BA and MSt (Oxford); PhD (Cambridge)
I joined the School of English in 2017 as an Assistant Professor in English Literature (1880-present). Prior to this I was a Lecturer at the Open University and a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. I have taught both literature and creative writing. As well as scholarly research, I write fiction and have written reviews and essays for Times Literary Supplement, Guardian, New York Times, Literary Review and Five Dials, amongst other publications.
I teach widely on modern and contemporary literature. Presently I contribute to the following modules:
Academic Community; Studying Literature; Victorian and Fin de Siecle Literature 1830-1910; Dark Futures, Tainted Pasts (Gothic and Dystopian Literature); Contemporary Fiction; Literature and Popular Culture; Modern and Contemporary Literature
Place, Region, Empire (Convenor); Literature in Britain post-1950; Literary Geographies
I welcome proposals from potential PhD students on fiction of the post-war to present day period, literary style, ethical criticism, and the relationships between creative and critical practice.
My research, broadly speaking, encompasses prose writing (especially the novel form) from the nineteenth century to the present day, with a particular focus on the long post-war to present period. I… read more
BEN MASTERS, 2018. 'The Mid-Atlantics'. In: PETER BOXALL, ed., The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction 1980 - the Present Cambridge University Press. (In Press.)
BEN MASTERS, 2018. 'Missing Pieces': [review of Rupert Thomson's NEVER ANYONE BUT YOU] Times Literary Supplement.
BEN MASTERS, 2018. 'Night on the Town': [review of Michael Ondaatje's WARLIGHT] Literary Review.
My research, broadly speaking, encompasses prose writing (especially the novel form) from the nineteenth century to the present day, with a particular focus on the long post-war to present period. I am interested in the ethical and philosophical possibilities of style and the applications of lyrical close reading. My monograph, Novel Style: Ethics and Excess in English Fiction since the 1960s (Oxford University Press, 2017), examines the ethical and political valences of so-called excessive writing in the post-war to present period, with chapters on Anthony Burgess, Angela Carter, Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, Nicola Barker and David Mitchell, and simultaneously addresses the ethical turn in contemporary literary criticism.
I am currently writing on the influence of American fiction on the work of Amis, Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan, as well as a planned larger project that considers these writers as part of a distinctive literary coterie. I am also writing about the re-emergence of style as a prominent critical topic and the concurrent rise of a politically and ethically conscious formalism.
I also write fiction. My first novel is called Noughties (Penguin, 2012), and I am working on my second at present.