Modern and contemporary literature and culture; transnational education.
In 2020/21, Sean will convene and teach the MA module ENGL4030 'Literature in Britain Since 1950' (SPR). He will also convene two of the School's largest modules: ENGL2010 Literature and Popular… read more
Sean's most recent project was researching the relationship between T.S. Eliot and D.H. Lawrence, and this work has now been published (spoiler, although he thinks they did meet, he can't prove it).… read more
MATTHEWS, S., 2009. 'Say not the struggle naught availeth': F. R. Leavis and 'Scrutiny' (1932-1953). In: BROOKER, P. and THACKER, A., eds., The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Britain and Ireland 1880-1955 v. 1 Oxford University Press. (In Press.)
MATTHEWS, S., 2009. The trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover: ‘The most thorough and expensive seminar on Lawrence’s work ever given’. In: BOOTH, H.J., ed., New D. H. Lawrence Manchester University Press.
MATTHEWS, S. and GROES, S., eds., 2010. Kazuo Ishiguro: Contemporary Critical Perspectives Continuum. (In Press.)
Sean Matthews was educated at the Nottingham High School, UK, then read English at the University of Cambridge, where he also gained his PhD, which traced the emergence of Cultural Studies from English Studies in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a Visiting Lecturer at Kyushu University, Japan, between 1995 and 1998, then Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1998 to 2000. Returning to the UK, he worked at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (2000-2002), and the University of East Anglia (2002-2005), before joining Nottingham as the Director of the D. H. Lawrence Research Centre.
In 2010, Sean was seconded to the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus as Head of School for the new School of Modern Languages and Cultures. He was elected a University of Nottingham Dearing Fellow for 2011/12, during which he established, with Professor Christine Ennew, the Knowledge Without Borders Network, a 'think-tank' for issues around the internationalization of Higher Education. He filled a number of roles at UNMC, including Chair of the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Admissions, Recruitment and Marketing Committee, Project Leader for the University's migration to a new website, and membership of the Malaysia Campus Information Services Committee, and the Student Services Committee. In his role as Director of Summer School Programmes, he was responsible for the inaugural 2011 University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Summer Schools, and was subsequently Executive Director. In 2014 he was Executive Producer for UNMC's first major drama production, the acclaimed Mikado, and led on the design of the UNMC Performing Arts Strategic Plan.
Trained as a literary critic, specializing in modern and contemporary literature and theory, Sean's most recent research has been to reevaluate the relationship between Lawrence and T.S. Eliot. He was founding editor of the Continuum Contemporary Critical Perspectives series. In Malaysia, Sean was primarily involved in projects related to postcolonialism and decolonization, often in relation to transnational education. In May 2017 he contributed a policy paper to the IDEAS (Institute for Democracy and Economic Ideas, Malaysia) project, 'Autonomy and Accountability in Higher Education'.
Sean directed the Universitas 21 'Global Citizenship' international conference at UNMC, in March 2014. He was the host and co-director (with Professor James Piscatori), of the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council funded workshop, 'Conceptualizing the Umma', held in Kuala Lumpur, in December, 2014, and co-directed (with Claude Alvares) the 7th Multiversity Conference, 'Decolonization, Leadership and Knowledge Democracy in the 21st Century University', an event co-sponsored by the Malaysian Ministry of Education and the Malaysian Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT), at the Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
Sean has had a long association with the British Council, dating from his time in Japan. He was three times Chair of the Oxford Conference on Language and Literature, a member of the Arts Advisory Board, and over the years has lectured and taught on modern and contemporary topics in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, Italy, Malaysia and Singapore. Most recently, he was invited to a special meeting at Harvard University for planning discussions relating to the Council's Arts and Humanities strategy.
Sean returned to the School of English, and work on English Literature and Culture, in 2018.
In 2020/21, Sean will convene and teach the MA module ENGL4030 'Literature in Britain Since 1950' (SPR). He will also convene two of the School's largest modules: ENGL2010 Literature and Popular Culture (SPR), and ENGL3065 Contemporary Fiction (AUT). Sean also lectures broadly across the undergraduate programme.
Since 2017, Sean has been Director of Student Support, Disability Liaison Officer and i/c Extenuating Circumstances in the School of English.
Sean's most recent project was researching the relationship between T.S. Eliot and D.H. Lawrence, and this work has now been published (spoiler, although he thinks they did meet, he can't prove it). He is currently working on two projects: an exploration of Kazuo Ishiguro's Shanghai diptych, the novel When We Were Orphans (2000) and film The White Countess (2005); and a discussion of the impact of D. H. Lawrence's cultural criticism in the 1930s (following posthumous publication of his Selected Letters (edited and introduced by Aldous Huxley, 1932), the first collection of his essays, Phoenix (edited and introduced by Edward D. McDonald, 1936).
During his period in Malaysia (2010-2017), and as a University of Nottingham Dearing Fellow, Sean was not involved in research in English. His work concentrated on the internationalisation of Higher Education, and the culture and history of Malaysia and South East Asia.
As Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the Malaysia Campus, his focus was also on the culture and history of Malaysia and South East Asia, part of his commitment to developing a teaching and research strategy committed to ensuring the relevance of the university's programmes to the local and regional context.
Before leaving Malaysia, Sean was co-investigator for a project with the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), Malaysia, examining Higher Education Governance: 'Autonomy and Accountability in Higher Education'. The team delivered a series of Policy Papers and recommendations to the Minister of Higher Education in May 2017. Sean was commended for his work demonstrating the importance of examples from Ghana and Mexico for better understanding and planning the development of Higher Education in middle-income and developing contexts, and this contribution was published as 'Autonomy and Accountability in Higher Education: Lessons from Ghana and Mexico' (2017).