Dr Jess Cotton, Faculty of English




Biographical Information

I am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in English. I was born and educated in London, and was awarded my PhD from UCL in 2018. I was previously a Lecturer at Cardiff University.

My Leverhulme project, Lonely Subjects: Loneliness in Postwar Literature and Psychoanalysis, 1945-1975, is a postwar literary-historical study which investigates the relationship between the development of literary, psychoanalytic and welfare institutions and communities in relation to loneliness. The aim of this project is to provide a new paradigm for how we think of loneliness in relation to postwar forms of community – and also to make a case for a more social literary and psychoanalytic culture.









Research Interests

My interests span postwar British and American literature, psychoanalysis and feminism. I am particularly interested in the postwar American essay, literary style and the relationship between literature, psychoanalysis and socialist thought. I am currenly completing a monograph Memory in a Cold Climate: American Literature and Postwar Thought, which examines the relationship between literature and memory in the work of Mary McCarthy, John Ashbery, Joe Brainard, Bernadette Mayer, Elizabeth Hardwick and Joan Didion in relation to new literary forms. 

My articles have been published or are forthcoming in American Literary History, ELH, Journal of American Studies, Modernist Cultures, Modern Fiction Studies and Textual Practice. My essays and criticism have appeared in the New Left Review, Harper’s Magazine, Financial Times, Prospect, The White Review and the Los Angeles Review of Books.