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Gavin Cologne-Brookes

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Personal statement

Awarded the honorary title of Professor of American Literature in 2007, between 2013 and 2015 I was Director of the Contemporary Writing Research Centre, co-ordinating research seminars designed to bring staff involved in research in contemporary writing together across disciplines. I am currently Programme Leader for the MA in Creative Writing.

My recent research activity includes Rereading William Styron (LSU Press 2014), a travel memoir, 'Rome to Ravello with Set This House on Fire,' for the Sewanee Review, conference papers on Styron, Dostoevsky, The Sopranos and Bruce Springsteen, and lectures in Istanbul, Alicante, Tarragona, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Montevideo. My current LSU Press project is American Lonesome: Bruce Springsteen's Passionate Pragmatism. In 2016 I consolidated Erasmus links in Madrid and Lisbon, delivered a paper at the European for American Studies Conference in Constanta, Romania, and between May and June travelled to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and the United States on a Santander Pioneer Award. In 2017 I am visiting Kenya with teachers from the Royal High School, Bath, to teach at The Crane Academy in Kitale, and will give talks at Moi University, Eldoret, and Kenyatta University, Nairobi.

Also a painter, works of mine are in collections in Rochester, NY, the National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, and the Corsham Court campus of BSU. From 19 March to 18 April 2011 Corsham Court held an exhibition, 'Paintings 1995-2011.' This included a portrait which features on the cover of Rereading William Styron. My portrait of Joyce Carol Oates will appear in Cahier de L'Herne: Joyce Carol Oates (Paris, 2017).

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in American Studies, University of Nottingham, 1989.
  • MA in English and Creative Writing, State University of New York, College at Brockport, 1985.
  • BA Joint Hons First Class in English and History, Loughborough University, 1984.

Professional qualifications

  • PhD in American Studies, University of Nottingham, 1989.
  • MA in English and Creative Writing, State University of New York, Brockport, 1985.
  • BA Joint Hons First Class in English and History, Loughborough University, 1984.

Professional memberships

  • Member of The British Association for American Studies, the Modern Languages Association and Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honor Society of America.
  • The Association of American University Presses included Dark Eyes on America: The Novels of Joyce Carol Oates in the list of books selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries 2006.
  • Presentations at Association Conferences since 2003 have included the American Popular Culture Association (2004), the American Literature Association (2006 and 2008), and the British Association for American Studies (2013).

Bath Spa Employment

1992-2007 Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Studies.

2007- Professor of American Literature.

2016- Reader in English and Creative Studies.

Other external roles

Editorships

  • Editorial Board of Overhere: Reviews in American Studies, 1987-89.
  • Guest Editor for Studies in the Novel Special Issue on Joyce Carol Oates, 2006.
  • Editorial Board for online Journal dedicated to the writing of Joyce Carol Oates.

Consultations/Invitations

  • Annual speaker at the Steinbeck Festival, National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, 2011-13.
  • Consulted by Rosemary Bird of Blackwell Publishing with regard to book proposals on American Writing, 2006-7.
  • Consulted by Gary Stevens of the World Book Club for the BBC World Service about questions to put to Joyce Carol Oates for an interview with her, Friday 20 May 2005 www.bbc.co.uk.
  • Invited to write the Introduction and commentary for the Homepage Gallery of American painter, Richard Ewen, and his Irish and Spanish Collection 1950-54.
  • Interviewed by Carmel Howard for Australia's Radio National "Encounters" series documentary on Joyce Carol Oates, aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in February 2005. 

Teaching specialism

  • C19th, C20th, and C21st American writing.
  • American pragmatism.
  • The C19th and C20th-C21st European Novel.
  • Writing and Place.
  • Modernism and Postmodernism.
  • Prose Fiction.
  • Memoir.

Current scholarship

American Lonesome: Bruce Springsteen's Passionate Prsgmatism.

Critical responses to The Novels of William Styron:

  • "This is quite simply the best sustained treatment of Styron's fiction I have read" - Melvin J. Friedman, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • "This book creates a new Styron, a raider on the (in)articulate, a complex 'double' of Stevens and James and those American writers who dare to render the failure of language (or the language of failure)" - Irving Malin, City College of New York
  • William Styron himself wrote: "I'm most impressed with your wisdom and perspicacity, also the excellence of your writing. You know more about me than I'll ever know. What affects me so favorably is your absence of jargon and pseudo-theorizing. I don't mean that you don't have a tenable theory--I think the idea of harmony and history fascinating--but you wear scholarly theory lightly and with grace, and I'm proud to have been the subject of your scrutiny."


Critical responses to Dark Eyes on America:

  • "An important contribution to our critical understanding and appreciation of a major American novelist of our time. Gavin Cologne-Brookes is thorough, detailed and persuasive in his close study of Ms. Oates's novels, giving full credit to the work that has been done before him, while adding depth and dimension in his established connections of American philosophical traditions and the on-going, ever-changing literary scene. This is a fine piece of work and a valuable addition to the canon of American critical discourse" - Reader's Report
  • "A skillful and passionate discovery of the prodigious Joyce Carol Oates's evolution, over four decades, into our most important living writer. Within the inevitable proliferation of Oates scholarship, this study will always serve as compass and divining rod" - William Heyen, SUNY Brockport
  • "A thoughtful and essential book on Oates, on fiction, and on contemporary America" - James L. W. West III, Pennsylvania State University
  • "A major work not only in the scholarship on Oates but also in the application of pragmatist theory to literary analysis. Moreover, its wit and readability make it suitable for students who want to see a model of pragmatist criticism." -- Darryl Hattenhauer, Arizona State
  • Joyce Carol Oates herself wrote: "Beautifully designed and beautifully written. . . . Of the criticism of my work I've seen, this is very likely the most impressive: intelligently and engagingly written, leaping forward and back in time with dazzling skill, linking themes, recurring images etc., and drawing upon the worksheets and notes in the Syracuse collection with the sharp eye of a forensics investigator! I hope this brilliant book is adequately appreciated."


Critical responses to Rereading William Styron:

  • "As a memoir, travelogue and meditation on creative and critical processes, it is full of insight. . . a fascinating exploration of the bond between the writer an the critic, and the difficulties and delights of getting 'caught up in the tangle of reality and fiction'." -- Rona Cran, Times Literary Supplement
  • "With Rereading William Styron, Cologne-Brookes has achieved what would seem almost impossible. He couples solid, incisive literary criticism with insightful personal recollections of his encounters with the author. A must-read for fans and scholars of William Styron." -- Michael Mewshaw, author of Do I Owe You Something? A Memoir of the Literary Life
  • "Cologne-Brookes's beautifully written, perceptive and compassionate rereading of Styron's work rests upon his penetrating analysis of the novels and essays, their interconnections, and his own conversations with Styron. . . This is essential reading for all Styron's admirers and critics, culminating in Cologne-brookes's own journey back in time to Auschwitz and Tidewater Virginia." -- Samuel Coale, author of Quirks of the Quantum: Postmodernism and Contemporary American Fiction
  • "Rereading William Styron is both a personal memoir and an astute reevaluation of Styron--the man and artist--offering a fresh perspective on Styron's fiction and nonfiction, informed by Cologne-Brookes's friendship with Styron and his own journeys to places that dominate Styron's work. . . Cologne-Brookes argues persuasively for Styron's unique position as an American man of letters, influenced by European writers like Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Orwell, and Camus as much as by his fellow southerner--William Faulkner." -- Rhoda Sirlin, Queens College, City University of New York.

External examiners

  • University of Central Lancashire Periodic Review of English Literature, American Literature, Creative Writing, English Language, TESOL, and Combined Awards, Preston.
  • PhD External Examiner, University of Aix-en-Provence, France.
  • PhD Examiner, Kanpur Institute of Technology, India.

Recent professional updating

  • Workshop on the use of journals as a form of assessment, Oxford Brookes University, 13 January, 2004.
  • Workshop on website design, BSU, spring 2007.
  • Workshop on Entrepreneurship, BSU, spring 2008.
  • Workshop on HEA Fellowship, spring 2017.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Rereading William Styron
book

Cologne-Brookes, G (2014) Rereading William Styron. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0807152870


If I'm ever back this way
book

Cologne-Brookes, G (2008) If I'm ever back this way. X/A Books. ISBN 978-0955821103


Dark eyes on America: the novels of Joyce Carol Oates
book

Cologne-Brookes, G (2005) Dark eyes on America: the novels of Joyce Carol Oates. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0-8071-2985-2


Writing and America
book

Cologne-Brookes, G, Sammells, N and Timms, D (1996) Writing and America. Crosscurrents . Addison-Wesley-Longman, London. ISBN 0582214173


The novels of William Styron : from harmony to history
book

Cologne-Brookes, G (1995) The novels of William Styron : from harmony to history. Southern literary studies . Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. ISBN 9780807119006


Joyce Carol Oates ou quelque chose d’approchant [Joyce Carol Oates: something like this]
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2017) 'Joyce Carol Oates ou quelque chose d’approchant [Joyce Carol Oates: something like this].' In: Tromble, T and Marquette, C, eds. Joyce Carol Oates. Éditions de L'Herne, Paris, pp. 88-97. ISBN 9782851971890


The strange case of Joyce Carol Oates
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2014) 'The strange case of Joyce Carol Oates.' In: Crow, C, ed. A companion to American gothic. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 303-314. ISBN 9780470671870


East of Eden County: John Steinbeck, Joyce Carol Oates and the afterlife of Cathy Trask
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2013) 'East of Eden County: John Steinbeck, Joyce Carol Oates and the afterlife of Cathy Trask.' In: Meyer, M. J and Veggian, H, eds. East of Eden. Rodopi, pp. 181-200. ISBN 9789042037120


A stroll through Hell in search of love: discovering Polish responses to a century of suffering
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2013) 'A stroll through Hell in search of love: discovering Polish responses to a century of suffering.' In: Peters, G and Peters, F, eds. Thoughts of love. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 207-220. ISBN 97814438-48718


William Styron
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2011) 'William Styron.' In: O'Donnell, P, Madden, D and Nieland, J, eds. The encyclopedia of twentieth-century fiction : volume 2 twentieth-century American fiction. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 858-861. ISBN 9781405192446


Joyce Carol Oates
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2011) 'Joyce Carol Oates.' In: O'Donnell, P, Madden, D and Nieland, J, eds. The encyclopedia of twentieth-century fiction : volume 2 twentieth-century American fiction. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 750-753. ISBN 9781405192446


Joyce Carol Oates
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2010) 'Joyce Carol Oates.' In: Seed, D, ed. A companion to twentieth-century United States fiction. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 445-453. ISBN 9781405146913


The ghost of Tom Joad: Steinbeck's legacy in the songs of Bruce Springsteen
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2007) 'The ghost of Tom Joad: Steinbeck's legacy in the songs of Bruce Springsteen.' In: Bloom, H, ed. John Steinbeck's 'The grapes of wrath'. Chelsea House Publishers, New York, pp. 157-170. ISBN 9780791093054


Sophie's choice: dialogic worlds
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2002) 'Sophie's choice: dialogic worlds.' In: Bloom, H, ed. William Styron's 'Sophie's choice'. Chelsea House Publishers, Philadelphia, pp. 21-55. ISBN 0791063402


The ghost of Tom Joad: John Steinbeck's legacy in the songs of Bruce Springsteen
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (2002) 'The ghost of Tom Joad: John Steinbeck's legacy in the songs of Bruce Springsteen.' In: Shillinglaw, S and Hearle, K, eds. Beyond boundaries: re-reading John Steinbeck. Alabama University Press, pp. 34-46. ISBN 0817311513


Writing and America: an introduction
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (1996) 'Writing and America: an introduction.' In: Cologne-Brookes, G, Sammells, N and Timms, D, eds. Writing and America. Crosscurrents . Addison-Wesley-Longman, London, pp. 1-27. ISBN 0582214173


Disclosing the closure: the recent novels of Joyce Carol Oates
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (1995) 'Disclosing the closure: the recent novels of Joyce Carol Oates.' In: Versluys, K, ed. The insular dream : obsession and resistance. VU University Press, Amsterdam, pp. 335-341. ISBN 9053834184


Extracts from conversations with William Styron
book_section

Cologne-Brookes, G (1995) 'Extracts from conversations with William Styron.' In: Cologne-Brookes, G, ed. The novels of William Styron : from harmony to history. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, pp. 213-247. ISBN 9780807119006


Dead man walking: Nat Turner, William Styron, Bruce Springsteen, and the death penalty
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (2017) 'Dead man walking: Nat Turner, William Styron, Bruce Springsteen, and the death penalty.' Mississippi Quarterly, 69. ISSN 0026-637X (Forthcoming)


This quiet dust swirls back to life
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (2016) 'This quiet dust swirls back to life.' Mississippi Quarterly, 67 (2). pp. 319-325. ISSN 0026-637X


Rome to Ravello with 'Set this house on fire'
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (2014) 'Rome to Ravello with 'Set this house on fire'.' The Sewanee Review, 122 (3). pp. 484-494. ISSN 0037-3052


"Looking Back: A Conversation with William Styron" and "Sophie's Voice, Tolstoy, Film, Music: Interpreting a Leaf from the Manuscript of Sophie's Choice"
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (2009) '"Looking Back: A Conversation with William Styron" and "Sophie's Voice, Tolstoy, Film, Music: Interpreting a Leaf from the Manuscript of Sophie's Choice".' The Mississippi Quarterly, 62 (3-4). ISSN 0026-637X


Confounding the critic: Joyce Carol Oates and recent criticism
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (1995) 'Confounding the critic: Joyce Carol Oates and recent criticism.' Over Here: Reviews in American. pp. 134-144.


Keeping the world afloat: J. Barnes's a history of the world in 10 1/2 chapters
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (1989) 'Keeping the world afloat: J. Barnes's a history of the world in 10 1/2 chapters.' Books. p. 17. ISSN 0952-987X


Paying attention to the world around you: J. Irving's a prayer for Owen Mean
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (1989) 'Paying attention to the world around you: J. Irving's a prayer for Owen Mean.' Books. p. 15. ISSN 0952-987X


Solace among hell's angels: K. McCloy's velocity
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (1989) 'Solace among hell's angels: K. McCloy's velocity.' Books. pp. 20-21. ISSN 0952-987X


Discord toward harmony: set this house on fire and Peter's part in the matter
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (1987) 'Discord toward harmony: set this house on fire and Peter's part in the matter.' Papers on Language & Literature, 23. pp. 449-464. ISSN 00311294


The last act: In the heart's last kingdom by Bedient, Calvin
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (1986) 'The last act: In the heart's last kingdom by Bedient, Calvin.' The Times Literary Supplement, 4353. p. 960. ISSN 0307-661X


Getting the message: J. Hayes's James Michener
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (1986) 'Getting the message: J. Hayes's James Michener.' Books and Bookmen (363). p. 15. ISSN 0006-744X


Honest matters: Mark Twain: Plymouth Rock and the pilgrims and other salutary platform opinions
article

Cologne-Brookes, G (1985) 'Honest matters: Mark Twain: Plymouth Rock and the pilgrims and other salutary platform opinions.' Books and Bookmen (361). p. 25. ISSN 0006-744X


Dead man walking: Nat Turner, William Styron, Bruce Springsteen and the death penalty
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2016) Dead man walking: Nat Turner, William Styron, Bruce Springsteen and the death penalty. In: Captivating Criminality 3: Crime Fiction, Felony, Fear and Forensics, 23 -25 June 2016, Bath Spa University, Corsham, UK.


Creative criticism = Crítica criativa
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2016) Creative criticism = Crítica criativa. In: ICA Talks, 15 February 2016, Instituto de Cultura Americana, Lisbon, Portugal.


(Re)imagining the city through literature: Jose Saramago's Lisbon and Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2015) (Re)imagining the city through literature: Jose Saramago's Lisbon and Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul. In: Writing and the City, March 2015, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain.


Rereading the confessions of Nat Turner
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2013) Rereading the confessions of Nat Turner. In: British Association for American Studies 58th Annual Conference, 18 - 21 April 2013, University of Exeter.


Home is where the heart is: Steinbeck and Salinas
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2013) Home is where the heart is: Steinbeck and Salinas. In: Steinbeck Festival, 3 - 5 May 2013, National Steinbeck Center, Salinas California.


The ghost of Tom Joad: Steinbeck, Guthrie and Springstee
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2012) The ghost of Tom Joad: Steinbeck, Guthrie and Springstee. In: Steinbeck Festival, 3 - 6 May 2012, National Steinbeck Center, Salinas California.


Some American writers (since 1950)
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2012) Some American writers (since 1950). In: Some American Writers (since 1950), September 18 2012, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution.


The road from the pearl: John Steinbeck’s influence on Cormac McCarthy
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2008) The road from the pearl: John Steinbeck’s influence on Cormac McCarthy. In: American Literature Association 19th Annual Conference, 22 - 25 May 2008, San Francisco.


Lie there my art: memoir and performance in travels with Charley
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2006) Lie there my art: memoir and performance in travels with Charley. In: American Literature Association 17th Annual Conference, 25 - 28 May 2006, San Francisco.


Will to deceive: 'Blood Meridian' and American pragmatism
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2004) Will to deceive: 'Blood Meridian' and American pragmatism. In: 25th Annual Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Associations Conference, 7 - 10 April 2004, San Antonio, Texas.


East of Eden County: John Steinbeck, Joyce Carol Oates and the afterlife of Cathy Trask
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2002) East of Eden County: John Steinbeck, Joyce Carol Oates and the afterlife of Cathy Trask. In: John Steinbeck's Americas: A Centennial Conference, 21 - 23 March 2002, Hofstra Cultural Center, Hofstra University, New York.


The ghost of Tom Joad: Steinbeck's legacy through Ford to Springsteen
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2002) The ghost of Tom Joad: Steinbeck's legacy through Ford to Springsteen. In: Beyond Boundaries: Steinbeck and the World, The Fourth International Steinbeck Congress, 19 - 22 March 1997, San Jose, California.


Blondes in black tunnels: Joyce Carol Oates's novels, blonde and black water
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (2001) Blondes in black tunnels: Joyce Carol Oates's novels, blonde and black water. In: Prairie Schooner 75th Anniversary Celebration and Conference, 11 - 13 October 2001, University of Nebraska Lincoln.


Disclosing the closure: endings in the recent novels of Joyce Carol Oates
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (1996) Disclosing the closure: endings in the recent novels of Joyce Carol Oates. In: The insular dream: obsession and resistance, European Association of American Studies Biennial Conference, 25 - 28 March 1994, Luxembourg.


The Holocaust in non-Jewish literature
conference_item

Cologne-Brookes, G (1991) The Holocaust in non-Jewish literature. In: Harlaxton Goldroom Public Lecture, February 1991, Harlaxton College.


Gavin Cologne-Brookes: paintings 1995-2011
exhibition

Cologne-Brookes, G (2011) Gavin Cologne-Brookes: paintings 1995-2011. In: Gavin Cologne-Brookes: paintings 1995-2011, Corsham Court, 19 March-18 April 2011.


Joyce Carol Oates, Chicago, 2010 - in the book 'Joyce Carol Oates', part of the Cahiers de L'Herne series.
image

Cologne-Brookes, G (2017) Joyce Carol Oates, Chicago, 2010 - in the book 'Joyce Carol Oates', part of the Cahiers de L'Herne series.


William Hughes, Lacock, Wiltshire, 2014 - back cover image for the book 'That devil's trick: hypnotism and the Victorian popular imagination'
image

Cologne-Brookes, G (2015) William Hughes, Lacock, Wiltshire, 2014 - back cover image for the book 'That devil's trick: hypnotism and the Victorian popular imagination'.


William Styron, Roxbury, Connecticut, 1988 - cover image for the book 'Rereading William Styron'
image

Cologne-Brookes, G (2014) William Styron, Roxbury, Connecticut, 1988 - cover image for the book 'Rereading William Styron'.


Studies in the Novel: Special Issue on Joyce Carol Oates
other

Cologne-Brookes, G (2006) Studies in the Novel: Special Issue on Joyce Carol Oates.


Introduction: Humility, Audacity, and the Novels of Joyce Carol Oates AND Written Interviews and a Conversation with Joyce Carol Oates
other

Cologne-Brookes, G (2006) Introduction: Humility, Audacity, and the Novels of Joyce Carol Oates AND Written Interviews and a Conversation with Joyce Carol Oates.


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