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Nathan Waddell

Assistant Professor in Literary Modernism, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I'm an Assistant Professor in Nottingham's School of English, where I've worked since 2012. Previously I studied for my B.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in English Literature at the University of Birmingham, where I also worked as a Postgraduate Tutor and Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow. I'm an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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 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. 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).

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'
  • Laura De Simoni, 'Stage vs Page: Outsiders and Closed Communities in Dystopian Theatre'

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 these areas, ideally with reference to Lewis's fiction and non-fiction.

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 should stay in dialogue with undergraduates and postgraduates if it wants to be fresh, relevant, interesting, and adaptable. 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, with a particular focus on twentieth-century dystopias and modernist fiction.

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. 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

For the foreseeable future I'll be prioritising two publications:

  • a scholarly edition of Wyndham Lewis's little-known novel Snooty Baronet (1932), for Oxford University Press;
  • a monograph about Lewis's fiction in relation to 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), edit The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies, and sit on the Steering Committee of the AHRC-funded New Modernist Editing network.

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