Contemporary Literature and Culture

Contemporary Literature and Culture is a key research focus of faculty in NTU English. Scholarship in this vibrant area of literary studies engages with a rich diversity of critical perspectives, including Aesthetics, Ethics, Poetics, Postcolonial Theory, Postmodernism, Gender Studies, Diversity Studies, Cultural Critique, Narrative Theory, Ecocritical Theory, Translation Theory, and Adaptation Theory, among others. At NTU English, we engage with all major genres, ranging from poetry, fiction and drama, to film, popular culture, and creative non-fiction. Faculty interest, scholarship, research, and teaching in the area of contemporary literature (and film) are characterized by a broad regional diversity that includes African literature, Asian literatures (especially South Asian, East Asian, and Southeast Asian), American literature, British and Irish writing, Middle Eastern literature, and Singapore literature. NTU English also engages with the international study of contemporary literature through its organization of international conferences, such as “The Contemporary: An International Conference of Literature and the Arts” (2011), and its ongoing research seminar series, Narrating the Contemporary.

Faculty in NTU English have published numerous important monographs and edited collections in these areas, including the following recent books:

Recent Books

Jernigan, Daniel, W. Michelle Wang, and Neil Murphy (eds.). The Routledge Companion to Death and Literature. Routledge, 2020. Includes over 20 essays on Contemporary Literature and Art.

Wang, W. Michelle. Eternalized Fragments: Reclaiming Aesthetics in Contemporary World Fiction. The Ohio State University Press, 2020.

Jernigan, Daniel, Walter Wadiak, and W. Michelle Wang (eds.). Narrating Death: The Limit of Literature. Routledge, 2019.

Scott, Bede. Affective Disorder​s: Emotion in Colonial and Pos​tcolonial Literature. Liverpool University Press, 2019.

Wong, Yeang Chui Jane. Asia and the Historical Imagination. Palgrave, 2018. 

Murphy, Neil. John Banville. Maryland: Bucknell University Press (2018): 240pp. Reviewed in the Irish University Review, Etudes Irlandaises, ABEI Journal: The Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies, Nordic Irish Studies.

Matthews, Graham. Will Self and Contemporary British Society. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Recent Essays

Murphy, Neil. “Ekphrastic Encounters and the Contemporary Novel,” The Routledge Companion to Literature and Art (Eds. Neil Murphy, Michelle Wang, and CJ Lee) 2023: 125-137.

Murphy, Neil. “Painters Writing: Art and the Contemporary Irish Novel,” Companion to the Contemporary Irish Novel (Costello-Sullivan, Hand and Murphy Eds.). Syracuse University Press, 2024. 

Murphy, Neil. “John Banville’s Fictions of Art,” The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Fiction. Ed. Liam Harte. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2020: 320-334. 

Murphy, Neil. “The Novel as Heartbeat: The Dead Narrator in Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones,” The Routledge Companion to Literature and Death. Eds Murphy, Jernigan, and Wang, 2020: 109-120.

Ongoing Research Projects

Many major Contemporary Literature & Culture research projects are currently in process by NTU-English faculty members, including:

  • Aesthetics and Ethics in Contemporary World Literature (Cheryl Julia Lee)
  • A Regional Contemporary: Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Popular Culture (C. J. Wee Wan-ling)
  • Contemporary British and Irish Drama (Daniel Jernigan)
  • Narrating Asia (W. Michelle Wang)
  • Risk and Fate in 21st Century Literature (Graham Matthews)
  • World Crime Fiction (Bede Scott)

In addition, faculty members working on Contemporary Literature and Culture frequently publish articles in international top journals and book chapters with major presses. Please consult faculty’s individual web pages for full listings.

Related Courses

HL2007Contemporary LiteratureDr Neil Murphy
HL2030Post 1945 American Literature and CultureDr Angela Frattarola
HL4024Advanced Studies in Contemporary LiteratureDr Michelle Wang
HL4040Literature and ArtDr Neil Murphy