My PhD on Abstraction and Fiction was supervised by Professor Max Saunders, and was recently examined by Dr Tory Young and Dr Suzanne Hobson. I passed my viva with no corrections.
My thesis explores abstraction in the writing of Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, and Virginia Woolf. I argue that the “abstract” – a familiar concept in the visual arts – is also invaluable for reading certain innovations in modern literature. Abstraction was used as a way of breaking the usual limitations of language. Authors invoked a sense of the metaphysical and the ineffable, in their attempt to get beyond the concrete and the conventional. My argument depends upon an understanding and scrutiny of the matrix of philosophy, science, politics, and art that composed and influenced early twentieth century thinking.
I've presented numerous papers at conferences where I discuss the parallels between the writing of certain modernist authors with the concepts and vision of abstract artists.