Dr David Winters, Fitzwilliam



Biographical Information

I’m a Research Fellow (JRF) at Fitzwilliam College. I took a BA from the University of Birmingham and MA from University College London, after which I worked for several years in book publishing and literary journalism, before coming to Cambridge for my PhD.

Research Interests

I work primarily on modern American fiction, with a focus on the institutions and networks that shape literary production and reception, including publishing houses, magazines, universities and online communities. My research therefore combines literary history with publishing history, cultural and intellectual history, and the sociology of literature and ideas. I'm currently at work on two projects:

1) the first book-length study of the author, editor and teacher Gordon Lish. This book traces Lish’s pervasive influence on two generations of major American writers. I’m also the co-editor of Lish's collected interviews, forthcoming in 2018.

2) a postdoctoral project on the relationship between American fiction and trade publishing since the 1930s, featuring case studies of New Directions, Random House, and a selection of digital publishing platforms. This project combines close readings of edited manuscripts with a macrosociological account of the publishing field in its successive phases, from the golden age of independent presses through postwar conglomeration to the rise of the internet.

My wider work in this area includes a special issue of Critical Quarterly, co-edited with Kasia Boddy, entitled ‘Books in the Making’ (based on a symposium we held at CRASSH in 2016). A secondary research interest concerns the history and sociology of literary criticism both inside and outside the academy; here my publications include two metacritical surveys of ‘Theory on Theory’ for The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, and an edited collection on online literary culture, The Digital Critic.

I'm committed to working across multiple critical modes, and have published essays, reviews and interviews in various public and para-academic venues, including the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Review of Books, BookforumThe GuardianThe IndependentThe White ReviewThe New InquiryThe MillionsThe Brooklyn Rail, The RumpusElectric LiteratureBOMBThe LiterarianPN ReviewHTMLGiantThe Quarterly ConversationReview 31MuteMusic & Literature, BookslutBerfroisOpen Letters MonthlyFull StopGorse Journal, and The Literary Review. Some of this writing was collected in my first book, Infinite Fictions.

I’m a founding editor of Egress, a magazine for innovative fiction (published by Little Island Press), and co-editor in chief at 3:AM Magazine.

At Cambridge I’ve taught on the MPhil in American Literature, and on undergraduate papers including Practical Criticism, English Literature 1870-Present, Modernism & the Short Story, Contemporary Writing, and History and Theory of Criticism. I also supervise dissertations on 20th and 21st century fiction.

Website: www.davidwinters.uk.

Selected Publications

  • Infinite Fictions: Essays on Literature and Theory (London: Zero Books, 2015).
  • Editor (with Jason Lucarelli) Conversations with Gordon Lish (Jackson, MS: Mississippi University Press, 2018).
  • Editor (with Houman Barekat and Robert Barry) The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online (New York: OR Books, 2017).
  • Editor (with Kasia Boddy) “Books in the Making”, Critical Quarterly, 59, no. 3 (2017).
  • “Theory and the Creative Writing Classroom: Conceptual Revision in the School of Gordon Lish.” Contemporary Literature 57, no. 1 (2016): 111–134.
  • “An Interview with Gordon Lish.” Critical Quarterly 57, no. 4 (2015): 89–104.
  • “Theory on Theory.” The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 23, no. 1 (2015): 40–59.
  • “Theory on Theory.” The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 22,  no. 1 (2014): 1–20.
  • Academic book reviews in Modernism/modernityTextual PracticeCritical QuarterlyRadical Philosophy, etc.
  • Public and journalistic writing, as above.