Thesis Title: Genres of Intimacy: The problem of the personal in U.S. criticism and nonfiction
Supervisor: Prof. Merve Emre
My doctoral research looks at ‘personal’ and ‘impersonal’ practices across five intersecting genres of U.S. criticism and nonfiction since 1980. In the first chapter, I consider the function of Eve Sedgwick’s critical ‘I’, and her projection of a charismatic personality that has shaped institutionalised queer critique. In the second, I look at how genre shapes the ontological claims made by Afro-pessimist theorists, focusing on Frank Wilderson's memoir, Afropessimism, and Fred Moten and Stefano Harney's manifesto, The Undercommons. The third considers ‘aporias’ of racialised subjectivity in Claudia Rankine's American Lyrics, and the final, the systematising effects of generic description of the essay, in the paratexts of The Best American Essays series.
I’m one of the co-convenors of the TORCH-funded Queer Intersections Network at Oxford, which organises bi-weekly research lunches for speakers in- and outside of academia to present on their work in queer studies, as well as regular events with researchers and activists from around the world.
My teaching includes 8-week courses in both Contemporary Literature and Queer Literature, and a specialist seminar on 'Fugitivity and Form'. I have also taught tutorials across Prelims Papers 3 and 4, on authors including Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath, Kazuo Ishiguro, Toni Morrison, and Zadie Smith.
My research interests include: 20th and 21st century North American literary criticism; queer theory; queer of colour critique; Afro-pessimism; personality and impersonality; affect theory; lyric; memoir; anthology; essay; manifesto; institutionality and the university.
I have recently supervised or am currently supervising undergraduate dissertations on:
- Virginia Woolf and the poetics of elegy
- Écriture féminine and Anaïs Nin's short erotic fiction
- Frank Ocean and discourses of afro-fabulation
- Hanya Yanagihara, medieval 'passion plays', and C20 trauma theory
- Aesthetic and affective response in Zadie Smith's On Beauty and EM Forster's Howards End
- Afro-pessimism and the politics of disappointment
- Representations of queer vampirism in the context of the HIV crisis
- Performativity, embodiment, and autotheory in Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts
"The Pronominal Grammar of Ontological Anti-Blackness: Institutionality and Authority in Afropessimism and The Undercommons", Authorship 11:1 (2023), <https://doi.org/10.21825/authorship.85419>.
"Repair: A New History" [Review], Cambridge Quarterly [forthcoming].