Lecturer in English Studies, Durham University

Most recently, my research has been interested in questions concerning state surveillance, censorship, and subsidy of literature and culture. My most recent book, British Writers and MI5 Surveillance, 1930-1960, looked at the MI5 records held on key figures such as Auden, Spender, Koestler, Orwell, and others, and tried to show how many of these authors were not passive victims of the secret state but also conscious movers within it.

I have also published shorter pieces in this area, such as on governmental involvement in film and theatre censorship, security monitoring of radical literary magazines, and (with David Bradshaw) the collaboration between Ezra Pound and the fascist propagandist James Strachey Barnes. This research feeds into the design of my undergraduate module, 'Modern Literature and the British Secret State'.

Experience

  • –present
    Lecturer in English Studies, Durham University