My research broadly clusters around the purpose, utility and significance of criticism as a cultural, political and emancipatory force. As such I am interested in literature and literary debates concerned with these themes, as well as the interrelation between literature, philosophy and politics in a range of Anglophone, German and French thinkers. These range from Kant and Hegel through to Alain Badiou and Catherine Malabou, but with special emphasis on Marx and the Marxist tradition. I have a particular interest in theoretical alternatives to post-structuralism, and in Anglophone Marxisms.
This is also the origin of my interest in the literature and literary debates of the British, American and European Left in the late 1920s and 1930s. I am interested in the debates usually grouped under the heading of 'aesthetics and politics': the political stakes of modernism, the relation of literature to the labour movement, so-called 'proletarian' literature, the role of intellectuals, documentary poetics, as well as the institutional politics of literary criticism. I am interested in the alternative literary histories we can describe by accounting for the political entanglements of our academic institutions.
Beyond these themes I am interested in British and American lyric post-1945, and the political difficulties of postmodernism.
My thesis centres on how we understand the nature of infinity, and how that understanding determines and limits the outcome of literary and cultural criticism. I principally explore this through the work of twentieth-century theorists, in particular T.W. Adorno, Jacques Derrida, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Alain Badiou.