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Sarah Churchwell

Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities. Her research and teaching expertise are in 20th-21st century and contemporary American literature and culture; biography and autobiography; American film history; gender theory; cultural studies and popular culture. She is the author of The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (Granta 2004), co-editor of Must Read: Rediscovering the Bestseller (Continuum 2012), and author of various articles, chapters and introductions (see research and publications tabs, above). Her new book, Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, was published in 2013 (Virago) and in the US in January 2014.

Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the New York Times Book Review, the TLS, the Independent, the Financial Times, the Observer, the Times, the Telegraph, the Spectator, the Liberal, Glamour, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire and Psychologies, among others, and she is a contributing writer for New Statesman magazine. Radio appearances include Any Questions, Front Row, Woman's Hour, the Jeremy Vine show, Radio Five Live, and various regional radio programmes, and a documentaries for Radio 4 on The Great Gatsby, among other subjects.

Television appearances include Question Time, The Review Show, Sky News Sunrise, Newsnight, BBC Breakfast, This Week, The Cinema Show, ITV This Morning, BBC News and World News, Sky News, The DVD Collection, The Sharp End with Clive Anderson, The Last Word, Before the Booker, and various film documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, and SkyOne, including Arena’s TS Eliot (BBC2), The Rules of Film Noir (BBC4), and Unfinished Masterpieces (BBC2), as well as the HBO documentary 'Love, Marilyn' (2013). She has been a judge for many literary prizes, including the Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize), the David Cohen Prize, the Guardian First Book Award, and the East Anglian Book Awards. She is also a member of the Folio Prize Academy and a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a judge of the 2014 Man Booker Prize.


  • –present
    Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities, University of East Anglia