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Janine Bradbury



Janine is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Writing and Culture. She’s an award-winning poet and critic working across several research areas including African American and Black British writing, popular culture, and creative writing.  

Janine was a teaching associate at The University of Sheffield (where she completed her PhD), before moving to York St John University in 2013 where she held several senior leadership positions during her 8 years there. She has written for the Guardian, and the Young Vic Theatre, and has been a repeat guest on BBC Radio 4.  Janine joined the department in 2021. 



Janine’s wide-ranging academic criticism on topics such as professional wrestling, racial passing and the tragic mulatta, Grace Jones, African American comedy, and the work of Toni Morrison has been published by Palgrave Macmillan, Bloomsbury, Routledge, and others. She is particularly interested in teaching black literature and is the co-editor of the forthcoming Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Black British Writing: Vol 3 (2024) with Dr Suzanne Scafe. 

She has publications forthcoming in Post-45 Contemporaries and in an edited collection on teaching American Literature in the UK. Alongside Dr. Olivia Carpenter, she leads a Centre for Modern Studies research strand called ‘Rethinking the Black Atlantic’.  

Janine’s poetry has been published in Magma, Oxford Poetry, Black Lines, and in the collection Blood & Cord: Writers on Early Parenthood (Emma Press 2023). She was a winner of a 2020 Poetry London Mentoring Prize, was shortlisted for the 2020 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, was nominated for a prestigious Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship in 2021, and in 2022, was a finalist for The Aurora Prize for Writing (Poetry).  

Her debut poetry pamphlet will be published in 2024 by IgnitionPress.

Bringing together Janine’s critical and creative interests is an interest in the performative and writerly processes involved in constructing, pluralising, queering, and destabilising notions of blackness, whiteness, national identity, and gender,  including passing, queering, creolisation, life-writing, feeling, and performance.   

Link to Janine’s personal website


Janine welcomes enquiries from PhD applicants who are working specifically on African American and/or Black British writing or contemporary writing and its relationship to race. She also welcomes proposals from creative writing students but only in instances where the candidate’s creative or critical interests intersect with her research specialism. 



Janine’s teaching has been recognised via numerous nominations for teaching awards and was highly commended in the YUSU Excellence Awards (2022/23) in the “Most Inspiring” category. 

At undergraduate level, Janine contributes to American Literature: From the First World War to the End of Empire, A World of Literature II: Empires and Aftermaths, and Age of Extremes.

Janine convenes the third-year advanced option modules Contemporary African American and Black British Writing and Writing in the Marketplace.


At postgraduate level, Janine contributes to the modules Debating Global Literature and Culture, Film/Literature Encounters, and Poetry and Poetics. She convenes the MA module “Black Is/Black Ain’t”: Race and Speculation in the American Imaginary. 

Janine has a long-standing national reputation for her learning and teaching practice and has delivered plenaries and invited talks across the country on her work in the classroom.

Janine has a particular commitment to learning and teaching practice and access and participation at Universities. She has a longstanding national reputation for her work supporting PhD students. Her work in this area contributed to The Runnymede Trust’s Aiming Higher Report (2015), which was presented to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Race and Education at the House of Commons. She is currently the Equality Chair for the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH), supporting the consortium’s work across the Universities of York, Sheffield, and Leeds. She also supports the work of the Yorkshire Consortium for Equality in Doctoral Education (YCEDE).  

External activities


Janine is a member of the British Association of American Studies (BAAS) and a founding member of The Black British Writers and Scholars Alliance (BBWaSA).

Contact details

Dr Janine Bradbury
Department of English and Related Literature
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323339