Lauryn Anderson, Jesus

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Dr Deborah Bowman
Dissertation Title:

Documentary Writing in the Long 1930s and Beyond

Biographical Information

I graduated with a BA (Starred First) in English from Cambridge in 2020, before moving to Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar for my MSt in English Literature, 1900-Present (Distinction). Now at Jesus College, I am funded by a Harding Scholarship.

For 2022-23, I am a co-convener of the 20th Century & Contemporary Graduate Research Seminar, the Contemporary Writers' Readings termly series, and the Ambivalent Archives reading group.


Research Interests

Theories of documentary, documents and other kinds of ‘invisible literature’; collage, mixed-form and intertextuality; archives (and their limits); 20th and 21st century poetry; contemporary fiction; theories of reading; affect theory; photography & photographic theory; postcolonial theory; genre theory (especially prose poems and image-textual hybrids)

Writers I have previously written on: Mina Loy; Hope Mirrlees; Nancy Cunard; Langston Hughes; Marianne Moore; Valeria Luiselli; Solmaz Sharif; Philip Metres

Writers I am currently thinking about: Storm Jameson; Humphrey Jennings; Una Marson; Muriel Rukeyser; Charles Reznikoff; F.R. Scott; Susan Howe; M. NourbeSe Philip; Natalie Harkin

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed articles: 

‘“Daily I Sit | with the Language”: Solmaz Sharif’s and Philip Metres’s Documentary Poetics of War’, The Cambridge Quarterly, 49.4 (2020), 372–95 <>. Winner of the 2020 Cambridge Quarterly Prize

Conference Papers:

'"And at night the street meetings on the corner": Reading Langston Hughes’s and Roy DeCarava’s Harlem in The Sweet Flypaper of Life (1955)', Modernist Studies Association 2023 Annual Meeting (Brooklyn, NYC, October 2023)

'"What kind of poem / Would you / Make out of that?": The Extractivist Legacies of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead (1938)', Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses (University College Dublin Humanities Institute, July 2023)

'"I go in quest of my inheri-/tance'": Tracing Susan Howe’s "sordidly spectacular" Ancestors in the Archive', Poetry, Representation and the Archive: One Day Symposium at UEA (University of East Anglia, May 2023)

'"The Document as Novel": Muriel Rukeyser’s 'Innumerable Liberties and Distortions' in Savage Coast', Northeastern MLA 54th Annual Convention (Niagara Falls NY, March 2023)

'"I Weave Back to You": Natalie Harkin's Archival Poetics of Remembrance and Resistance', Northeastern MLA 54th Annual Convention (Niagara Falls NY, March 2023)