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Dr Edward Sugden

Lecturer in American Studies

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 7809 


Address Department of English
King's College London
Room 6.09, Virginia Woolf Building
London WC2B 6LE

Office hours document available here


Dr Edward Sugden joined King’s in September 2013.  He completed his doctorate in American Literature at the University of Oxford in February 2013.  He gained his BA and MA degrees in English Literature from University College London.

Research interests

Edward Sugden’s research on nineteenth-century America takes place at the intersection between literary criticism, the philosophy of history, and political theory. His work circles around different iterations of the adjective “alternative.” As a theoretical rubric, this term allows him to explore, among other things, marginal and now-forgotten political communities, explicitly internationalised, multilingual “American” writing, and divergent pathways that American literary culture might have taken but did not. His research interests include historiography and temporality, world systems, oceanic studies, and revolutionary political theory.   

He is currently at work on three projects: one that explores the intersection between the early energies of globalisation and the urge to imagine other, better worlds; another, that explores the political and aesthetic significance of territories that are said to be “off the map”; and, finally, one that examines the different manifestations what he terms the “invisible watcher” figure in the long nineteenth century.

Selected publications
“An Oceanic Modernity: Matthew Fontaine Maury, Ahab, and the White Whale,” Leviathan 16:2 (June 2014) pp.23-37

“Simultaneity-Across-Borders: Richard Henry Dana Jr., Alexander Von Humboldt, Edgar Allan Poe,” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 2:1 (Spring 2014) pp.83-106

Edward Sugden currently teaches and convenes courses on American literature and culture from 1600 to the present day:

  • 4AAEA003 Reading Poetry
  • 4AAEA006 Introduction to American Studies
  • 5AAU9024 American Literature, 1900-45
  • 5AAU9025 Post War American Fiction
  • 6AAU9045 The Gothic South

He would be happy to hear of any potential PhD candidates in his research area.

Expertise and public engagement

Edward Sugden is happy to talk to radio producers and journalists about any aspect of American culture as well as experimental fiction from through the ages.  As co-editor of Wave Composition he has published Pulitzer Prize winners as well as writers who have subsequently gone on to have their first book published.  Recent outreach events he has participated in include:

  • Writing on the “American Renaissance” for A-Level students in The English Review
  • Interviewing writers such as Ben Lerner and Cyrus Console for Wave Composition, as well as commissioning a number of essays
  • Reviewer for a number of publications including The Times Literary Supplement, Notes & Queries, and The Oxonian Review
  • Co-founding the American Literary Criticism reading group at the University of Oxford





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