20th and 21st Century Literature
Science Fiction, Utopian Literature, Utopian Studies
Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School
Philosophy of Time
Environmental Humanities, Petrocultures, Energy Humanities
Open Access Publishing

Dr Caroline Edwards is Senior Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature in the Department of English & Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, where she is actively involved with Birkbeck’s Centre for Contemporary Literature. Her research focuses on the utopian imagination in contemporary literature, science fiction, apocalyptic narratives, and Western Marxism. She is author of Utopia and the Contemporary British Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2019), which examines temporal experience and utopian anticipation in contemporary texts by British writers including Hari Kunzru, Maggie Gee, David Mitchell, Ali Smith, Jim Crace, Joanna Kavenna, Grace McCleen, Jon McGregor and Claire Fuller. Her work on contemporary writers has also led to two co-edited books: China Miéville: Critical Essays, co-edited with Tony Venezia (Gylphi, 2015) and Maggie Gee: Critical Essays, co-edited with Sarah Dillon (Gylphi, 2015). Caroline is currently working on her second monograph, Arcadian Revenge: Utopia, Apocalypse and Science Fiction in the Era of Ecocatastrophe, which considers how fictions of extreme environments (such as Mars, Antarctica, the deep sea, and the centre of the Earth) have allowed writers to imagine creative responses to real and perceived disasters about climate change, from the late 19th century to the present day.

Caroline has written a number of journal articles for publications such as TelosModern Fiction StudiesTextual PracticeContemporary LiteratureASAP/Journal, the New Statesman and the Times Higher Education Supplement. Her book chapter contributions on science and utopian fiction and contemporary literature include chapters for The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction, 1980-2018 (ed. Peter Boxall), The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, 2nd edition (ed. Niall Harrison, Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James), Science Fiction: A Literary History (ed. Roger Luckhurst, for the British Library Press), The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction (ed. Daniel O’Gorman and Robert Eaglestone), British Literature in Transition, 1980–2000: Accelerated Times (ed. Eileen Pollard and Berthold Schoene, Cambridge University Press, 2019) and the Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literature (ed. Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Fátima Vieira and Peter Marks).

In addition to her public engagement work, Caroline has also been invited to lecture at a number of academic and public institutions, including Harvard University, the European Commission in Brussels, the LSE, King’s College London, the National Library of Sweden, the University of Durham, the Academy of the Fine Arts in Vienna, UCL, the University of Cardiff, the Royal Irish Academy, SOAS, the University of Warwick, the Literary London Society, the British Library, Queen Mary, University of London, and the Institute of English Studies. She has given media interviews for the BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Times Higher Education, the Austrian national broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) and the Guardian. She is regularly involved in public speaking and has been invited to share her research in events at the Wellcome Trust, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3, Hillingdon Literary Festival, the Museum of London, BBC One South East, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and the LSE Literary Festival.

Caroline is known for her advocacy in open access publishing. She is Founding and Commissioning Editor of the open access journal of 21st-century literary criticism, Alluvium, and is Founder (with Prof. Martin Eve) and Editorial Director of the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) – a leading open access publishing platform for humanities journals, which is also working with numerous international partners including: Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Open Book Publishers, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Public Knowledge Project, the Wellcome Trust, the British Library, the Creative Commons, RCUK, Jisc Collections, and the Modern Languages Association. As part of her campaigning for open access and work in publishing, Caroline regularly gives invited keynote talks and lectures at open access conferences and publishing events.

Caroline supervises several PhD research students working on contemporary literature and science fiction, as well as digital humanities, projects. She welcomes PhD applications on the following topics: 21st-century literature, utopian and dystopian narratives, science fiction (particularly feminist SF, ecocatastrophe narratives, the New Weird, and contemporary slipstream), apocalyptic literature and culture, literary and critical theory, Western Marxism and the philosophy of the Frankfurt School.

Caroline was on grant-funded leave from teaching for 2015-2018. Between 2013 and 2015, she was Director of the MA Contemporary Literature and Culture and taught on the BA English, MA Contemporary Literature and Culture, MA Modern and Contemporary Literature and MA Cultural and Critical Studies. Caroline joined the department in September 2013, having previously worked as Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln (2011-2013), Tutor in English Literature at the University of Surrey (2010-2011) and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Nottingham (2008). She was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2016 and was a founding Secretary of the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS).

Contact details:
Email: caroline.edwards@bbk.ac.uk
Twitter: @the_blochian

Website: http://www.drcarolineedwards.com/


BA (Hons) English Literature (University of Warwick), MA English (University of Warwick, UK), PhD Critical Theory (University of Nottingham, UK)

Other Publications

Utopia and the Contemporary British Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

“All Aboard for Ararat!: Islands in Contemporary Apocalyptic Flood Fiction,” ASAP/Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1 (forthcoming Spring 2019)

“Experiment and the Genre Novel,” The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction, 1980-2018, ed. Peter Boxall (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019)

“Utopia and Science Fiction,” Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literature, ed. Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Fátima Vieira and Peter Marks (Palgrave, forthcoming 2019)

“Hope,” Critical Transitions: Genealogies of Intellectual Change, ed. Patricia Waugh and Marc Botha (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2019)

“ ‘Who Goes There?’: Contemporary SF, 1984-2016,” The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, 2nd edition, ed. Farah Mendlesohn, Edward James and Niall Harrison (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019)

“Like Any Other Commodity? Literary Prize Culture, Commercialisation and the Rise of a New Reading Public,” British Literature in Transition, 1980–2000: Accelerated Times, ed. Eileen Pollard and Berthold Schoene (Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 325-340

“The Networked Novel,” The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction, ed. Daniel O’Gorman and Robert Eaglestone (Routledge, 2018), pp. 13-24

“Utopian Prospects, 1900-1949,” Science Fiction: A Literary History, ed. Roger Luckhurst (British Library Press, 2017), pp. 72-101

“From Eros to Eschaton: Herbert Marcuse’s Liberation of Time,” Telos (“Marcuse After Secularism” special issue) Issue 165 (Winter 2013), pp. 91-114 [available here]

“Rethinking the Arcadian Revenge: Metachronous Times in the Fiction of Sam Taylor,” Modern Fiction Studies, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Special Issue on “New British Fiction”) (2012), pp. 477-502 [available here]

Guest Editorial, “Collective Subjects and Political Transformation,” special issue of Subjectivity 4 (1) (2011), pp. 1-8 [available here]

“Interview with Jon McGregor,” Contemporary Literature Vol. 51, No. 2 (2010), pp. 217-245 [available here]

“Microtopias: The Post-apocalyptic Communities of Jim Crace’s The Pesthouse,” Textual Practice Vol. 23, No. 5 (2009), pp. 763-786 [available here]

“Unearthing the ‘gold-bearing rubble’: Ernst Bloch’s Literary Criticism,” Utopianism, Modernism and Literature in the Twentieth Century, ed. Alice Reeve-Tucker and Nathan Waddell (Palgrave, 2013), pp. 182-203

“Strange Transactions: Utopia, Transmigration and Time in Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas,” David Mitchell: Critical Essays, ed. Sarah Dillon (Canterbury: Gylphi, 2010), pp. 179-203

Co-editor (with Antonio Venezia), China Miéville: Critical Essays (Canterbury: Gylphi, 2015)

Co-editor (with Sarah Dillon), Maggie Gee: Critical Essays (Canterbury: Gylphi, 2015)

Co-editor (with Graeme Macdonald) of “Powering the Future: Energy Resources in SF/F,” special issue of the Open Library of Humanities journal (forthcoming)

Blog Posts

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