Dr Ben Davies
I am an Associate Professor in Literature & Culture. My research focuses on modern and contemporary literature and theory, with particular emphases on time, the novel, narrative theory, reading and readers.
I am currently the PI on a research project with Christina Lupton (Copehagen) funded by the Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) that examines the relationship between the value of reading and time use in the twenty-first-century university. The main output of this project will be a book provisionally titled Reading At University.
From 2020-2022, I collaborated with Christina Lupton on the 'Lockdown Reading Project', an ethnographic study of reading in Denmark and the UK during the covid-19 pandemic. The project was awarded funding by the Carlsberg Foundation in Denmark, and led to the co-authored monograph Reading Novels During the Covid-19 Pandemic (Oxford University Press, 2022). This book was awarded the 2022 British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies Monograph Prize. A short tie-in piece for The Conversation was published in December 2022.
My first monograph, Sex, Time and Space in Contemporary Fiction, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016. I am also the editor of John Burnside: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (Bloomsbury, 2020) and co-editor of Sex, Gender and Time in Fiction and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), a collected volume that developed out of the AHRC-funded international conference ‘Sexualities In and Out of Time’ (Edinburgh, November 2008). I have published numerous articles on reading, time, and narrative theory.
I received my MA and PhD in English from the University of St Andrews and my MSt in English Language and Literature (1900-Present) from the University of Oxford.
I joined the University in 2012 and became a Senior Lecturer in 2018.
I currently serve as Secretary of University English.
My research focuses on:
- Modern and Contemporary Literature
- The Novel and Narrative Theory
- Reading and Readers
- Sociological and Ethnographic Approaches to Reading
- Time and Temporality
- Philosophy and Literary Theory
At undergraduate level, I coordinate the Level 6 module ‘Time, Temporality, Contemporary Fiction’, as well as the Level 4 module ‘Unpacking Texts: Introducing Critical Theory’. I also teach on the team-taught unit ‘Body Politics’ and supervise Level 6 dissertations.
At postgraduate level, I supervise PhD and MRes projects on modern and contemporary literature and literary theory. I would welcome proposals from prospective postgraduate students relating to my research interests.
I welcome media enquiries relating to all aspects of my research.
Phone: 023 9284 6171