Personal profile

Research interests

My main areas of research are colonial and postcolonial literatures and the works of Joseph Conrad. 

My current research examines representations of Arab transnationalism in the late colonial period. This research brings together various strands of my prior research in African Literatures, Joseph Conrad and WW1 in the Middle East. An early product of this research is my contribution to Migration, Modernity and Transnationalim in the Work of Joseph Conrad (eds Kim Salmons and Tania Zulli, Bloomsbury 2021) 'Arab and Muslim Transnationalism in Conrad's Malay Fiction'.

My most recent monograph, Imagined States: Law and Literature in Nigeria (in the Edinburgh Critical Studies in Law, Literature and the Humanities series, 2019), examines representations of the law in British and Nigerian high-brow, middle-brow and popular fiction and journalism. Drawing on a range of examples, the book focuses on the imaginative role that the state of exception played in the application of indirect rule during British colonialism and in the legal machinations of the postcolonial state. It reads works by Chinua Achebe, Joyce Cary, Cyprian Ekwensi and Edgar Wallace, together with a range of Nigerian market literature and journalism.

I have published widely in Conrad studies. My monograph, Joseph Conrad and The Swan Song of Romance (Ashgate 2010), explores Conrad’s use of classical romance forms throughout his oeuvre and received ‘Honourable Mention’ for the Adam Gillon Book Award, 2012. I have edited a variety of essay collections and special issues, most recently editing Conrad and Language with Professor Robert Hampson (EUP 2016; paperback 2017; awarded third prize for the Adam Gillon Book Award, 2018). I am co-editor of Conrad’s Plays for Cambridge University Press’s series, The Works of Joseph Conrad, with Professor Richard Hand (CUP forthcoming). This is an exciting project, which collects together for the first time all Conrad’s plays with The Book of Job, his only literary translation from Polish, and his film scenario, Gaspar The Strongman.

I am also involved in research on the First World War, co-editing the Edinburgh Companion to the First World War in the Arts with Dr Ann-Marie Einhaus, (EUP 2017). In 2018 I ran an international workshop, ‘Creative Practice and Cultural Memory: Exploring First World War Heritage in the Middle East’ at the British Institute in Amman, Jordan bringing together artists, historians, writers and museum curators to discuss creative responses to the First World War in the Middle East and its inheritance today. Previously, Ann-Marie Einhaus and I have also collaborated on a Heritage Lottery-funded project, ‘Reflections of Newcastle, 1914-1918’ (£55,200) with the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle College and the November Club.  

I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and of the AHRC’s GCRF Peer Review College. I act as an expert reviewer for a number of academic publishers and journals and between 2016-2020 I was General Editor of English: The Journal of the English Association.


Following my first degree in English and Hebrew, I was awarded my Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow in July 2003. I then worked for several years in London both as a lecturer and as a cataloguer and curator at the British Library. In 2007 I was appointed as Research Assistant Professor in Cross-Cultural Studies in English at the University of Hong Kong. I then moved, in 2010, to the United States where I was a lecturer at Stanford University before joining Northumbria University in 2011. My work is characterized by my longstanding interest in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary scholarship. Colonial and postcolonial literatures form the main focus of my research alongside an interest in literary multilingualism, and law and literature studies.

Education/Academic qualification

Literary Studies, PhD, University of Glasgow

30 Jun 200331 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2003

MA (Hons), English Literature and Classical Hebrew, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 30 Jun 1999


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