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Staff profiles

Dr Chris Campbell

Senior Lecturer

4363

01392 724363

Chris Campbell is a Lecturer in Global Literatures and his research focusses on the intersections of world literature, postcolonial theory and environmental criticism. He is particularly interested in Caribbean literature and culture, world-ecology and postcolonial ecocriticism, and histories of broadcast culture and empire. From a broader perspective his research interests include: world literature as literature of the modern world-system; literary and cultural theory; the environmental humanities, debates in modernity and modernism; colonial/postcolonial Cyprus; and west country writing.

Research interests

My primary research interests lie in the intersections of world literature, postcolonial theory and environmental criticism. I’m particularly interested in twentieth-century Caribbean literature and culture, world-ecology and postcolonial ecocriticism, and histories of broadcast culture and decolonization. From a broader perspective my research interests include: world literature as literature of the modern world-system; literary and cultural theory; the environmental humanities, debates in modernity and modernism; decolonizing Britain; colonial/postcolonial Cyprus; and west country writing.

I have published articles in the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Green Letters and New Formations and contributed chapters to collections in the fields of world literature, ecocriticism and postcolonial studies. I have co-edited two collections on Caribbean literature and the environment: ‘What is the Earthy Paradise?’: Eco-critical Response to the Caribbean (Cambridge Scholars, 2007) with Erin Somerville and, with Mike Niblett, The Caribbean: Aesthetics, World-Ecology, Politics (Liverpool University Press, 2016). Through its deployment of the concept of ‘world-ecology’, this recent collection offers up a new angle of vision on the interconnections between aesthetics, ecology, and politics. The volume seeks to grasp these categories not as discrete (if overlapping) entities, but rather as differentiated moments within a single historical process. The ‘social’ changes through which the Caribbean has developed have always involved changes in the relationship between humans and the rest of nature; and these changes have long been entangled with the emergence of new kinds of cultural production

Research collaborations

Between 2012 and 2015 I was Co-Investigator on an AHRC Research Grant based at Warwick, titled Decolonizing Voices: World Literature and Broadcast Culture at the End of Empire. Making use of the unique access to the papers, diaries, and letters of the BBC producer Henry Swanzy, the project examined the networks of literary and cultural production in the Anglophone Caribbean, West Africa (specifically Ghana, the work of the Ghana Broadcasting System in Accra), and the mediating role played by the BBC Colonial Service in shaping the stylistic and political contours of emerging world literatures in the twentieth century. The project aimed to map out a cultural topography of the uneven production, circulation, and reception of cultural forms within the world-system at the time of decolonization (1945-1968). The project team comprises Dr Michael Niblett (Warwick), Dr Victoria Smith (Ghana), and Prof Stewart Brown (Birmingham). Please see link below for further details:

AHRC Project: Decolonizing Voices: World Literature and Broadcast Culture

 

I am currently Co-investigator, on a Leverhulme-funded research project, “World Literature and Commodity Frontiers: The Ecology of the ‘long’ 20th Century.”

Project description: Since the turn of the century, the field of comparative literature has been profoundly impacted by two key developments. One is the resurgence of debate around the concept of world literature, arising from a sense that ‘globalization’ has thrown the received disciplinary protocols of literary studies into question. The other is the continued headway made by ecocritical paradigms, which, in the context of urgent concerns over the planetary biosphere, have pioneered new ways of thinking about the interconnections between global literatures. Situating itself at the intersection of these areas of study, the project will pursue a form of literary comparativism grounded in the ecological changes entailed by the movement of specific commodity frontiers in a select range of locations.

Focusing on the period from 1890 to the present, the project will compare the relationship between literature and the sugar, cacao, coal, tin, gold, and stone frontiers in Brazil, the Caribbean, West Africa, and the UK. It will investigate how fiction and poetry mediate the lived experience of frontier-led ecological change, and how cultural imaginaries have been impacted by or contributed to such change. The project combines a materialist approach to world literature (understood in terms of its relationship to global capitalism) with new approaches to global ecology.

For further information, see: World Literature and Commodity Frontiers

Research supervision

I am happy to discuss proposals on any relevant subject in my area of interest. I am especially keen to consider working with candidates with interests in the following areas:

  • world and/or postcolonial literatures and theory
     
  • world-systems, world-literature, world-ecology
     
  • Caribbean Studies
     
  • ecocriticism and the environmental  humanities
     
  • Decolonization and print/broadcast cultures

Research students

Iris Gioti, "The Matriarch: Gender, Labour and Ageing in Cultures of the Greek Diaspora."

Joshua Hambleton-Jewell, “The World of Work: Neoliberalism, Labour, and Literary Form in World-Literature 1984–Present.”

Cherie Jones, “Sun, Sexuality & Power – The Poetics of Domestic Violence in Modern Caribbean Literature.”

Zakiya McKenzie, “'One, one cocoa full basket'” Recovering local writers: West Indian writers in the news 1940-1980."

Asmaa Meftah, “Eco Resistance: A Green Postcolonial analysis of the Contemporary Production of Mahmoud Darwich, Ghassan Kanafani and other Palestinian Writers.”