Prof Alex Houen, Pembroke



Biographical Information

I did a BA(Hons) and a two-year research MPhil at the University of Sydney before doing my PhD at King's College, Cambridge. 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 Professor of Modern Literature and Critical Theory, and a Fellow of Pembroke College.


Research Interests

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

I am currently finishing a monograph examining sacrifice and war literature from WWI to the present.


Areas of Graduate Supervision

Any of the research interests listed above. Authors, theorists, and philosophers of particular interest: Kathy Acker, Giorgio Agamben, Richard Aldington, Aristotle, Nadeem Aslam, W.H. Auden, John Balaban, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, George Barker, Georges Bataille, Samuel Beckett, Henri Bergson, Elizabeth Bowen, William S. Burroughs, Judith Butler, John Cage, Ciaran Carson, Joseph Conrad, Don DeLillo, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, John Dos Passos, Ford Madox Ford, Michel Foucault, Allen Ginsberg, René Girard, Henry Green, Graham Greene, Martin Heidegger, Lyn Hejinian, Joseph Heller, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley, Henry James, Fredric Jameson, Immanuel Kant, Emmanuel Levinas, Wyndham Lewis, Louis MacNeice, Norman Mailer, Curzio Malaparte, Frank O'Hara, George Orwell, Wilfred Owen, Ezra Pound, Jacques Rancière, Claudia Rankine, Denise Riley, Lisa Robertson, Stevie Smith, Stephen Spender, Spinoza, Juliana Spahr, Evelyn Waugh, Rebecca West, and W. B. Yeats


Selected Publications


Peer-Reviewed Monographs and Edited Collections


Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters


Novel, Poetry, and Poetry Editing

  • Co-written with Geoff Gilbert, Take / Give / Keep / Care / Hold / Well / Clear: A Novel (forthcoming with Broken Sleep Books, 2025).
  • Malapartings [chapbook] (Equipage, 2021).
  • Ring Cycle (Eyewear Publishing, 2018).
  • Co-written with Geoff Gilbert, Hold! West [chapbook, 28pp] (Eyewear Publishing, 2016).
  • Rouge States [chapbook, 28pp] (Oystercatcher Press, 2014).
  • Co-editor with Adam Piette of Blackbox Manifold, an online bi-annual poetry journal (since 2008).