Dr Edward Allen, Christ's



Biographical Information

I am a University Lecturer in British and Irish Literature, 1830-present, with abiding interests in transatlantic exchange and literature of the Americas. I studied for a BA at Christ's College, and returned there, after a year in Padova, to pursue graduate study. A good deal of my doctoral research was spent in North America, where I held visiting fellowships at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, and the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Between 2013 and 2016 I was a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, and in September 2016 I took up my post in the Faculty of English, along with a Fellowship at Christ's.

For Part I of the English Tripos, I teach Papers 1 (Practical Criticism and Critical Practice), 7a (English Literature and its Contexts, 1830-1945), and 7b (English Literature and its Contexts, 1870 to the present). For Part II, I teach Papers 9 (Lyric) and 14 (American). I supervise dissertations throughout these papers. Recent students have written on Hart Crane's fragments, periodical culture, and the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. 

Research Interests

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, especially modernist and contemporary poetry; lyric poetics; the history of technology, particularly sound gadgetry; material culture; music.

I have just completed a book about sound media and modernist American poetry, centred on the work of Frost, Stevens, Moore and Hughes. Also in the pipeline are edited collections of essays on the theme of lyric sub-genres and Dylan Thomas's reading practices, and a special issue of Glossator dedicated to Moore's doodles and annotations.

My next full-scale project has to do with clinical and artistic responses to certain kinds of hearing loss, impairment and excess. The project will begin in earnest with an international conference in December 2016 - Ear Pieces: Listening, Diagnosing, Writing - hosted in the Faculty of English, and supported by the Wellcome Trust. For details of the conference, follow this link. At the same time, I'm making small steps towards a piece about loopy listening, jingles and cognitive itches. Its working title is Sticky Reading: The Literary Life of Earworms. 

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I supervise students for the MPhils in American Literature, Modern and Contemporary Literature, and Criticism and Culture. I welcome all queries and expressions of interest regarding doctoral research in the areas I've outlined above.  

Selected Publications


  • Edward Allen, Modernist Invention: Media Technology and American Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2017): forthcoming
  • Edward Allen (ed.), Forms of Late Modernist Lyric (Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2017): forthcoming
  • Edward Allen (ed.), Reading Dylan Thomas (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2017): forthcoming


Articles and book chapters

  • Edward Allen, 'Performing on the Fringe: Basil Bunting and Morden Tower', in Flower/Power: British Literature in Transition, 1960-1980, ed. Kate McLoughlin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017): forthcoming
  • Edward Allen, ‘Towards a History of Pneumatics: Writing under Pressure, from Verne to Verne’, Critical Quarterly, special issue on 'Traffic', ed. Beci Carver and James Purdon, 58.4 (2016): 27-49.
  • Edward Allen, ‘Eliot’s Radio Times; or, Listen With Possum’, in The Edinburgh Companion to T. S. Eliot and the Arts, ed. Frances Dickey and John Morgenstern (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), pp. 275-86.
  • Edward Allen, 'On the Early Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Teasing, Typewriting, Editing', Textual Cultures 9.1 (2014): 95-111 (available here).
  • Edward Allen, '"One long, unbroken, constant sound": Wireless Thinking and Lyric Tinkering in Wallace Stevens's Harmonium', Modernism/modernity 21.4 (2014): 919-36. 
  • Edward Allen, '"Visible Earshot": The Returning Voice of Susan Howe', Cambridge Quarterly 41.4 (2012): 397-421.


Book reviews and shorter pieces

  • Edward Allen, 'Brian Hochman, Savage Preservation: The Ethnographic Origins of Modern Media Technology' (review), Journal of American Studies 50 (2016): 482-84.
  • Edward Allen, 'Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style & the 1960s, ed. Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky, and Robert A.Rushing' (review), Critical Quarterly 56.1 (2014): 99-102. 
  • Edward Allen, 'A Presiding Spirit: Elizabeth Bishop’s Poetic Afterlives', PN Review 39.2 (2012): 22-25.

Other work includes an opera libretto and a chamber poem, with music in each case by Edwin HillierSerpentine; or, The Analysis of Beauty was performed at the Royal College of Music in May 2014, in collaboration with Tête à Tête; and Villanelle followed in December 2015 at St George's, Hanover Square, in collaboration with artists from Handel House.