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Nathan Waddell

Assistant Professor in Literary Modernism, Faculty of Arts



I'm an Assistant Professor in Nottingham's School of English, where I've worked since 2012. Previously I studied for my BA, MPhil, and PhD degrees in English Literature at the University of Birmingham, where I also worked as a Postgraduate Tutor and Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow. I have a PGCHE and I'm a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Expertise Summary

I teach and research many areas of twentieth-century literature and I enjoy reading and talking about literary, cinematic, and musical works from various time periods. I'm particularly interested in the writer and painter Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957): I co-edit the academic periodical devoted to his literary and visual outputs, The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies; sit on the Editorial Board of the Oxford University Press Complete Edition of his fiction and non-fiction; and have published widely on his writing. More broadly, I'm fascinated by the relationship between archival scholarship, historical interpretations of culture, and close reading, viewing, and listening. I aim to explore these different ways of approaching works of art through conversations with students, first and foremost, and through research collaborations with other academics.

Teaching Summary

Teaching is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. I always learn new things from students (especially about the stuff I think I know inside out), which has long convinced me that academics… read more

Research Summary

I'm currently researching three interrelated areas: literature and music; the writings of Wyndham Lewis; and twentieth-century dystopias. For more information, click on the 'Research' tab (above).

Selected Publications

At present I'm co-supervising a lively bunch of Ph.D. students, who are working on a range of exciting topics at the forefront of their respective subjects:

  • Gabrielle Bunn, 'Formations of the Apocalypse'
  • Emily Mills, 'Postmodernist Literature and Postmodernist Editing'
  • Hollie Johnson, 'Ecodystopia: Environmental Apocalypse and the Ecocidal Imagination'
  • Laura De Simoni, 'Stage vs Page: Outsiders and Closed Communities in Dystopian Theatre'

Completed Students:

  • Emma Zimmerman, 'Architexture: Space, Form, and the Modernist Novel' (examined 2016)

Teaching is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. I always learn new things from students (especially about the stuff I think I know inside out), which has long convinced me that academics should stay in dialogue with undergraduates, postgraduates, and the general public, not to mention their fellow scholars, if they want their work to be as fresh and as interesting as it can possibly be. Since I began teaching in 2008, I've worked with students across a range of American, English, Irish, and Scottish narratives, from the fourteenth century to the present day. I particularly enjoy teaching modernist prose fiction and twentieth-century dystopian literature and film.

Past Research

The focal points in my research thus far have been the works of John Buchan, Ford Madox Ford, Aldous Huxley, and Wyndham Lewis, in relation to broad problems to do with cultural history, politics, and musico-literary interactions. I'm particularly fascinated by issues concerning the politics of literary forms and the links between fiction and non-fiction, and I usually like to situate literature in various kinds of non-literary context. A lot of this work has been collaborative, involving scholars in the UK and beyond, and all of it has benefited from chats with friends and family, questions asked by academics at conferences and research seminars, and conversations with undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Future Research

For the foreseeable future I'll mainly be working on three publications:

  • a monograph about Beethoven and literary modernism, for Oxford University Press;
  • a scholarly edition of Wyndham Lewis's novel Snooty Baronet (1932), for Oxford University Press;
  • a monograph about Lewis and twentieth-century politics, for Princeton University Press.

Alongside this work I'll continue to sit on the Editorial Board of the Wyndham Lewis Complete Critical Edition (Oxford University Press) and to co-edit, with Louise Kane, The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies.

School of English

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The University of Nottingham
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