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Alexandra Kingston-Reese joined the department in 2016 as a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature. Before that, Alexandra taught at the University of Sydney, where she also completed her PhD. Her research focuses on the contemporary novel, the contemporary essay, affect, aesthetics, form, and visual culture. She teaches on modules on American literature, global literature, modernity, affect, and the contemporary novel at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is also the department's Deputy Chair of Admissions and the Programme Leader of the English and History of Art combined degree.
Alexandra’s research focuses on form, affect, and aesthetics in the contemporary novel and the post45 essay. She has articles and reviews published or forthcoming with MFS, Mosaic, and the Times Literary Supplement. She is the Reviews Editor at ASAP/Journal and the journal's open access platform, ASAP/J. She was the co-organiser of Creative Dissonance, a CModS research strand which ran from 2017-19, and the co-investigator on a new project on Affects in History, with Mary Fairclough.
Her first book Contemporary Novelists and the Aesthetics of Twenty-First Century American Life interrogated the 21st-century novel's negative aesthetic experiences and what it looks like as it embraces visual culture and intemediality. Reading the work of a range of contemporary novelists, including Zadie Smith, Ben Lerner, Siri Hustvedt, Rachel Kushner, Jennifer Egan, Chris Kraus, and Teju Cole, the book considered how writers are increasingly seeking to raise ethical questions of representation and subjectivity.
She is currently working on an edited collection of essays by contemporary novelists on art, and a second monograph tentatively titled An Aesthetics of Education on taste, value, and rhetoric in the contemporary novel. She is also working on a book on the long novel and the difficult emotions involved in reading them.
Alexandra would welcome hearing from prospective doctoral students on contemporary literature, post-45 American literature, affect studies, formalist approaches to literature, and visual culture.