Dr Alex Houen, Pembroke

 

 

Biographical Information

I did a BA(Hons) and a two-year research MPhil at the University of Sydney before coming to King's College, Cambridge to do a PhD. After that I taught Modern Literature and American Studies at the University of Sheffield until 2009, when I took up a post back here in the Faculty of English. I am a University Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature, and a Fellow of Pembroke College.

 

Research Interests

General interests include: modern and contemporary fiction and poetry (particularly poetry sequences); war literature; avant-gardes; post-structuralism; performativity; affects; sacrifice; aesthetics of suspension.

I am currently working on three book projects: a collection of essays that I'm co-editing with Dr Jan-Melissa Schramm entitled Sacrifice and Modern War Literature: Battle of Waterloo to the War on Terror; a monograph examining sacrifice and war literature from 1914 to 2014; and a large edited collection of essays on affects and literature.

 

Areas of Graduate Supervision

Any of the research interests listed above. Authors, theorists, and philosophers of particular interest: Aristotle, Spinoza, Kant, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Wyndham Lewis, Ford Maddox Ford, John Dos Passos, George Barker, Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden, Rebecca West, Curzio Malaparte, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Beckett, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, John Cage, Kathy Acker, Amiri Baraka, Frank O'Hara, Lyn Hejinian, Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, René Girard, Fredric Jameson, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Judith Butler, Jacques Rancière, Denise Riley, Don DeLillo, Nadeem Aslam.

 

Selected Publications

 

Monographs

 

Edited Collections

  • Editor, Affect [Cambridge Critical Concepts Series] (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, 2018)
  • Co-editor (with Jan-Melissa Schramm), Sacrifice and Modern War Literature: Battle of Waterloo to the War on Terror (forthcoming with Oxford University Press, 2017)

 

Poetry

  • Ring Cycle (full collection of poems, forthcoming with Eyewear Publishing, 2017)
  • Co-written with Geoff Gilbert, Hold! West [chapbook, 28pp] (Eyewear Publishing, 2016)
  • Co-editor with Adam Piette of Blackbox Manifold, an online bi-annual poetry journal (since 2008)

 

Selected Articles and Chapters

  • 'Afterword', in Terrorism [Cambridge Critical Concepts Series], ed. Peter Hermann (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, 2017)
  • 'Reckoning Sacrifice in "War on Terror" Literature', American Literary History 28:3 (2016), 574–595
  • 'Martyrdom and Hostage Executions in the Iraq War: The Cases of Kenneth Bigley and Margaret Hassan', in Martyrdom and Terrorism, Pre-modern to Contemporary Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) [see above]
  • 'States at War and Modes of War', in States of War since 9/11: Terrorism, Sovereignty, and the War on Terror (London: Routledge, 2014), 1-22 [see above]
  • 'Sacrifice and Sublimity after 9/11', in The Edinburgh Companion to British, American, and Irish War Literature in the 20th and 21st Centuries, ed. Adam Piette and Mark Rawlinson (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012)
  • 'Affecting Words', in special issue on 'Affects, Text, and Performativity' of Textual Practice 25:2 (March/April 2011)
  • 'Pound and Anti-Semitism', in Ezra Pound in Context, ed. Ira Nadel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 391-401
  • 'The Novel and Politics', in The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction, ed. Brian Shaffer (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 407-23
  • 'Sacrificial Militancy and the War on Terror', in Terror and the Postcolonial, ed. Stephen Morton and Elleke Boehmer (London: Blackwell, 2009)
  • '"Back! Back! Back! Central Mind Machine Pentagon": Allen Ginsberg and the Vietnam War', Cultural Politics 4:3 (2008), 351-74
  •  'Sovereignty, Biopolitics, and the Use of Literature: Michel Foucault and Kathy Acker', in Foucault in an Age of Terror: Essays on Biopolitics and The Defence of Society, ed. Stephen Morton and Stephen Bygrave (London: Palgrave, 2008), 63-87
  • 'William S. Burroughs's "Cities of the Red Night Trilogy": Writing Outer Space', Journal of American Studies 40:3 (2006), 523-46
  • 'Novel Spaces and Taking Places in the Wake of September 11', Studies in the Novel (2004), 419-37
  • 'Walter Abish: Plotting a Terrorism of Postmodernist Fiction', in Modern Language Review: Yearbook of English Studies 30 (2000):202-20
  • ' "Various Infinitudes": Narration, Embodiment, and Ontology, in Samuel Beckett's How It Is and Spinoza's Ethics', in Post-Theory, ed. Martin McQuillan et al. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 178-87
  • 'Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent: Anarchism and the Thermodynamics of Law', ELH 65:4 (1998): 995-1016