Simon Cooke



Simon Cooke studied for an undergraduate degree in English Literature at Hull University (2000), and then for an MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture at University College London (2003); he then moved to Germany to join the International PhD Programme (IPP) ‘Literary and Cultural Studies’ with a scholarship at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture at Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen. At JLU, Simon taught in the Department of English and American Studies, and from 2009-10 was a Research Co-ordinator of the IPP. He returned to the UK in 2010 to take up a Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford, where from April to September 2012 he also covered as administrator for the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing. He joined the English Department at Edinburgh University as a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in autumn 2012, and became Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature in 2014.

Undergraduate teaching

  • Third-year option: Mystery and Horror (with Prof. Penny Fielding)
  • Fourth-year option: Cities of Literature: Metropolitan Modernities (with Dr David Farrier)
  • Pre-hons tutorials in English Literature 1
  • Dissertation supervision

Postgraduate teaching

  • MSc Literature and Modernity I: Modernist Aesthetics (Semester 1)
  • LLC Research Methods Workshops: International Approaches in the Humanities; Travel Writing as Research Field; Working with Author Archives; Research in Modern and Contemporary Literature

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I would be happy to receive inquiries from prospective doctoral researchers whose interests coincide and complement my areas of research and teaching.  

Current PhD students supervised

PhD: Angus Sutherland: 'Bare Earth: Contemporary Literature and the (Bio)Politics of Ecocidal Violence'

MScR II: Alan Goodson: 'The Foreigner in (Popular) Fiction: Comparing Victorian and Contemporary Representations'

Past PhD students supervised

MScR II: Adam Bloom: 'Vladimir Nabokov and the Real' 

Research summary

Simon's primary research interests lie in modern and contemporary English and comparative literature. Travel writing is one area of special interest, and is the subject of his first monograph - Travellers' Tales of Wonder: Chatwin, Naipaul, Sebald - published by EUP in February 2013. He is following this up with Travel Writing: A Critical Introduction (recently reviewed for publication at EUP). His main current research project, 'Life and Work': Modernity and the Literary Life, focuses on various controversies concerning the relationships between writers' lives and their works, from the mid-nineteenth-century to the present.

Simon is one of the co-founders and former convenors, with Dr Clare Broome Saunders and Dr Tom F. Wright of Travel Cultures: An Oxford Interdisciplinary Research Seminar. He is a co-founder and former co-organiser, with Prof. Timothy Mathews (UCL), of the podcast interview series Between the Lines: Literature and the Arts in Translation.