I am Director of the Centre for New Writing, which seeks to diversify literary voices beyond the metropolitan mainstream. I specialise in contemporary writing by black and Asian Britons (concentrating on regional writing, literary economy and rurality) with an additional specialism in travel writing. I am author of Chasing Tales: Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of British Ideas about Afghanistan (2008), co-author of Postcolonial Manchester: Diaspora Space and the Devolution of Literary Culture(MUP 2013), and co-editor of Travel and Ethics (Routledge 2013). My forthcoming book is a critical-creative study called Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural Britain's Colonial Histories (Peepal Tree Press).
As part of my research (see below) I regularly interview writers (including Amiri Baraka, Jean 'Binta' Breeze, Tracie Morris, Bali Rai, Michael Horovitz, Ben Okri and Jon McGregor) at literary festivals. Recordings can be found by clicking on the Centre for New Writing link on the right hand bar of this page.
I am Research Environment Director for the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Research Impact Coordinator for the School of Arts. I chair the Literary Leicester Festival Fringe.