Contemporary Literature and Culture

Contemporary Literature & 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 – but not limited to – the following recent books:

Recent Books

  • Jernigan, Daniel, Wadiak, Walter, Wang, W. Michelle (eds.). Narrating Death: The Limit of Literature. Routledge, 2019
  • Jernigan, Daniel, Wang, W. Michelle & Murphy, Neil (eds.). The Routledge Companion to Death and Literature. Routledge, 2020.
  • Jernigan, Daniel. Tom Stoppard: Bucking the Postmodern. McFarland, 2012.
  • Jernigan, Daniel (ed.). Flann O’Brien’s Collected Plays and Teleplays. Dalkey Archive Press, 2013.
  • Matthews, Graham. Ethics and Desire in the Wake of Postmodernism. Bloomsbury, 2013.
  • Matthews, Graham. Will Self and Contemporary British Society. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  • Murphy, Neil. John Banville. Bucknell University Press, 2018.
  • Murphy, Neil (co-edited with Keith Hopper). Writing the Sky: Observations and Essays on Dermot Healy. Dalkey Archive Press, 2016.
  • Murphy, Neil (co-edited with Keith Hopper). The Short Fiction of Flann O’Brien. Dalkey Archive Press, 2013.
  • Scott, Bede. Affective Disorder​s: Emotion in Colonial and Pos​tcolonial Literature. Liverpool University Press, 2019.
  • Scott, Bede. On Lightness in World Literature. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • Sim, Wai Chew. Kazuo Ishiguro. Routledge, 2010.
  • Wang, W. Michelle. Eternalized Fragments: Reclaiming Aesthetics in Contemporary World Fiction. The Ohio State University Press, 2020.
  • Wee, C. J. W.-L. (ed.). The Complete Works of Kuo Pao Kun, vol. 4: Plays in English. The Theatre Practice and Global Publishing, 2012.
  • Wee, C. J. W.-L. (co-edited with Jon McKenzie and Heike Roms). Contesting Performance: Global Sites of Research.  Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
  • Wong, Yeang Chui Jane. Asia and the Historical Imagination. Palgrave, 2018.
  • Yong Ade, Wernmei (co-edited with Lim Lee Ching). Contemporary Arts as Political Practice in Singapore. Palgrave, 2016.

Special Issues of Journals

  • Jernigan, Daniel (ed.). Novel-Writing Playwrights and Playwriting Novelists after Beckett. Review of Contemporary Fiction special issue, vol. 34, no. 1, Spring 2014.
  • Murphy, Neil (co-edited with Keith Hopper). Flann O’Brien: Centenary Essays. Review of Contemporary Fiction special issue (Flann O’Brien’s centenary), vol. 31, no. 3, Fall 2011. *Winner of the International Flann O’Brien Society best book award 2013. Biennial Award.


Ongoing Research Projects

Many major Contemporary Literature & Culture research projects are currently in process by NTU-English faculty members, including, but not limited to:

  • 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 K. Jernigan);
  • Contemporary Fiction and the Visual Arts (Neil Murphy);
  • Narrating Asia (W. Michelle Wang);
  • The Palgrave Companion to 20th & 21st Century Irish Literature (ed. Neil Murphy);
  • Risk and Fate in 21st Century Literature (Graham Matthews);
  • World Crime Fiction (Bede Scott)

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