Find out about our people

  • Will Abberley

    Will Abberley's research challenges the conceptual separation of science from literature and the humanities, exploring how scientific methods, theories and identities have always been shaped and constituted by discourse. He is particularly interested in problematizing ideals of epistemic objectivity and impersonality by probing areas where scientific knowledge and authority intersected with practices of self-fashioning and representations of subjective experience in the Anglo-American long nineteenth century. With these foci, his research intervenes in contemporary debates over bio- and environmental politics. His published monographs are English Fiction and the Evolution of Language, 1850-1914 (2015), Mimicry and Display in Victorian Literary Culture: Nature, Science and the Nineteenth-Century Imagination (2020), and Modern British Nature Writing, 1789-2020: Land Lines (co-authored, forthcoming in 2021). He has also edited the essay collection Underwater Worlds: Submerged Visions in Science and Culture (2018) and a special issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century on the subject of 'Replicating Bodies' (2017).

  • Peter Boxall

    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 ground-breaking 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). He has recently published a defence of the novel as a form, entitled The Value of the Novel (2015), and his new theory of the novel, entitled The Prosthetic Imagination: A History of the Novel as Artificial Life was published in 2020.

  • Sara Crangle

    Sara Crangle has published poems in the Cambridge Literary Review and Blackbox Manifold, among other journals. Issues of the Earthbound Press Poetry Series (1:34) and Crater (18) were devoted to her work. She published Wild Ascending Lisp with Critical Documents and is completing a second poetry collection. She is a co-founder of the Sussex Poetry Festival, now an annual Brighton mainstay. She has an abiding interest in the archives of fabulously obscurantist and ornery women avant-garde writers. In this spirit, she has produced scholarly editions of the previously unpublished prose of Mina Loy (Stories and Essays of Mina Loy) and the poetry of Anna Mendelssohn (I’m Working Here: The Collected Poems of Anna Mendelssohn). She brought Mendelssohn’s vast archive to Sussex Special Collections in 2010 and secured the cataloguing funding that saw it opened to the public in 2015. She is now compiling the poetic prose of Mendelssohn’s roman-à-clef, What a Performance; her edited extract from this text can be found in the PMLA (133:3).

  • Sam Ladkin

    Sam Ladkin’s research weaves theoretical approaches with a multidisciplinary perspective on the arts, often with a jumping-off point in poetry. His work draws on a wide range of approaches – whatever a project needs – including anthropology and philosophy. It tends to theorize the comparative close reading of artworks in multiple mediums alongside an understanding of a necessary incommensurability at the point of practice. This can be seen in the forthcoming monograph Perfectly Disgraceful: Frank O’Hara’s New York School & Midcentury Mannerism. Current projects include: with Luke Roberts, co-editing the selected poems of Mark Hyatt (Nightboat, Spring 2023) a little known lyric poet whose work has been kept in circulation by word-of-mouth and more or less fugitive publications since his untimely death in 1972; a short monograph entitled Poor Poor Art Work, on the labourious making of works across theatre, painting, and performance art; essays on John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, and Peggy Ahwesh. Sam also co-edits Sancho Panza, a poetry press, which has published Tom Raworth, Peter Manson, and Rob Halpern.

  • Emma Newport

    Emma Newport is a Lecturer in English and the Director of Sussex Writes, an outreach programme that uses creative methodologies, writing and co-creation to strengthen community engagement and resilience among young people and marginalised groups.  Her work on the event series “Lockdown Live”, hosted by Sussex and The Youth Café, a pan-African NGO, highlighted the importance of mental health to young people’s experiences in the pandemic and recovery from its aftermath. Four weekly online meetings in July 2020 (garnering a total of 105,000 views) brought together 54 youth participants from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Rwanda, the UK and Kenya to discuss pressing issues affecting youth in global and local contexts during the pandemic. This  has led to an IDCF/SSRP funded project entitled "Scoping an intervention in youth mental health support in the global south", bringing together scholars in Psychology, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Global Studies, Media, Arts and Humanities, partnered with The Youth Cafe Kenya. Emma is the creator and co-chair of the Woman, Money and Markets (1600-1900) network and conference series, now in its fifth year. She is currently working on an edited collection of the same name with her co-chair, Dr Joyce Goggin, at the University of Amsterdam.

  • Nicholas Royle

    Nicholas Royle’s work has been at the forefront of developments in creative and critical writing. Landmark books include Telepathy and Literature: Essays on the Reading Mind (1991), The Uncanny (2003) and Veering: A Theory of Literature (2011). In addition he has published influential books on Shakespeare, Elizabeth Bowen, E.M. Forster and Jacques Derrida. He is author (with Andrew Bennett) of the academic best-selling textbook An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory (5th edition, 2016) and This Thing Called Literature (2015). He has also written two critically acclaimed novels, Quilt (2010) and An English Guide to Birdwatching (2017) and the memoir Mother (2020). He has recently completed a major critical study entitled Hélène Cixous: Dreamer, Realist, Analyst, Writing (2020).

  • Samuel Solomon

    Samuel Solomon is the author of Special Subcommittee (Commune Editions, 2017), and he is co-translator from the Yiddish of The Acrobat: Selected Poems of Celia Dropkin (2014). He is the author of Lyric Pedagogy and Marxist-Feminism - Social Reproduction and the Institutions of Poetry (2019).  He is a founding member of the Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK research group. His interests include contemporary poetics, feminism, Marxism, cross-genre and documentary writing, queer studies, critical university studies, literary translation, aesthetics and politics, and print culture.

  • Bethan Stevens

    Bethan Stevens’s creative and critical work focuses on print culture, word-image research and ekphrasis. She collaborates with contemporary artists to identify and investigate astonishing archival material, and to respond to it today, working in collaboration with the British Museum and the V&A, and on a historical printing press at Sussex. She has published numerous essays and articles proposing creative word-image methodologies, and her monograph The Wood Engravers’ Self Portrait is forthcoming with MUP. She has published short fiction and is completing a graphic novel. See her website Woodpeckings for more information.

  • Keston Sutherland

    Keston Sutherland has published many volumes of poetry, including the internationally renowned Hot White Andy (2007), Stress Position (2009), The Odes to TL61P (2013), Whither Russia (2017), Scherzos Benjyosos (2020) as well as Stupefaction: A Radical Anatomy of Phantoms (2011). He is the author of many essays on Marx and poetry. His major study of the thought and writing of Karl Marx, The Poetics of Capital, was included in Capitalism: concept, idea, image (Alliez, Eric, Osborne, Peter and Russell, Eric-John (eds.) 2019. With Andrea Brady he edits Barque Press. In 2013 he was Holloway Poetry Fellow at UC Berkeley and in 2016 the Bain-Swiggett Professor of Poetry at Princeton University. He has collaborated on several exhibitions and installations at galleries in the UK and Germany with the artist Stephen G. Rhodes. Performances of his poetry are widely available on Vimeo and soundcloud.

  • Jo Lindsay Walton

    Jo Lindsay Walton works in critical and cultural theory, with some emphasis on the philosophy and politics of science and technology. This includes an interest in speculative and experimental culture across domains such as health, law, finance, work, education, and climate and the environment. He has written critical design fiction for the Political Economy Research Centre’s Economic Science Fictions, MIT’s Twelve Tomorrows, Nesta’s The Long+Short, and the Oslo Architecture Triennale’s Gross Ideas: Tales of Tomorrow’s Architecture. Collaboration with scientists includes Visualising Uncertainty: A Short Introduction (AU4DM 2020). With Samantha Walton he edits the poetry and games press Sad Press, and with Polina Levontin he edits Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association. With Joe Luna he co-edited The Late Poetry of J.H. Prynne (Hix Eros), and with Ed Luker, Working Late: Work in Modern and Contemporary Poetry (Palgrave 2019). His current research aims to abolish money.

  • Carol Watts

    Carol Watts is a poet, whose practice includes site specific work, as well as collaborative exchange and making with artists involved in sound and music. She has published 11 works of poetry, including the latest collection Kelptown (Shearsman, 2020) and a recent lockdown pamphlet A Time of Eels (Oystercatcher, 2021). Her interests are in the acoustic ecologies of poetry and its listening, with particular critical/conceptual as well as creative interests in ecopoetics. She is working on the experience of entanglement and the deep time of inundations, and on cross-species metamorphoses, migrations and dependencies on place. She is currently collaborating in 21/22 in Will Montgomery and Emmanuelle Waeckerle's collective project with the Wandelweiser Group, Walking in Air.


Honorary Fellows

The Centre also has three honorary Fellows who give regular annual or biennial lectures and seminars:

  • Hélène Cixous is author of many books of unidentifiable genre – literary, critical, philosophical, poetic, autobiographical – as well as plays and essays and other works. In 1968 she helped found the University of Vincennes (now Paris VIII), where she remains a professor.

  • Gabriel Josipovici is a novelist and literary critic, the author of many novels and works of criticism. From its beginnings in 1963 through to 1998 he taught at the University of Sussex, where he remains an emeritus professor.  

  • J.H. Prynne is a poet and literary critic, the author of dozens of books of poems and more than a hundred essays and monographs on poetry. For more than forty years he taught at the University of Cambridge, where he is a life fellow at Gonville and Caius College.