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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

I studied BA English Literature at the University of Brighton from 2010-2013, before gaining a Masters in Literature & Philosophy from the University of Sussex in 2014. In 2019, I completed my PhD in the twentieth century American road novel at Brighton.

I have worked at Brighton since 2013 and I am a lecturer in the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) and the School of Humanities. In the CLT, I work as a Study Skills Advisor, and I also help coordinate study skills, widening access, and staff development projects, such as the Academic Study Kit website, Hit The Ground Running, and the Personal Academic Tutoring website.

In addition to this, I also teach on the English degree courses at the university, with a particular focus on narrative and literary theory, as well as American literature. My thesis, 'The problem of the road: the road and the street in the twentieth century American road novel' analyses the decline of street life with the onset of mass mobility in America and the role that the novel played in this, with a particular focus on the racialised dynamics of this process. Recent publications include 'On the Road with the Blood of this Kingdom: Theology, Economy, and Blood in The Crying of Lot 49', published in Textual Practice in 2019.

Research interests

My research interests include: genealogical and deconstructive analyses of education policies and practices; humanities pedagogies; mobility and the twentieth century American novel; Black Studies; deconstruction; narrative theory, and literary theory.

I have particular interests in: the spatial politics of American literature; spatial order in early twentieth century US detective fiction (Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler) and its relationship to contemporaneously published work by writers such as Chester Himes, Ann Petry, and Richard Wright; post-war American literature and the discourse of 'urban crisis'; and science fiction and the literatures of the 1973 Oil Crisis.

Finally, I am also interested in UK education policy and the philosophy of education more generally.

Supervisory Interests

I would be interested in supervising doctorates with a focus on genealogical analysis of contemporary UK education policy and practice. I would also be interested in supervising doctorates with a focus on mobility in American literature, especially those dealing with questions of 'race', automobility, spatial politics, and the novel as a form.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Brighton

Master, University of Sussex

Bachelor, University of Brighton


  • L Education (General)
  • genealogy
  • pedagogy
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Deconstruction
  • Continental philosophy
  • Black Studies
  • E11 America (General)
  • Road novel
  • PR English literature
  • Literary theory

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Joel Roberts is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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American Literature Arts & Humanities
Sincerity Arts & Humanities
Questioning Arts & Humanities
Education Policy Arts & Humanities
Theology Arts & Humanities
Economy Arts & Humanities
Roads Arts & Humanities
Kingdom Arts & Humanities

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Research Output 2017 2019

On the road with the blood of this kingdom: theology, economy, and blood in The Crying of Lot 49

Roberts, J., 8 Apr 2019, In : Textual Practice. 33, 3, p. 399-414 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Logistics, Value, and Aesthetics

Roberts, J., 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

New World Melancholia: Guilt and Innocence in the Work of Thomas Pynchon

Roberts, J., 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper