast series inspired by the theme of sleep co-commissioned with Durham Book Festival as part of my research project, “Writing the Sleep Crisis”. Episode Two is “The Night Watch”, written and read by Jenn Ashworth. Listen here.
October 2021: “Daffodilly Dreams” by Salena Godden is out now. This is the first episode of “Sleep Stories”, a three part podcast series inspired by the theme of sleep co-commissioned with Durham Book Festival as part of my research project, “Writing the Sleep Crisis”. Listen here.
October 2021: I’m collaborating with Durham Book Festival on Sleep Stories, a series of three short stories/podcasts about sleep by leading British writers Salena Godden, Andrew McMillan, and Jenn Ashworth. The first podcast will be released on 9th October, with subsequent episodes released on 16th and 23rd. Each podcast will be introduced by myself, Professor Jason Ellis, and Dr Erik Hoel.
9 October 2021, 8-9pm BST (available to watch on demand until 31st October): The Sleep Stories commission for Durham Book Festival (see above) will launch on 9 October with a roundtable about the science and culture of sleep with myself, Salena Goddenn, Professor Jason Ellis, and Dr Erik Hoel. Tickets for the roundtable here.
September 2021: Watch the recording of my talk (in Italian) at MEETmeTONIGHT 2021, the Italian edition of the European Researchers’ Night. The talk is titled “Il sonno è in crisi? Che cosa ci dice la cultura contemporanea“.
July 2021: My book, The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Critical Temporalities and the End Times (Bloomsbury, 2020), is now available in paperback. You can find it in bookshops like WHSmith, Amazon, Blackwell’s, and Barnes & Noble.
July 2021: Watch here the recording of my talk at Academic opportunities after the PhD: postdocs, fellowships & more. I spoke about applying for Wellcome Trust funding and my postdoc experience.
June 2021: Watch the recording of my public lecture at Newcastle’s Lit&Phil, “Are We in a Sleep Crisis? Perspectives from Contemporary Culture”. The talk explores representations of sleep in contemporary culture and the so-called sleep crisis, namely the idea that contemporary society is sleep-deprived.