I am the author of The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel, which offers a critical model for our cultural obsession with the apocalypse and considers popular novels like The Road, Station Eleven, and Cloud Atlas. You can read the book’s introduction below.
I’m currently working on two book projects. The first is a cultural history of the sleep crisis, today’s widespread sleep deprivation. The second is an edited collection of essays on cult writer and artist Douglas Coupland (co-edited with Andrew Tate and Mary McCampbell).
My latest book is out now in paperback with Bloomsbury
The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel
Critical Temporalities and the End Times
Traditional apocalyptic texts concern the advent of a better world at the end of history that will make sense of everything that happened before. But what is at stake in the contemporary shift to apocalyptic narratives in which the utopian end of time is removed?
The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel offers an innovative critical model for our cultural obsession with “the end” by focussing on the significance of time in the 21st-century post-apocalyptic novel and challenging traditional apocalyptic logic. Once confined to the genre of science fiction, the increasing popularity of end-of-the-world narratives has caused apocalyptic writing to feature in the work of some of contemporary literature’s most well-known fiction writers. Considering novels by Will Self, Cormac McCarthy, David Mitchell, Emily St. John Mandel, Jeanette Winterson and others, Diletta De Cristofaro frames the contemporary apocalyptic imagination as a critique of modernity’s apocalyptic conception of time and history. Interdisciplinary in scope, the book historicises apocalyptic beliefs by exploring how relentlessly they have shaped the modern world.
Read the introduction below
Books in Progress
Writing the Sleep Crisis
I’m working on my second single-authored book, a cultural history of the sleep crisis across fiction, non-fiction and digital culture. While sleep experts are divided on whether our society is suffering from a crisis of poor sleep, the sense of widespread sleep deprivation has captured the popular imagination. My book, the first exploration of cultural engagements with the sleep crisis, considers what these representations of sleep tell us about our society. I cover aspects ranging from mental health to our sense of self, from our relationship with technology to social inequalities, the rhythms of work and day-to-day life, and the pressures these rhythms exercise on us.
This project is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission.
The Extreme Present: Essays on Douglas Coupland’s Literature and Art
With Andrew Tate and Mary McCampbell, I’m editing the first collection of essays devoted to cult writer and artist Douglas Coupland. This project originated from the conference celebrating Coupland’s oeuvre we organised in April 2021.