Dr Lucinda Newns, BA (NYU), MA (SOAS), PhD (London Met)
Lecturer in Postcolonial and World Literatures
I was born in London but brought up in the United States. I completed my BA at New York University and then returned to the UK for postgraduate study. After completing an MA at the School of Oriental and African Studies, I stayed on to undertake a fully-funded PhD at London Metropolitan University. After teaching for a time at London Met and Birmingham City Universities, I took up a post in Queen Mary’s Department of Comparative Literature. I then joined the Department of English in 2016. My research to date has primarily focused on representations of domesticity and the everyday in Black and Asian diasporic writing in Britain.
In the 2016-17 academic year I will be teaching on the following undergraduate modules:
- ESH271: James Baldwin and American Civil Rights
- ESH285: Postcolonial and Global Literatures
- ESH287: Black Writing in Britain from the 18th Century to the Present
And the following MA English Studies module:
- Postcolonial and world literatures
- Migration and diaspora, especially refugees
- Feminist theory, especially as it relates to race and religion
- Domesticity and the everyday
- Theories of space and place
- Literary genre and its relationship to political content
- Muslim women’s writing
Recent and On-Going Research
My primary research interest is migration, with a comparative geographic perspective. I am currently working on a monograph entitled At Home in the Metropole: Domestic Intersections in Contemporary Migration Fiction (contracted with Routledge), which reorients attention to the domestic sphere, typically seen as a static, apolitical and uncreative space, as an important site for producing and contesting belonging in Britain’s multicultural landscape. In particular, it centres on literary engagements with non-privileged forms of movement (originating from Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean), such as that of women, refugees and queer subjects, for whom placement is a pressing material concern. In bringing together intersectional approaches to domesticity and the everyday with concepts of diaspora and migrancy, this book seeks to further complicate the dominance of celebratory readings of displacement within postcolonial studies more broadly.
This work ties in with another book that I am co-editing entitled New Directions in Diaspora Studies: Cultural and Literary Approaches (contracted with Rowman and Littlefield). This collection reassesses the notion of diaspora in light of contemporary concerns such as the current refugee crisis and the increased policing of borders and in relation to current approaches/preoccupations such as ecocriticism, performance, science/speculative fiction and the postcolonial city. I have also published articles on refugees and asylum (for Journal of Commonwealth Literature), as well as on the role of generic innovation for intervening in the political discourse surrounding race, culture and religion (for Journal of Postcolonial Writing), both of which remain ongoing concerns in my work. I am in the early stages of planning a new project that considers how belonging is produced and contested in relation to exterior space, namely land and the natural environment, moving the focus on migration away from the metropolitan centre and into more marginal spaces in both the postcolony and the global North.
I also serve on the Executive Committee of the Postcolonial Studies Association as co-editor of its bi-annual newsletter.
Monographs and Edited Collections
- At Home in the Metropole: Domestic Intersections in Contemporary Migration Fiction. (Routledge, forthcoming 2019).
- New Directions in Diaspora Studies: Cultural and Literary Approaches. Co-edited with Sarah Ilott and Ana Cristina Mendes. (Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming 2018).
Articles and Book Chapters
- "Renegotiating Romantic Genres: Textual Resistance and Muslim Chick Lit", The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. (28 Jan 2017).
- “Refugees” in The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies, Sangeeta Ray and Henry Schwarz, eds. Wiley-Blackwell (2016).
- “Homelessness and the Refugee: De-Valorizing Displacement in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s By the Sea.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 51.5 (Oct 2015).
- “Speaking for Others: Tensions in Post-colonial Studies.” Times Higher Education (17 July 2014).
- Review of Sex and the Citizen: Interrogating the Caribbean by Faith Smith, ed. Feminist Review 104 (2013).
- “Domesticity and the Nation: Buchi Emecheta’s Migrant Fiction” in Womancing Women: Perspectives on Women's Writing Across Boundaries, Asha Choubey, ed. Book Enclave (2013). pp. 119-140.
I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.