Staff Profile


Dr Gavan Lennon

Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching

School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities Faculty Office

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923751

Profile summary

I have been Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching since April 2019. I came to Christ Church in January 2016, and I have been Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Culture, Programme Director for the North American Exchange and British Studies Semester Programmes, and Subject Lead for American Studies. 

My teaching and research centre on issues of race, protest, and aesthetics in American Literature. As FDLT, I am committed to ensuring fairness and equality of access in Learning and Teaching strategy and practice. 

I recieved my B.A. in English and M.A. in American Literature at University College Dublin, before joining the American Studies Department at the University of Nottingham as a PhD candidate. I am a Senior Fellow of Advance:HE (formerly the HEA). 

Teaching and subject expertise

My teaching is defined by its interdisciplinarity, and I have taught or designed modules in Creative and Professional Writing, English Literature, and History as well as in American Studies. My teaching interests are in post-war American literature and intellectual culture, racial protest, and literary aesthetics. 

I have supervised Masters by Research theses on American literature, intellectual and cultural history, and contemporary cultural studies. 

External activities

I have presented at conferences in Ireland, the U.K, the U.S, and Canada on a diverse range of topics - from the late modernism of William Faulkner to the epistemology of 1970s Funk - always with a focus on race, region, and aesthetics in North America. I delivered the Keynote address at the second Faulkner Studies in the UK Symposium in May 2019. 

I am a 2019 Visiting Fellow at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. I was co-opted to the British Association for American Studies' Executive Committee in 2016-17 as co-organiser of the 2017 BAAS Conference at CCCU.

I am an active member of the British Association for American Studies, the Irish Association for American Studies, the Carson McCullers Society, and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature.

Publications and research outputs

My first monograph, Living Jim Crow: The Segregated Town in Mid-Century Southern Fiction, will be published by Edinburgh University Press in Summer 2020. It is the first book-length study of its kind to explore the significance of a ubiquitous - but largely invisible - setting in fiction of the US South. The monograph uncovers the aesthetic devices black and white authors deployed to interrogate and critique the ideology and practice of racial segregation.

My current and ongoing research focusses on the aesthetics of racial protest in North American since 2012. In this second book project, I am interested in how black writers develop and mobilise a range of traditional literary techniques to incite activism and contribute to contemporary social movements, including the Black Lives Matter movement.

My essay "Formal Violence: The Black Lives Matter Movement and Contemporary Elegy" is forthcoming in Violence from Slavery to #BlackLivesMatter: African American History and Representation (Routledge, 2020). I am also working on a chapter about the civil rights movement in speculative fiction and SF television, and a journal article on the form of the epic catalogue in contemporary poetry and fiction.  


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Last edited: 13/12/2018 21:16:00