Paul Crosthwaite

Senior Lecturer


Paul Crosthwaite studied at Newcastle University (BA, MLitt, PhD). He was a Lecturer in English Literature and member of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory at Cardiff University for four years before joining Edinburgh in 2011. His publications include Trauma, Postmodernism, and the Aftermath of World War II (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); articles in Angelaki, Cultural Critique, Cultural Politics, The Journal of Cultural Economy, New Formations, Public Culture, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, and Textual Practice;  and, as editor, Criticism, Crisis, and Contemporary Narrative: Textual Horizons in an Age of Global Risk (Routledge, 2011) and Show Me the Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present (Manchester University Press, 2014).

Research summary

Paul’s research focuses on the life and afterlife of Anglo-American modernism, critical and cultural theory (primarily Marxism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and the 'new economic criticism'), and the representation of financial markets. His first monograph, Trauma, Postmodernism, and the Aftermath of World War II, argues that the devastation of the Second World War is a key factor in postwar Anglo-American novelists’ reinventions of a legacy of fictional experimentation inherited from the modernist authors of the early twentieth century. His research continues to explore the interface between cultural innovation and historical change in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The book he is currently completing, Speculative Investments: Finance, Feeling, and Representation in Contemporary Literature and Culture, explores the multiple contemporary intersections between literature and other forms of artistic expression and the theory and practice of financial markets, paying particular attention to the fate of the modernist, avant-garde tradition at a time when culture is increasingly pervaded by the logic of high finance. An essay arising from this project was awarded the 2012 Arthur Miller Centre Prize for the year's best journal-length American Studies essay by a member of the British Association for American Studies. Paul is also currently developing a further monograph project, provisionally  entitled ‘An End and a Beginning’: Modernism, the Great Crash, and the Poetics of History, which will be the first study of modernist cultural responses to the catastrophic stock market crash in the United States and elsewhere in the autumn of 1929. Writers who figure prominently in Paul’s work include Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Pynchon, J.G. Ballard, Caryl Churchill, Don DeLillo, Iain Sinclair, and Ian McEwan. He would welcome research proposals on these and associated authors, as well as in any of the areas indicated above.

Paul is a member of the Northern Theory School, an interdisciplinary network - launched in 2013 - which gathers together researchers at universities in Scotland and northern England who work in the field of critical and cultural theory. Follow the link for details if you're interested in being involved.

Northern Theory School

Research activities

View all 28 activities on Research Explorer

Project activity

Paul is a Co-Investigator, with Dr Peter Knight (Manchester) and Professor Nicky Marsh (Southampton), on an AHRC-funded curation project that will result in an exhibition entitled 'Show Me the Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present'. Drawing on the investigators' research, the exhibition aims to chart the changing ways in which artists and illustrators have depicted the abstract and mystifying domain of 'the markets', from the South Sea Bubble of the early eighteenth century to the credit crunch of the present. 'Show Me the Money' will open at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland in June 2014. It will subsequently tour to the Chawton House Library in Hampshire (September-December 2014) and the People’s History Museum in Manchester (June-October 2015).

View all 34 publications on Research Explorer