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Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Global crime fiction
Contemporary US fiction
US crime fiction
Contemporary fiction and violence
Suspense, spy, thriller, espionage fiction


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


My research and teaching interests lie mainly in the areas of transnatrional crime fiction, spy/espionage fiction and contemporary fiction that examines security and policing issues. I have recently published a monograph, Unwilling Executioner: Crime Fiction and the State (Oxford, 2016), that examines the emergence from the 1720s onwards of a particular strain of politically-minded crime fiction as a transnational phenomenon. A book I co-edited with David Schmid (Buffalo), Globalization and the State in Contemporary Crime Fiction: A World of Crime (Palgrave, 2016) expands and extends this focus in the contemporary era. I am also the author of five crime novels set in London between the 1820s and 1840s including The Last Days of Newgate (2006), The Detective Branch (2010) and Bloody Winter (2011). I have recently


I am the author of Unwilling Executioner: Crime Fiction and the State (Oxford University Press, 2016) and co-edited of Globalization and the State in Contemporary Crime Fiction (Palgrave, 2016). I am the author of The Contemporary American Crime Novel (Edinbugh, 2000) and co-author of American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film (Edinburgh, 2005). I have written five historical crime novels set in London in the 1820, 1830s and 1840s including The Last Days of Newgate (2006), The Detective Branch (2010) and Bloody Winter (2011) all published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Research Statement

My current research explores the relationship between crime, capitalism, security and race and crime fiction as a transnational and transhistorical phenomenon.

I could supervise doctoral students interested in working in the following areas or fields: twentieth- and twenty-first century U.S literature, crime fiction written in English from any era and crime fiction in translation from anywhere in the world, American cultural studies.


I convene and teach on our first year module, Introduction to Contemporary Fiction, and our second year module, Introduction to American Writing. My third year option, Contemporary U.S. Crime Fiction: The Police, the State, the Globe, runs in the first semester and focuses on four themes: the 'war on drugs' and the US-Mexico Border; policing the city; public-private; and outsiders/social bandits. Exemplary texts include The Wire (season 3), James Sallis's Drive, Don Winslow's The Cartel, and Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone. At MA level I offer materials that consider the relationship between violence, affect and the workplace in contemporary genre fiction.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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