Photo of Dr Rob Turner

Dr Rob Turner

Lecturer in 20th and 21st-Century Literature


Extension: 2116

Telephone: 01392 722116

Office: Room 210  

Tutorial hours: Tues 1pm-2.30pm; Weds 1pm-2.30pm (15-minute slots: please email me to book)

Rob Turner's research is focused on American literature, with a particular interest in experiments in the epic mode, ranging from Martin Delany to Marguerite Young. Current projects include work on African American counterfactual writings, and the poetics of hip-hop.

His first monograph is titled Counterfeit Culture: Truth and Authenticity in the American Prose Epic Since 1960, and was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019 as part of the Studies in American Literature and Culture series. This book examines the trope of "alternative facts" in American fiction, tracing the long history of inauthenticity as a conscious national mode. Authors discussed in detail include Thomas Pynchon, Andy Warhol, and William T. Vollmann. 

He is currently working on his second book, Hip-Hop in American Literature and Culture, an edited collection of essays exploring rap as a poetic medium. This volume will bring together a number of critics, examining the relationship between the MC and other traditional figures (from Senegalese griots to Nuyorican slam artists), and reading key methods and tropes in relation to currents in American oral and print poetry. The collection is scheduled for publication by Cambridge University Press in 2021.

Rob is also working on a collaborative poem, The Dionysiaca, to be published with University of Michigan Press in 2021. This book reimagines the work of the 5th-century Egyptian epicist, Nonnos, and involves major contemporary poets and translators including Stanley Lombardo, William Levitan, and Anne Carson.  

After completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2015, Rob was appointed a Teaching Fellow in American Literature at UCL. He is a regular contributor to the Wire magazine.