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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

I graduated with a BA in English Language and English Literature and then went on to undertake my postgraduate studies at London Metropolitan University, receiving an MA with Distinction in Literature and Modernity. I completed my PhD in 2010 at Kingston University (fully-funded, ORSAS and Teaching Assistant scholarship). I have taught at Kingston University (2007-2011) before joining the Literature team at Brighton in 2012. I currently hold the position of Principal Lecturer (Literature). I was a Course Leader for BA English Language and Literature (2016-2020) and the Academic Programme Leader for English Literature, Media and Creative Writing UG and PG courses (2017-2020). I am currently the University's Academic Lead for Decolonising the Curriculum and co-chair of the School of Humanities Equalities Committee. With Dr Vy Rajapillai and our undergraduate students, we set up DeCol student-staff collective in 2019 https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/decolonisingatfalmer/.


Research interests

My reseach interests are in contemporary literature and culture, most specifically in Black British and post-communist/'Eastern European' writing.

My recent monograph - the first book about the representations of 'Eastern European' migrants in contemporary British literature and culture - provides a comprehensive study of this 'wave' of migration to the UK and Western Europe following the enlargement of the EU in the 21st century, the social and political changes after the fall of communism, and the Brexit vote. It explores the recurring figures of 'Eastern Europeans' as a new reservoir of cheap labour in multiple contemporary cultural texts:


Recent publications include 'Eastern Europeans and BrexLit' (JPW Special Issue Writing Brexit: Colonial Remains), 'Redressing Racist Legacies in the Melancholic Nation: Anger and Silences in Andrea Levy’s Fruit of the Lemon' (forthcoming, Special In Memoriam Issue of Ariel: A Review of International English Literature) and (with Jo Hall and Vy Rajapillai), ‘Students as partners in decolonising the curriculum: lessons learnt at the University of Brighton, UK’ (Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 2021).

I am currently working on a series of invited contributions which include 'Euroscepticism and Brex(l)it' for an edited collection Europe in British Literature and Culture (ed. by Petra Rau and William Rossiter, CUP, 2021), 'BrexLit’s ‘Migrants: Healing the Fractured Community?’ for Community in Contemporary British Fiction (ed. Sara Upstone and Peter Ely, Bloomsbury 2022), and I am also working on my next book on contemporary Black British women's writing.

I also have an ongoing partnership with New Writing South and The Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence (Sussex University). Recent funded projects include The Coast is Queer, Brighton and Hove's LGBTQ+ literature festival (https://coastisqueer.com/) and Within the Four Walls: Queer Lockdown Stories (https://newwritingsouth.com/within-the-four-walls-queer-lockdown-stories).

Supervisory Interests

I would be happy to talk to students about PhD projects in contemporary literature, cultural and queer studies.

Specific areas might include:

  • Black British Literature and Culture
  • BrexLit
  • European Literature
  • Postcolonialism
  • Postcommunism
  • Literary and media representations of migration and specifically 'Eastern European' migration
  • LGBTQ+ Literature

My current supervision includes the following PhD projects:

Kadija George, Raising the voice and visibility of independent Black publishers (TECHNE-funded) http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/techne/for-students/techne-students/techne-students/techne-students-2016/george

Najma Yusufi, Leave To Remain” (novel); Dissertation component –“The theoretical fictional study of Faria’s character in Leave To Remain and the impact of double consciousness in second generation British Asian writing.’’, https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/persons/najma-yusufi

Amanda Holiday, 'Poetry, Race, Art' (TECHNE-funded), https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/persons/amanda-holiday




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