Research output per year
Research output per year
Accepting PhD Students
Research activity per year
I am a scholar of modern and contemporary US literature, specialising in the aesthetics of racial protest. My previous research focused on the construction of the small town in US southern fiction from the 1940s-1960s. In Living Jim Crow: The Segregated Town in Mid-Century Southern Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) I argued that a range of authors developed the trope of the archetypal town as a means of critiquing the reality of racial segregation. I am interested in how innovations in art and literary form can contribute to the work of racial activism. My book featured close readings of canonical writers (including William Faulkner, Carson McCullers, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright) and neglected authors (including Byron Herbert Reece, Lillian Smith, and William Melvin Kelley). Living Jim Crow was awarded the 2021 Arthur Miller Centre first book prize by the British Association for American Studies and has been described as "a major contribution to understanding the South through its fiction".
My ongoing research explores similar themes in work published since 2012. My second monograph-in-progress is tentatively titled The Literary Aesthetics of #BlackLivesMatter, 2012-2020 and explores how a range of poets and novelists reimagine exisiting literary techniques and traditions (including the elegy, second person narrative voice, and found material) as a means of inciting imagined readers to activism and protest.
Given my research background, and my current role as Associate Head of School for student experience, I am also interested in adapting critical race studies scholarship to a broader understanding of inclusive Higher Education pedagogies. I have given public talks on critical whiteness studies pedagogy, teaching #BlackLivesMatter, and combatting unconscious bias through assessment strategy.
American & Canadian Studies, Doctorate, University of Nottingham
Award Date: 20 Jul 2016
American Literature, MA, University College Dublin
… → 2010
English Literature, Degree, University College Dublin
… → 2009
Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching, Canterbury Christ Church UniversityApr 2019 → Dec 2020
Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in American Literature & Culture, Canterbury Christ Church UniversityJan 2016 → Mar 2019
Research output: Book/Report › Book › peer-review
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-review
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Lennon, Gavan (Recipient), 2019
Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively