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Personal profile

Research interests

Nigel H Foxcroft's interdisciplinary areas of research focus on modern Anglo-American and Russian literature. He is an international authority on the English late modernist writer, Malcolm Lowry, especially on his psychogeographic perception of the interconnectedness of East-West cultures and civilizations.

His monograph, The Kaleidoscopic Vision of Malcolm Lowry: Souls and Shamans (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019) is an interdisciplinary investigation of his multifaceted insight through an analysis of his works and correspondence. It provides a historical lens spotlighting literature’s role in augmenting awareness of the roots of contemporary issues of universal significance. Its URL is:<https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498516570/The-Kaleidoscopic-Vision-of-Malcolm-Lowry-Souls-and-Shamans>.

  

Reviews of The Kaleidoscopic Vision of Malcolm Lowry

"Malcolm Lowry, born in England and longtime resident of Mexico and Canada, is one of the greatest yet also one of the least understood and least appreciated of twentieth-century English writers. Nigel Foxcroft's scrupulous study unravels Lowry's heterogeneous erudition and what he calls his 'kaleidoscopic vision of the world'. Foxcroft provides the biographical, historical, cultural and above all the literary contexts of a magpie writer who drew upon American, Norwegian, German and Russian literatures, European silent cinema, contemporary anthropology and philosophy and mystical and esoteric sources to create the remarkable writing, global in scope, of 'an international modernist visionary'. This rich and illuminating account will help readers appreciate more fully the singularity and the achievement of this extraordinary writer."

 Dr Alistair Davies, University of Sussex

 

"I have just finished reading The Kaleidoscopic Vision of Malcolm Lowry and am deeply impressed by Nigel H. Foxcroft’s truly informative and powerful discussion. I am overwhelmed by his wide range of reading and extensive research, from anthropology and ancient religion to European, Russian, and American writings, and even to Indian and Chinese thoughts. I am also attracted by Lowry's religious dimensions, somehow comparable to those of shamans. I am so encouraged to tackle Lowry's works again. I think that this monograph is an important corrective to the Euro-centred understanding of modernism, to be read not only by Lowry specialists but also by everyone interested in modernism in general.

Another point that interested me is that In Ballast to the White Sea - the latest work to be published and a key text bridging the early and mature Lowry - seems to occupy the near centre in Foxcroft’s discussion of the Lowrian canon. The Kaleidoscopic Vision of Malcolm Lowry is quite unique in that respect."

 Dr Kazuo Yokouchi, Professor of English Literature and Vice-Dean of the School of Humanities, Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan

 

"The Kaleidoscopic Vision of Malcolm Lowry is an excellent and important publication. While I have long been aware of the spiritual and cultural influences in Lowry’s writings, Nigel H. Foxcroft has thoroughly examined those influences and their impacts. Therefore, he has highlighted and connected many new thoughts and ‘visions’ for all those interested in Lowry. Moreover, he does so in a style that is clear and concise. He has made me once again be amazed at Lowry’s ‘kaleidoscopic’ interests and knowledge, and his ability to weave those interests into such unique and riveting novels and short stories. Foxcroft has made me want to re-read all of Lowry’s works again as I now have some fresh insights! I am also amazed at the research that he has conducted, and the rigorous ways in which he has drawn that research together – a major undertaking."

 Sheryl Salloum, an independent scholar, Vancouver

 

"I have finished The Kaleidoscopic Vision of Malcolm Lowry. I really enjoyed it!  The writing is clear and direct, which is a big plus. What I really enjoyed is that Nigel H. Foxcroft has tried to take ALL Lowry’s works, including the letters, and put them into a common, coherent framework. Most commentators just concentrate on ‘Volcano’ or one of the other novels. Foxcroft’s work gives a better idea than any of the others of the depth of Lowry’s reading and the inter-connectedness of his thoughts. I particularly enjoyed Foxcroft’s comments on Donnelly, Charles Fort, J. W. Dunne, and Ouspensky. Now I’m going to have to re-read the Lowry works again." 

 Dr Glenn Woodsworth, an independent scholar, Vancouver

 

Nigel's research aspires to contribute to developing a framework for probing the international dimensions of modernism. It aims to lay a foundation for analyzing the influence of cultures and civilizations on modernist authors and avant-garde artists.

He brings a wide-range of practices to his literary research and scholarship, including the influence of cultural, historical, and psychogeographic forces. His wider interests include modernist, postmodernist, postcolonial, and contemporary fiction; the Golden Age of Russian literature and culture (and beyond); and the history of Anglo-Hungarian cultural contacts. As well as English, he has considerable experience in teaching Hungarian and Russian.

E-mail: N.H.Foxcroft@brighton.ac.uk

 

Featured Works and Projects

Malcolm Lowry: Shamanism and Psychogeography

An Interdisciplinary Study of the Shamanic, Psychogeographic, and Cross-Cultural Consciousness of Malcolm Lowry

Russian Literature

Nigel Foxcroft’s research into Russian literature makes use of literary interests in psychoanalysis and innovative close-reading methods.

Blog: Sabbatical Field Trip to Mexico for the Day of the Dead, 2010

Trip to incorporate an analysis of Aztec and Zapotec world-views through a detailed study of the origins of the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival.

 

Research Activities and Esteem

Refereeing and Editorships

  • Reviewer for Edinburgh University Press and the University of Ottawa Press since 2014.
  • Academic referee for the Leverhulme Trust for a grant application for an international research project in 2007-08.
  • Academic consultant for Russian, Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), Cambridge in 1999-2001.
  • Member of the editorial board of Rusistika, 2008 onwards.

 

Keynote Speeches 

2019 ‘Malcolm Lowry and the Interconnectedness of East-West Cultures and Civilizations’ (keynote lecture), XIV Malcolm Lowry International Colloquium 2019, Biblioteca Municipal Camões, Lisbon, Portugal, 30th October.

2012 ‘Malcolm Lowry and the Mexican Day of the Dead: Anthropological, Cosmic, and Shamanic Perspectives’ (keynote speech), The Mexican Day of the Dead: Interdisciplinary Perspectives: A One-Day Symposium, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, University of Kent, 2nd November.

2010 ‘Shamanic Influences on Malcolm Lowry: East-West Connections’, keynote lecture, 4th International Malcolm Lowry Colloquium: A Tribute to Raúl Ortiz y Ortiz, Malcolm Lowry Foundation/ Museo de la Casona Spencer, Cuernavaca, Mexico, 2nd November (http://malcolmlowry.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=foxcroft).

 

Conference Sessions Chaired

2014 'Humanities: Literature & Literary Studies', NACAH2014 IAFOR Conference, Marriott - Downtown, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, 18th-21st Sept.

2013 ‘Ethnicity, Difference, Identity’, ECAH2013 IAFOR Conference, Thistle, Brighton, 18th-21st July.

 

Awards

2014 Santander staff travel grant (£1700) for research visit to Mexico (Oct-Nov).

 

Interviews

2014 Interview in Jorge Sifuentes Cañas, ‘Foxcroft presenta ante público morelense sus investigaciones’, La Jornada Morelos, Cuernavaca, Mexico, 7th Nov 2014, 14 (http://malcolmlowry.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=foxcroft). 

 

Recent Conference Papers:

2019   ‘Malcolm Lowry and the Interconnectedness of East-West Cultures and Civilizations’ (keynote lecture), XIV Malcolm Lowry International Colloquium 2019, Biblioteca Municipal Camões, Lisbon, Portugal, 30th October.

2017 ‘Malcolm Lowry: The Russian Dimension’, ‘Under the Volcano’, 70 Years On International Conference, Liverpool John Moores University and Bluecoat, Liverpool, 28th-29th July.

2016 ‘Surrealist Influences: The Inter-Connectedness of Malcolm Lowry’s Modernism’, 2nd Sussex Modernism Lecture Series, Centre for Modernist Studies @ University of Sussex & Towner, Eastbourne, 25th May.

2015 ‘Visions of History: Chance and Certainty in A. S. Pushkin’s The Bronze Horseman and Boris Godunov’, ICCEES IX World Congress 2015, Kanda University of International Studies, Makuhari, Japan,3rd-8th Aug.

2014 ‘The Influence of Mexican and Russian Civilizations on Malcolm Lowry’s Shamanic Perceptions’, Updates on ‘Under the Volcano’ Round Table, International Malcolm Lowry Colloquium 2014, Malcolm Lowry Foundation/ Museo de la Casona Spencer, Cuernavaca, Mexico, 30th Oct-2nd Nov.

2014 ‘Malcolm Lowry: The Russian Connection’, NACAH2014 (The IAFOR N. American Conference on Arts and Humanities), Marriott – Downtown, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, 18th-21st Sept, & chair of lit session.

2014 ‘Dynamic Conflict in Alexander Pushkin’s Boris Godunov and The Bronze Horseman’, New UK Research in C19 Russian Literature Symposium, Darwin College, Cambridge, 1st Feb.

2013 ‘The Power of Non-Verbal Communication in J. M. Coetzee’s Foe’, ECAH2013 IAFOR Conference, Thistle, Brighton, 18th-21st July & chair of session on ‘Ethnicity, Difference, Identity’.

2013 ‘Psychogeographic Impact on Malcolm Lowry's Consciousness: From the Zapotec and Aztec Civilizations to Taoism’, LibrAsia2013 IAFOR Conference, Ramada, Osaka, Japan, 4th-7th Apr.

2012 ‘Malcolm Lowry and the Mexican Day of the Dead: Anthropological, Cosmic, and Shamanic Perspectives’ (keynote speech), The Mexican Day of the Dead: Interdisciplinary Perspectives: A One-Day Symposium, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, University of Kent, 2nd Nov.

2012 ‘Aztecs and Zapotecs: The Day of the Dead and the Cosmic Phantoms of Malcolm Lowry’, Malcolm Lowry, Encore International Conference, Centre Culturel Int de Cerisy-la-Salle, France, 27th Jun–4th Jul.

2010 ‘Shamanic Influences on Malcolm Lowry: East-West Connections’, keynote lecture, 4th International Malcolm Lowry Colloquium: A Tribute to Raúl Ortiz y Ortiz, Malcolm Lowry Foundation/ Museo de la Casona Spencer, Cuernavaca, Mexico, 2nd Nov (<http://malcolmlowry.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=foxcroft>).

2010 ‘Malcolm Lowry and the Day of the Dead – An Escape to Aztec Civilization?, Faculty of Arts Research Festival, June.

2010 ‘The Shamanic Psyche of Malcolm Lowry: An Intercontinental Odyssey’, English Lit Research Seminar Series, University of Brighton, Mar.

2009 ‘Souls and Shamans: The Cosmopolitan Psychology of Malcolm Lowry’, 2009 Malcolm Lowry Centenary International Conference, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, July.

2007 ‘A Shamanic Visionary: The Intercontinental Inspiration of Malcolm Lowry’s Magic’, Malcolm Lowry: Fifty Years On International Symposium, Modernist Studies, University of Sussex, June.

Supervisory Interests

Nigel supervises PhD students in three main fields: modernist/postmodernist, postcolonial and contemporary fiction; Russian literature and film; and the history of Anglo-Hungarian cultural contacts. He is very happy to be contacted by prospective students, especially those who can see themselves contributing to the Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories.

Specific areas of literary analysis might include:

Modernist, Postmodern, Postcolonial, and Contemporary Fiction

  • The influence of cultural, anthropological, and shamanic forces on human psychology: the psychogeographic impact of Aztec and Zapotec civilizations on Malcolm Lowry
  • The Mexican Day of the Dead: anthropological, cosmic, and shamanic perspectives
  • Alienation, survival, and regeneration in Toni Morrison
  • Verbal and non-verbal identity in J. M. Coetzee
  • The representation of cultural identities and memory

The Golden Age of Russian Literature and Culture

  • The influence of socio-political alienation on human psychology in the works of A. P. Chekhov, M. Yu. Lermontov, and A. S. Pushkin

History of Anglo-Hungarian Cultural Contacts

  • British visitors to Hungary and Hungarian travellers to the British Isles in the early modern period onwards
  • British attitudes and perceptions of Hungary (and vice-versa) and their reflection in the genre of travel writing

 

PhD Students Supervised: 

Nabila Ahsan, The Representation of Young Adult Women in Angela Carter’s Work

Ana Zivkovic-Snowley, Constructions of Montenegro in the works of British authors from the nineteenth century to the present

Piamaria von Konow, A Study of the Shamanically-Inspired Imaginary: A Cross-Cultural Study of Shamanic/Shamanistic Imagery

Approach to teaching

Nigel’s teaching portfolio has included: modern and contemporary English, American, postcolonial, and Russian literature, culture, and film; EFL (especially English language applications: International perspectives, and British culture and society); Hungarian; and Russian language and history.

He has experience as Course Leader, Examinations Officer, and Admissions Tutor for our undergraduate degree programme the revalidation of which he has led.

He has been a cross-university representative on various committees, including Faculty of Arts Academic Development Sub-Committee (FADS); Faculty of Health and Social Science’s Academic Board (FAB); University Academic Standards Committee (UASC); Academic Standards (FASSC), Validation (FVSC), and Modularity Management (FMMSC) Sub-Committees of the Faculty of Education and Sport; as well as School Quality Assurance Co-ordinator; Pathway Leader for Russian; and Co-ordinator for Links with Russia, East Central, and Eastern Europe.

Scholarly biography

Nigel joined the University of Brighton in 1989 after lecturing in English and Russian at the University of Szeged, Hungary. He holds various degrees - in both English Literature and Russian/Slavonic Studies - from the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, and Sussex.

He is a member of the School of Humanities Quality and Standards Committee (SQSC), Director of Literature Study Skills, Year 2 Tutor for English Literature, and Academic/ Personal Tutor.

He is also Researcher Member of the Centre for Memory, Narrative, and Histories (CMNH), a registered research mentor, and research degree supervisor.

His current teaching and research focus on modern and contemporary English, American, and Russian literature, as well as film.

He has led the cross-university English Literature Research Seminar Series which he established in 2009.

He was granted a one-semester university sabbatical to research Malcolm Lowry in 2010-11. This involved a research field-trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico City, and Oaxaca for the Day of the Dead Festival in November 2010. He was subsequently awarded a Santander-University of Brighton staff travel grant for a research visit to Mexico in October-November 2014.

Education/Academic qualification

University of Sussex

Award Date: 25 Feb 2005

University of Sheffield

Award Date: 30 May 1986

University of Leeds

Award Date: 17 Jul 1980

External positions

Visiting Lecturer/Moderator in Hungarian Translation on MSc Scientific, Technical, and Medical Translation with Translation Technology, Imperial College London

20022012

Senior Lecturer in Russian and English Studies, University of Szeged

19851991

Lecturer in Russian and English & Slavonic Librarian, University of Szeged

19831985

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Research Output

In Ballast to the White Sea: The Springboard for Russian Influences on Malcolm Lowry’s Visionary Intellect

Foxcroft, N., 30 Jun 2020, Remaking the Voyage: New Essays on Malcolm Lowry and ‘In Ballast to the White Sea’. Helen, T. & Biggs, B. (eds.). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, (Liverpool English Texts and Studies).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

  • Local Authors and Artists: Lowry's links to Aiken, Nash, and Burra

    Foxcroft, N., 11 Jun 2020, In : Rye News. p. 1-2 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access

    West-East Influences on Malcolm Lowry

    Foxcroft, N., 1 Apr 2020, (Accepted/In press) Actas do XIV Encontro Internacional Malcolm Lowry. Teixeira, M. (ed.). Lisbon, p. 59-77

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

    File
  • Open Access
    File
  • The Kaleidoscopic Vision of Malcolm Lowry: Souls and Shamans

    Foxcroft, N., 31 Oct 2019, Lanham, MD, USA: Lexington Books. 298 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored