Who We Are

Our page at the University of Glasgow is available here.

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Antonio Aguilar-Vázquez

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Antonio Aguilar-Vázquez’s PhD project, titled antonio“‘Are you suffering?’ Private and Public Solidarity in the Work of David Foster Wallace,” explores the role of civics and democracy in Wallace’s work through the tradition of American Pragmatism, particularly through Richard Rorty’s concept of solidarity. This search includes both the content of Wallace’s fiction and nonfiction, and the style and form of his texts. By also demonstrating the influence of American Pragmatism on Wallace, the research will characterize his writings as an intellectual venture to establish dialogue with the citizens of a democracy.

Antonio received his BA in English literature from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and his MSc in 20th Century English Literature and Modernity from the University of Edinburgh. He began his PhD in 2015.

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Jamie Redgate

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jamie-bioJamie Redgate’s AHRC-funded PhD, titled “Cognition, Consciousness, and Dualism in the Fiction of David Foster Wallace,” explores the tension in Wallace’s work between the contemporary model of mind as (in Antonio Damasio’s words) “embodied” as well as “embrained,” and older models of selfhood such as Cartesian dualism (a.k.a. the “ghost in the machine”). Though all of Wallace’s writing is informed by the scientific understanding that “the mind is what the brain does,” Cartesian ghosts still haunt his pages, clinging to the machines from which they have been decisively evicted. By setting Wallace’s fiction and nonfiction against a complex history of cognition, stemming from René Descartes and William James down to modern cognitive science, the project’s aim is to enlarge and contribute to both Wallace Studies and Cognitive Literary Criticism by bringing them into dialogue with one another.

Jamie received his BA (Hons) in English from the University of Strathclyde in 2013, and his MLitt in American Studies from the University of Glasgow the following year. He began his PhD in 2014 and is due to finish in 2017. His review of Peter Boxall’s Twenty-First-Century Fiction: A Critical Introduction is published in the European Journal of American Culture 34.1 (2015).

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Stuart J. Taylor

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Stuart J. Taylor’s doctoral project, titled stuart02“Unexpected Rapprochements?: Mathematics in Contemporary American Literature,” is an interdisciplinary study of writers whose non-literary interests and publications characterise an overlooked trend within contemporary American literature. From the emergence of postmodernism and throughout its development, writers such as Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, and David Foster Wallace have built their complex narratives upon and around their technical engagement with mathematics. Uncovering the relationship between this literature and mathematics – its philosophy, history, and practice from ancient chaos to the Great Recession and Big Data –  debunks what many critics dismiss as a merely metafictionally linguistic agenda of postmodern parody; it urges a reconsideration of these texts as a move toward an empathetic future for fiction.

Stuart received his MA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Glasgow in 2013, and his MLitt in Modernities from the University of Glasgow the following year. He began his PhD in 2014 and is due to finish in 2017.

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Flora Thomas

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floraFlora Thomas’s MPhil, titled “The American Classic: Classical Epic in Contemporary American fiction”, research explores the relationship between the Classical epic and postmodern American fiction, engaging with the idea of traditional epic to inform our understanding of such postmodern authors as Don DeLillo, Helen DeWitt and David Foster Wallace. By reading the overlooked mythography of postmodern novels and exploring the relationship between modern superpower and Classical empire, this project offers an investigation into the repurposing of Classical epic archetypes in postmodern American fiction. Engaging with the idea of long history to challenge the presentist bias in current postmodern criticism, this work offers a more complete reading of modern epic and moves to situate postmodern texts within the transnational canon of epic voices.

Flora received her BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Durham in 2015 and is currently working on an MPhil by Research at the University of Glasgow.

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Mark West

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Mark West researches “the Sixties” in markcontemporary American fiction. Since the mid-1990s, American fiction has seen sustained interest by writers in returning to, reappraising, and historicizing the social, political, and cultural upheavals of the Sixties, particularly the extended period between Kennedy’s assassination and the end of the Vietnam War. This period has attracted writers from different generations (from those born in the 1930s to the 1970s), but Mark is particularly interested in the work of authors whose sensibility might be described as “post-postmodern.” In his research, Mark aims to: (1) consider these works in terms of recent scholarship on historical and neo-historical fiction, examining the way these writers approach the process of historicizing the period and showing how this reveals their understanding of history and temporal experience; (2) illustrate how returning to the Sixties entails for these writers a reassessment of postmodernism, as well as demonstrating how returning to the Sixties helps them tentatively mark out a post-postmodern aesthetics.

Mark completed his PhD, entitled “Between Times: The ‘Long Sixties’ in Contemporary American Fiction,” at the University of Glasgow in 2014. He is currently teaching at the University of Glasgow and working on his first book. He received an MLitt in Modernities from the University of Glasgow in 2010, and a BA (Hons) in Film and Television Studies from Roehampton University in 2004. He is an editor for the Glasgow Review of Books and his book reviews, essays and criticism have appeared in 3AM:Magazine, Review31, Gutter: The Magazine of New Scottish Writing, and TheState.

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Stephen J. Burn

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stjbuStephen J. Burn (Reader in Post-45 American Literature), is currently at work on Neurofiction: The Mind of the American Novel, which reads the rise of postmodern US fiction in dialogue with the post-war ascent of the sciences of mind. His work on David Foster Wallace has been translated into Finnish, Italian, and Spanish, and includes the first book on Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: A Reader’s Guide [2003, 2012]), a collation of interviews (Conversations with David Foster Wallace [2012]), an essay collection (A Companion to David Foster Wallace Studies [2013], edited with Marshall Boswell), and a volume of essays devoted to teaching Wallace’s writing (Approaches to Teaching the Works of David Foster Wallace [forthcoming], edited with Mary K. Holland). Since 2010, he has been gathering materials for a volume of Wallace’s letters.

 

International Affiliate Members

Hoffman headshot

Yonina Hoffman’s dissertation, “Narrative Voices in David Foster Wallace: Comic, Encyclopedic, and Sincere,” reads David Foster Wallace’s career in terms of narrative voice, a concept in narrative theory at the confluence of genre studies, composition studies, and stylistics. Yonina’s project tracks variation in narrative voice through three periods of Wallace’s career; it addresses conceptual issues in narrative theory, highlights Wallace’s changing purposes as a novelist, and identifies key influences for each of his voices. Yonina’s research interests include narrative theory, sound studies, stylistics/aesthetics, affect, and phenomenology, and she is affiliated with Project Narrative.

Yonina received a BA in English and Philosophy from West Virginia University in 2011, an MA in English from The Ohio State University in 2013, and is currently a PhD candidate at Ohio State.

 

 

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