Centre for Creative and Critical Thought

The Centre for Creative and Critical Thought seeks to foster conversation, debate and reflection, and to provide a forum for innovation and experimental work in writing (especially fiction, poetry, criticism and non-fiction), teaching and the arts. Based in the School of English, CCCT has developed out of longstanding research and teaching interests at Sussex (especially in Critical Theory) and is by its nature inter- and trans-disciplinary. We are particularly interested in creative and critical work that engages with contemporary concerns: social justice, the purpose of the university, the environment, and the possibilities of experiment and invention, innovation and transformation in teaching and writing.   

We host a number of events each year involving novelists, poets, playwrights, critics and other writers and artists. Recent visiting speakers include Grahame Allen, Geoffrey Bennington, Hélène Cixous, Josh Cohen, Rebecca Giggs, Gabriel Josipovici, Peggy Kamuf, Elissa Marder, Timothy Morton, Michael Naas, J.H. Prynne, Ali Smith, David Wills and Sarah Wood. Quick Fictions events (as well as the app Quick Fictions), the biennial First Fictions Festival and the annual Sussex Poetry Festival are also included in CCCT’s activities.

Faculty involved in the Centre for Creative and Critical Thought

Teaching faculty at Sussex involved with the Centre include Peter Boxall, Nicholas Royle, Minoli Salgado, Sam Solomon, Bethan Stevens and Keston Sutherland. The Centre also has three honorary Fellows who give regular annual or biennial lectures and seminars: Hélène Cixous, Gabriel Josipovici and J.H. Prynne. Faculty involved with the Centre are passionately concerned with the question of writing today. What is happening, in particular, to the novel, the short story and poetry? But what is happening, also, to critical discourse, especially the genres of the critical essay and academic monograph?

Peter Boxall’s published work on the nature of novel-writing and novel-reading is readily attested: he is the original English-language editor of the world bestseller, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006), as well as author of a series of groundbreaking studies of contemporary fiction: Don DeLillo: The Possibility of Fiction (2006), Since Beckett: Contemporary Writing in the Wake of Modernism (2011) and Twenty-First Century Fiction: A Critical Introduction (2013).

Nicholas Royle’s work includes the academic best-selling textbook An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory (4th edition, 2009, co-written with Andrew Bennett), The Uncanny (2003) and Veering: A Theory of Literature (2011), as well as the critically acclaimed novel, Quilt (2010).

Bethan Stevens’s short fiction includes Vernet’s Dance Hall: Daily Mirror (2011), and Mostly Indoors (2009), and she has published articles on William Blake, Vanessa Bell, lost works of art, and on the literary qualities of historic newspapers; in both her critical and creative writing she is intrigued by links between literary and visual texts, and she’s working on a new critical-creative project on wood engraving with the British Museum.

Keston Sutherland has published many volumes of poetry, including the internationally renowned Hot White Andy (2007) and the Odes to TL61P (2013), as well as the critical study Stupefaction: A Radical Anatomy of Phantoms (2011). His poetry is widely available on You Tube and here on this website.





Centre Director

Professor Nicholas Royle (n.w.o.royle@sussex.ac.uk

Latest events

  • 4 November 2021

    Subverting Digital Spaces

  • View all events