School of English

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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. I studied for my B.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in English Literature at the University of Birmingham, where I was supervised by Andrzej Gasiorek..

Expertise Summary

I teach and research many areas of twentieth-century culture 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 edit the specialist publication 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 and research collaborations with other academics.

Teaching Summary

Teaching is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. Every generation of students I encounter teaches me new things about culture (especially the stuff I think I know inside out), reminding me… 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 Heathcote, 'Postmodernist Literature and Postmodernist Editing'
  • Hollie Johnson, 'Ecodystopia: Environmental Apocalypse and the Ecocidal Imagination'

Most of my research deals with the writings of Wyndham Lewis. For the foreseeable future I'll be investigating Lewis's work alongside questions relevant to literary dystopias, power politics, fascism, and totalitarianism. In the years ahead, therefore, I'll especially want to supervise doctoral students working on early to mid twentieth-century literature in relation to any of these and/or cognate areas, preferably with reference to Lewis's written output.

Completed Students:

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

Teaching is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. Every generation of students I encounter teaches me new things about culture (especially the stuff I think I know inside out), reminding me that university research must stay in dialogue with undergraduates and postgraduates if it wants to be fresh, relevant, interesting, and useful. Since I began teaching in 2008, I've worked with students across a sizeable timeline of American, English, Irish, and Scottish narratives, from the fourteenth century to the present day, with particular concentrations on literary dystopias and modernist fiction.

Past Research

I've researched a lot of different things over the past decade. My focal points 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. Throughout, I've explored questions concerning the politics of literary forms and the relevance of authors' non-fiction to their fiction, situating literary production in artistic, bibliographic, political, and philosophical contexts. A lot of this work has been collaborative, involving scholars in the UK and beyond, and all of it has benefited from being scrutinised in different circumstances by various groups of people, ranging from chats with friends and family, to questions asked by academics at conferences and research seminars, to conversations with undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Future Research

I'm preparing several mid- and long-term publications:

  • a book about literary appropriations of Beethoven in British modernism between the World Wars;
  • a scholarly edition of Lewis's little-known novel Snooty Baronet (1932), for Oxford University Press;
  • a review essay on recent academic books investigating modernism, literature, and music;
  • and a book about Lewis's fiction in relation to twentieth-century politics, for Princeton University Press.

Alongside this work I will continue to sit on the Editorial Board of the Wyndham Lewis Complete Critical Edition (Oxford University Press) and to edit The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies.

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924