Lola was appointed as a Lecturer in American Literature and Culture in 2021. Before this she was an Associate Lecturer in the Department where she also completed her Wolfson Foundation-funded PhD in 2020. Her doctoral project was also supported by a Fulbright scholarship to complete a research fellowship at Stanford University in 2018.
Lola’s research interests include 20th and 21st century American writing, literary institutions, the intersections between literature and linguistics, the short story form, the essay (both literary and filmic), African American film and literature, and contemporary film. Her current research focuses on the role of grammar in 20th century American literature through the work of Gertrude Stein, Fran Ross, Lydia Davis, and David Foster Wallace. In particular, her research looks at how institutional, cultural, philosophical, and formal ideas about grammar interact with questions of authority, democracy, race, gender, and American national identity.
Lola’s current research focuses on the literary, institutional, cultural, and political intersections between grammar and 20th and 21st American literature. She is currently writing her first monograph, Make Grammar Do: Grammar and Twentieth Century American Literature. The book will provide the first comprehensive, critical history of American grammar in the long twentieth century. Taking Gertrude Stein, Fran Ross, Lydia Davis, and David Foster Wallace as case studies, the book makes a crucial link between how these authors learned grammar and how they use it to directly address structures of power, authority, democracy, gender, race, and class.
Lola has published widely on contemporary American literature, film and TV with recent or forthcoming chapters on David Foster Wallace, Benjamin Markovits, linguistic satire in Donald Glover’s experimental TV series Atlanta, and in the Cambridge Companion to the American Short Story (2022), and essays in Post45. She has also co-edited a special issue of Alluvium (April 2020) on the idea of the ‘centre’ in contemporary literature. She is the co-organiser, with Dr Alexandra Kingston-Reese (York), Ella Barker (York), and Bryony Aitchison (York) of The Contemporary Essay
, a CModS research strand running from 2020-2022. The findings of this research strand are forthcoming in a collaborative cluster with ASAP/J’s ‘Thinking With’ Series in January 2022.
Lola is beginning work on two projects: the first, tentatively titled Stranger Eloquence: African American Culture and Essayistic Form, seeks to explore an ‘essayistic’ tendency in post-1945 century African American film and literature. Examining how a variety of writers, artists, and filmmakers employ the ‘essayistic’ to invigorate and complicate their primary genre, the project seeks to investigate how these authors use formal and generic elasticity to negotiate complex political and philosophical traditions. The second project explores literary representations of post office in 20th and 21st century transnational literature, focusing specifically on the post office as a site of tension between the national and the global, the individual and the state, and various conflicting economic models.
Lola would welcome proposals for doctoral research on twentieth and twenty-first century American literature and culture, literary institutions, African American literature and film, literary forms, the essay (literary and filmic), and literary linguistics.