After graduating from the University of Southampton with a BA in English (First Class Hons), I undertook doctoral research in the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a PhD on the writing of Wyndham Lewis (1991). I have taught in the Scottish Universities' International Summer Schools, the University of Edinburgh, Keele University, Exeter University and the University of Hertfordshire.
I became a member of the Department of English, Linguistics & Cultural Studies at Westminster in 2004, where I teach Modernism (undergraduate and MA) and lead a Creative Writing module on the Novel. I have taught extensively in Renaissance Literature, and I am also supervising a doctoral thesis on Wyndham Lewis.
I am also a full-time novelist. My first published novel, La Rochelle (Route, 2010), was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction (2011). My latest novel, British Story: A Romance (Route, 2014), was a Morning Star 'Book of the Year', and has also been reviewed in the TLS, Times Higher Education, New Welsh Review, and Kirkus Reviews. My third novel, The Treatment, will be published by Quercus (Riverrun), in March 2020.
My teaching experience focused for some time on two distinct areas, Renaissance Literature and Modernism. In addition, I now teach Creative Writing, and lead a module on the Novel (Novels & Novellas), as well as supervising final-year Writing Projects and Dissertations. I continue to teach Modernist Literature, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
In Novels & Novellas students are encouraged to apprentice themselves to selected authors as they prepare the first draft of a novel. These authors include: Defoe; the Brontës; Dickens; George Eliot; Proust; Woolf; Joyce; Kafka; Bellow; Elmore Leonard; and Cormac McCarthy.
My teaching in Modernism - which attends to Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Laforgue, Joyce, Woolf, Wyndham Lewis, TS Eliot, May Sinclair, Lawrence, and Kafka - is concerned with questions of form, surrealism and phenomenology (Nietzsche, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty).
I am interested in the relationship between academic study and creative practice where the novel is concerned. In my own teaching, I am attempting to open the border between these areas.
My current research activities are divided between novel writing, Modernism and critical reflection on Creative Writing Practice. I am also working on an essay that considers aspects of the relationship between Modernism and Creative Writing teaching. My most recent critical publication was 'Wyndham Lewis and Modernism' in Wyndham Lewis: A Critical Guide (EUP, 2015).
I am interested in the possibility of criticism which interprets the artist in something approaching the artist's own terms (rather than depending on the perspectives offered by the various forms of theory), and I am particularly interested in questions relating to character and mimesis.
I am Director of Studies for a PhD on Wyndham Lewis and Phenomenology, and was Second Supervisor for a successful PhD on the figure of the 'Administrator' from the Renaissance to Modern Period.