Professor Corinne Fowler

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Professor of Postcolonial Literature

fowler, corinne

Department: English

Telephone: +44 (0)116 223 1435

Email: Literary agent:

Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road,Leicester, LE1 7RH

Web links: Colonial Countryside; Grassroutes micrositeTimes Higher Education review of Postcolonial Manchester and National Museums Scotland review of Green Unpleasant Land at

Personal details


My subject is rural Britain's colonial connections. This includes rural sites such as coastlines, moorlands, graveyards and villages but I am particularly interested in country houses, which often have myriad and foundational links to empire. My project, 'Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted' (Heritage Lottery and Arts Council) is a child-led history and writing project which seeks to make historic houses' connections to the East India Company and transatlantic slavery widely known. In recent years my focus has been on how, and why, heritage sites' colonial stories are told or avoided. It investigates the many barriers to incorporating significant colonial connections into on-site and digital interpretation and has become increasingly applied in the sector. Between 2019-2020 I was seconded to the National Trust to conduct research tests on all aspects of curation, interpretation and training to lay the groundwork for telling these stories.

I am a founding member of the Centre for New Writing, which seeks to diversify literary voices beyond the metropolitan mainstream. As director in its first few years, I commissioned over 150 pieces of creative writing. I also specialise in contemporary writing by black and Asian Britons (concentrating on regional writing, literary economy and rurality) with an additional specialism in travel writing. I am author of Chasing Tales: Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of British Ideas about Afghanistan (Rodopi, 2008), co-author of Postcolonial Manchester: Diaspora Space and the Devolution of Literary Culture (MUP, 2013), and co-editor of Travel and Ethics (Routledge, 2013). My forthcoming book is a critical-creative study called Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural Britain's Colonial Histories (Peepal Tree Press, 2020).

As part of my research (see below) I regularly interview writers (including Amiri Baraka, Jean 'Binta' Breeze, Tracie Morris, Bali Rai, Michael Horovitz, Ben Okri and Jon McGregor) at literary festivals. Recordings can be found by visiting the Centre for New Writing.

I am research impact coordinator for the School of Arts


  • BA MA, University of Leeds
  • PhD, University of Stirling



  • Postcolonial Manchester: Devolved Literary Cultures (Manchester University Press, 2013), with Lynne Pearce
  • Chasing Tales. Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of British Ideas about Afghanistan (Rodopi, 2007)
  • Migration Stories ed. by Corinne Fowler, Muli Amaye and Martin de Mello (Crocus Books, 2009)

Edited books and journals

  • Co-editor, with Charles Forsdick and Ludmilla Kostova, Travel Writing and Ethics. Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2013)
  • Co-editor, with Muli Amaye and Martin de Mello Migration Stories (Crocus Books, 2009)
  • Co-editor, with Graham Mort, 'Region/Writing/Home: Relocating British Diasporas', Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writing 9.2 (2009)
  • Co-editor, with Ludmilla Kostova, 'Travel Writing and Cultural Terra Incognitae: Ongoing Ethical and Theoretical Dilemmas', Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing 4.1 (2003)

Journal articles

  • 'Revisiting Mansfield Park: The Critical and Literary Legacies of Edward W. Said's Essay 'Jane Austen and Empire' in Culture and Imperialism (1993)', Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 3.2 (2017): 362-381
  • 'The Rural Turn in Contemporary Writing by Black and Asian Britons', Interventions 19.3 (2016): 395-415
  • 'Carers Cruising Cumbria and Meals on the Mile: Migrants in Fieldwork and Fiction', Mobilities 7.2 (2012): 295-315, with Sondra Cuban
  • 'A Tale of Two Novels: devolving black British writing', Journal of Commonwealth Literature 43.3 (2008): 75-94
  • 'Articulation, Imagined Space and Virtual Mobility in Literary Narratives of Migration', Mobilities 3.3 (2008): 455-469, with Robert Crawshaw
  • 'Before Enduring Freedom: the legacy of nineteenth-century Anglo-Afghan encounters to British travel writing and journalism', Studies in Travel Writing 7.1 (2007): 155-175
  • 'Journalists in feminist clothing. Men and women reporting Afghan women', Journal of International Women's Studies 8.2 (2007): 4-19
  • 'Recuperating narratives with troublesome titles. A critical meta-commentary on the problem of reading Beatrice Grimshaw's From Fiji to the Cannibal Islands (1907)', Ecloga 5 (2006): 25-45
  • 'Moving Manchester: relocating diaspora research', International Journal of the Humanities 1.1 (2006), with Lynne Pearce
  • 'The return of the author: developing effective modes of collaboration between writing practitioners and analytical theorists', International Journal of the Arts in Society 1.1 (2006), with Graham Mort
  • 'Where ethnographers fear to tread: the counter-influence of ethnography on Christopher Kremmer's The Carpet Wars and Christina Lamb's The Sewing Circles of Herat', Journeys 4.1 (2003): 103-128
  • 'Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner (2004)' in the Literary Encyclopaedia

Book chapters

  • 'The Poetics and Politics of Spoken Word Poetry' in The Cambridge Companion to Black British Writing, ed. Deirdre Osborne (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • 'Travel and Ethics' in The Routledge Companion to Travel Writing, ed. Carl Thompson (Routledge, 2015)
  • 'Fiction and Affect: Anglophone Travel Writing and the Case of Paraguay' in Travel Writing and Ethics. Theory and Practice, ed. Charles Forsdick, Corinne Fowler and Ludmilla Kostova (Routledge, 2012)
  • 'Feminist imperialism: travel writing and journalism past and present' in The Politics of Gender (Routledge, 2009)
  • 'The problem of narrative authority: Kate Karko and Catherine Oddie' in Gender, Genre and Identity in Women's Travel Writing, ed. Kristi Siegal (Peter Lang Publishing, 2003)

Creative writing

  • 'North, South: Britain's alternative literary landscapes', The London Magazine (March/April 2010)
  • 'The Flood', Arabesques Review (2007): 29-35
  • 'Clackmannan Tower' in Days Like This (Luath Press, 2009): 143-146
  • 'The Black Devon', New Writing Scotland 27 (2009)
  • Co-editor, with Muli Amaye and Martin de Mello Migration Stories (Crocus Books, 2009)


I am currently writing a book called Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Britain's Historical Black Presence. I also have an interest in Afghanistan. My monograph, Chasing Tales: travel writing, journalism and the history of ideas about Afghanistan (2007), investigates the legacy of traumatic Anglo-Afghan encounter to contemporary travel narratives, ethnography and journalism.

I was director of an Arts Council-funded project called 'Grassroutes: Contemporary Leicestershire Writing' (2011-12), which promotes critical engagement with transcultural writing from Leicestershire.

Several publications have also arisen from my research on an AHRC-funded project called 'Moving Manchester', for which I conducted interviews with creative writers and created an online catalogue of creative writing. I recently curated an exhibition entitled 'Writing Manchester: literature in the city since 1960', which aimed to promote the work of independent and community publishers.

I've also published a number of short stories and co-edited a volume called Travel Writing and Ethics: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2013), containing essays by scholars of postcolonial theory and travel writing.


  • Travel writing


  • Arts Council England (£10,000) Grassroutes: Contemporary Leicestershire
  • Writing Arts Council England (£12,000) Sole2Soul: Boot and Shoe Project



I would welcome postgraduate students with research interests in any of the following:

  • Afghanistan
  • British Black and British Asian literary cultures
  • Country houses' colonial connections
  • Creative-critical and critical-creative writing
  • Creative writing (fiction)
  • Regional writing and publishing
  • Rural racism
  • Travel writing


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