University of Cambridge Contemporary Research Group

Category: Publications (Page 1 of 2)

‘What Counts as Contemporary Fiction? Scale, Value, and Field’ – JAMES ENGLISH


‘Scholars of contemporary fiction face special challenges in making the turn toward digitized corpora and empirical method. Their field is one of exceptionally large and uncertain scale, subject to ongoing transformation and dispute, and shrouded in copyright. I will present one possible way forward, based on my work for a special issue of Modern Language Quarterly on “Scale & Value” that I’m co-editing with Ted Underwood. My project uses quantitative relationships among mid-sized, hand-made datasets to map the field of Anglophone fiction from 1960 to the present. Some significant findings of this research concern a shift in the typical time-setting of the novel and a concomitant change in the relationship between literary commerce and literary prestige.’


Jim English’s books included The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value(2005) and The Global Future of English Studies (2012). A past editor of Postmodern Culture, he co-edited with Rita Felski a special 2010 issue of New Literary History on “New Sociologies of Literature.”


You might also be interested in Mark Algee-Hewitt and Mark McGurl’s pamphlet for the Stanford Lit Lab, published in January 2015:  ‘Between Canon and Corpus: Six Perspectives on 20th-Century Novels’.

Emigration and Caribbean Literature by Malachi McIntosh

Emigration and Caribbean Literature

Emigration and Caribbean Literature is a fresh and necessary re-engagement with the generation of writers from the Caribbean Basin who journeyed to Europe to establish their names and literary reputations between and after the two World Wars. It reads across the Anglophone and Francophone traditions to take as its focus George Lamming, Mayotte Capécia, V.S. Naipaul, Aimé Césaire, Samuel Selvon, and Édouard Glissant, focusing firmly on their shared status as emigrants and the effects of their migration on the content and composition of their first works. By applying the theories of Antonio Gramsci, Pierre Bourdieu, and Pascale Casanova to readings of these authors’ contexts and the content of their texts, Malachi McIntosh reveals how World War-era Caribbean writers were pushed to represent themselves as authentic spokesmen for their people

New Equipage Publications

E    Q    U    I    P    A    G    E

c/o  Rod Mengham,  Jesus College,  Cambridge, CB5 8BL, U.K.


time dust

 Ian Patterson, Time Dust, A4  36pp (price £6.00 including p&p)

John Kinsella, A Failure to Fully Confess: An Activist Poem, A5  48pp (price £4.50 including p&p)

 John Wilkinson, Courses Matter-Woven, A4  24pp (price £6.00 including p&p)

 Luke Roberts, Left Helicon, A5 48pp (price £4.50 including p&p)

The Happy Hypocrite

‘I think: Protect me from people who want to protect me; but more, save me from people who know what upsets others.’ – Lynne Tillman



Issue 6 of The Happy Hypocrite – Freedom  –   is published by Book Works, in an edition of 1,000. Contributors include Gregg Bordowitz, Paul Chan, Gabriel Coxhead, Lydia Davis, Yasmine El Rashidi, Chloé Cooper Jones, James Jennings, Allison Katz, Robin Coste Lewis, the late Craig Owens, Sarah Resnick, Ranbir Singh Sidhu, Abdellah Taïa, an interview between Lynne Tillman and Thomas Keenan, a cover by Susan Hiller, and archival material from Paranoids Anonymous Newsletter.


The Promise of Spring

The Promise of Spring is a new immersive online book, a lyric fiction about Vancouver by Graeme Abernethy. Originally composed in response to an extended absence from home, it observes those processes of layering within which we are unavoidably implicated: layers of time, memory, technology, and genre. In addition to providing a narrative of Vancouver life, The Promise of Spring reproduces more than 90 historical photographs from the City of Vancouver Archives’ digital collection.


Ali Smith’s new book, Shire

shireJust out  –  Ali Smith’s new book Shire (with photographs and design by Sarah Wood) mixes fact and fiction, biography and autobiography, to pay tribute to Helena Shire, Spenser scholar and Fellow of Robinson College, and the poet Olive Fraser.

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