My academic life began with English literature, which was the focus of my studies at the BA, MA and PhD level. My research interests remain anchored in English, but have developed to include interests in historical and organizational questions about English as an academic discipline. I have taught in departments of English, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies in Finland, the UK and Canada.
PhD London (Goldsmiths)
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You can find more information about my work and links to recent conference papers and research activity here.
My current research is aimed at answering the question: how does the study of English literature make postcolonial subjects? This project explores the problem of how postcolonial studies works in theoretical, historical and organizational contexts. Scholarship over the last twenty years has demonstrated that the study of English literature is an important site of governmentality, and yet we still do not have a clear account of how (and if) feminist, postcolonial and queer critiques of literature and literary scholarship work to disrupt the production of docile literary subjects.
This builds on my longstanding interest in the potential of postcolonial theory to initiate new ways of thinking about subject-formation, as well as my ongoing interest in critiquing ahistorical accounts of subjectivity. My first book, Postcolonial Theory and Psychoanalysis, examined how the persistent use of psychoanalytic theories to resolve postcolonial problematics continually prevents us from seeing the ways psychoanalysis is itself a colonial knowledge that needs rethinking.
I also have a broader interest in how postcolonial theory travels into other disciplinary contexts and engages with other disciplinary objects than literature. Postcolonial theory originates in literary studies, but it has been taken up far afield. How and why, for example, do postcolonial approaches appear to be increasingly useful to scholars in management and organization studies even as literary scholars declaim its lack of relevance to the contemporary, globalized world?
- SSHRC Doctoral Fellow (2000-4)
- Overseas Research Scholar (2000-2003)
My main teaching fields are literary theory, postcolonial literatures and twentieth century British literature. I regularly teach undergraduate courses such as Theory and Criticism (ENGL 4105), Postcolonial Literary Studies (ENGL 3305) and Contemporary Women's Writing (ENGL 3347). At the graduate level I have taught courses on literary and historical topics in postcolonial studies, such as 'Europe in Postcolonial Thought' (HUMA 5226), 'Between History and Literary Studies' (HUMA 5386) and 'Lifewriting and the Postcolonial Subject' (HUMA 5386).
I am particularly interested in supervising honours essays and MA theses on lifewriting, the postcolonial subject, historical approaches to contemporary literature, postcolonial historiography and the pedagogical practice of literary studies.
Postcolonial Theory and Psychoanalysis: From Uneasy Engagements to Effective Critique. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrage Macmillan, 2008.
‘Postcolonial Theory’ and ‘Social Constructionism.’ Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory. Eds. Michael Ryan, Peter Melville Logan, and Brian W. Shaffer. Oxford: Blackwell, 2010.
‘The subject of postcolonialism: English literature, colonial governmentality and postcolonial pedagogy.’ Continuity, Conservatism, Classicism: Reading Postcolonial Literature Against The Grain. Ed. Cécile Girardin. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2013. 65-74.
Review of Unconscious Dominions: Psychoanalysis, Colonial Trauma and Global Sovereignities. Eds. Warwick Anderson, Deborah Jenson and Richard E. Keller. History and Philosophy of Life Sciences 35 (2013): 125-6.
Review of A Critical Psychology of the Postcolonial: The Mind of Apartheid. Derek Hook. Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychology. Forthcoming, 2015.
(with Pasi Ahonen) "Managing Postcolonialism." What Postcolonial Theory Doesn't Say. Eds. Anna Bernard, Ziad Elmarsafy and Stuart Murray. London: Routledge, forthcoming 2015.