Dr Sarah Graham

Personal details | Publications | Research | Teaching | Supervision | Media

Lecturer in American Literature 

Sarah Graham

Department: English and Centre for American Studies

Telephone: +44 (0)116 223 1068

Email: shsg1@leicester.ac.uk

Office: Room 1312, Attenborough Tower

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

Personal details

Biography

I studied for my degree in English at the University of Stirling (1991-95) and stayed on to take an MPhil in Contemporary Poetry in English, which included poetry writing. In 1996 I began my PhD in American Modernist Poetry at the University of Leeds, and taught English there from 1998-2002. I have been a Lecturer at the University of Leicester in the School of Arts and in the Centre for American Studies since 2003. My main area of research is twentieth-century North American fiction, especially from the post-war period, but I have wide-ranging interests in American writing, film, and visual culture, including painting, photography and graphic novels.

Qualifications

  • BA Hons (Stirling)
  • MPhil (Stirling)
  • PhD (Leeds)
  • Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy/Advance HE

Awards

  • University of Leicester (Distinguished) Teaching Fellow for promoting diversity in teaching and learning (2006)
  • University of Leicester Students' Union 'Superstar Award' for my contributions to the American Studies SSC and PAL scheme, and for my commitment to LGBTQ students and issues (2013)

Publications

Books and edited collections

  • Reading J. D. Salinger’s Short Fiction (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2020)
  • Editor, A History of the Bildungsroman (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
  • Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (Continuum, 2007)
  • Editor, J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (Routledge, 2007)

Journal articles, book chapters, and reviews

  • ‘Finding Trimalchio’, The Great Gatsby: An Edition of the Manuscript by F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by James L. W. West III and Don C. Skemer (Times Literary Supplement, 14 August 2018)
  • Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal, edited by Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa A. Goldthwaite (Times Literary Supplement, 4 February 2015)
  • 'A swell way to keep from working’, The Letters of Ernest Hemingway Volume II, 1923-25 edited by Sandra Spanier et al (Times Literary Supplement, 4 April 2014)
  •  'What is the Great American Novel?', The Dream of the Great American Novel by Lawrence Buell (Times Literary Supplement, 18 July 2014)
  • 'Unfair Ground: Girlhood and Theme Parks in Contemporary Fiction', Journal of American Studies 47.3 (2013): 589-604
  • The Master, The Modern Major General, And His Clever Wife: Henry James’s letters to Field Marshal Lord Wolseley and Lady Wolseley, 1878-1913 edited by Alan G. James (Times Literary Supplement, 9 August 2013)
  • 'J. D. Salinger' in The Cambridge Companion to American Novelists, edited by Timothy Parrish (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • John Updike’s Early Years by Jack De Bellis (Times Literary Supplement, 21 June 2013)
  •  'Hymen and Trilogy', in The Cambridge Companion to H. D., edited by Polina Mackay and Nephie Christodoulides (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
  • 'J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye', The Literary Encyclopaedia (August 2010)
  •  '"See synonyms at MONSTER": En-Freaking Transgender in Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex', Ariel 40.4 (2009): 1-18
  • 'Falling Walls: Trauma and Testimony in H. D.’s Trilogy', English 56:216 (2007): 299-319
  • '"We have a secret. We are alive": H. D.’s Trilogy as a Response to War', Texas Studies in Literature and Language 44:2 (2002): 161-210

I am the Editor of two book series: ‘Studies in Contemporary North American Fiction’ and 'Topics in Contemporary North American Literature', both published by Bloomsbury Academic. Books in the 'Studies' series present new essays on post-1990 fiction by American and Canadian authors, including Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Chuck Palahniuk, Louise Erdrich, Bret Easton Ellis, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Alice Munro. Books in the 'Topics' series present new essays on literature (including fiction, memoir and graphic novels) on a range of subjects, including the Vietnam War and 9/11.

Research

My PhD considered the impact of the First and Second World Wars on the poetry of H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) and Ezra Pound. My first academic publications were on H. D. and I continue to have an interest in American Modernism. My research on American fiction in the post-war period has focused on J. D. Salinger, leading to major book projects. My future research in this area will be on short fiction by writers of Salinger’s generation, including Shirley Jackson and Carson McCullers, John Cheever and Richard Yates. Consistent areas of interest to me are representations of adolescence and the family in American fiction and film, which is connected to my work on the evolution of the Bildungsroman in America. I have published research on contemporary fiction, looking in particular at the representation of gender and sexuality, and I plan to develop that aspect of my work further in the future.

Teaching

I convene the following modules:

  • AM3038 ‘Coming of Age in America’ (Special Subject)
  • AM3039 ‘Modern Monsters: The Other in Contemporary American Texts’ (Special Subject)
  • AM1005 ‘Modern American Writing’ (American Studies core module and Optional module)

I participate in the following modules:

  • AM3018/19 and AM3025/26 Dissertation (American Studies core modules)
  • AM2011 ‘The City’ (American Studies core module)
  • AM2013 ‘Ethnicity and Diversity in American Literature, 1950-2000’ (American Studies core module)
  • AM1002 ‘Classic US Texts’ (American Studies core module and Supplementary option)
  • MA Modern Literature: ‘A Movement: Modernism’ module
  • EN3010 Dissertation (English core module)
  • EN1010 ‘Reading English (English core module)

In the past I have taught on EN3040 ‘Postwar to Postmodern’ (English core module).

Supervision

Doctoral Theses I have supervised to completion include Colum McCann's Short Fiction and Novels (Alsahira Alkhayer); Rita Dove (Mona Boghdady); Margaret Walker's poetry (Doaa Hamada); Cyborgs in American fiction by women writers (Susan Smith); Modern warfare in young adult fiction (Irina Kyulanova); H. D.'s poetry and utopianism (Muna Al-Abboodi), and Katie Bell (the Influence of Dickens on Writers of the American South).

I would be happy to offer supervision in any area related to my research interests, including J. D. Salinger and his contemporaries, such as John Cheever, Shirley Jackson, Richard Yates, Carson McCullers, and Truman Capote; representations of adolescence and 'coming of age' in North American fiction and film; representations of HIV/AIDS in written and visual culture; graphic novels and comics.

I have acted as the External Examiner for PhDs on representations of HIV/AIDS in American and African texts; the fiction of Mary McCarthy; representations of adolescence in American texts.

Media

2019: I was interviewed by the Sunday Post for the article 'Classic novel The Catcher In The Rye hailed 100 years after birth of author JD Salinger' (8 January 2019)

2016: I contributed to the programme, 'J. D. Salinger: Made in England', broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 18th February. I visited Devon to discuss the influence that Salinger's time in England in 1944, when he was serving with the US Army, had on his fiction. The programme was reported in The Guardian and The Independent. It is available on the BBC iPlayer.

2013: the British Library held an exhibition, "Propaganda: Power and Persuasion". I was interviewed on film about HIV/AIDS awareness in the 1980s, including the British public health campaign, "Don't Die of Ignorance", for inclusion in the exhibition. You can watch the film here. I also gave a public lecture at the British Library on visual health care material about HIV/AIDS produced around the world during the preceding 30 years. Also in 2013, ‘Alice Munro: Canadian “Master” of the Short Story’, School of English Blog (https://staffblogs.le.ac.uk/english/2013/11/01/alice-munro-canadian/)

2011: I collaborated with the Wellcome Library on a public exhibition of visual material related to HIV and AIDS at the New Walk Museum, Leicester, titled 'Spreading the Word: AIDS Posters from Around the World'. BBC Radio Leicester interview about the 'Spreading the Word: AIDS Posters from Around the World' exhibition. The Wellcome Library displayed the posters in London as part of its 'HIV/AIDS at 30: Back to the Future' event the same year.

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