Past Projects

Research:

My main completed research project to date has focussed on the contemporary post-apocalyptic imagination. Today, we tend to think about the apocalypse as a catastrophe of overwhelmingly dystopian consequences but, traditionally, apocalyptic narratives concern the advent of a utopian world at the end of history. My research investigates what is at stake in this shift to a dystopian apocalyptic imagination by theorising the significance of time in the contemporary post-apocalyptic novel.

Edited Journal Special Issues:

Public Engagement Initiatives Organised:

Forty Winks Café“, an online public event on sleep and contemporary culture, part of Being Human Festival 2020, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. The event featured talks by myself, Professor Katy Shaw and Professor Jason Ellis, and was chaired by Claire Malcolm of New Writing North. Thanks to our attendees’ and speakers’ suggestions, we crowd-sourced a list of recommended books, films, and videos featuring sleep – you can download it here.
  • Contemporary Studies Network US Election Night: screening of You’ve Been Trumped Too & panel discussion. Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, November 2016.
  • 2015-16: U.S. Studies Online #Bookhour, Twitter discussions between scholars and the public on selected novels.

Conferences and Workshops Organised:

In April 2021, with Andrew Tate (Lancaster University, UK) and Mary McCambell (Lee University, USA), I organised the first international conference devoted to Canadian writer and visual artist Douglas Coupland. Marking the 30th anniversary of the publication of Coupland’s first novel, Generation X, ‘Douglas Coupland and the Art of the “Extreme Present”‘ explored the richness of Coupland’s engagement with contemporary life across writings and visual culture. You can find out more, including recorded sessions, on the conference website. The conference attracted more than 300 registered attendees from across the world.