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Dr Rebecca Roach

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Address Department of English
King's College London
Room 7.30, Virginia Woolf Building
London WC2B 6LE

Rebecca Roach is a researcher on the ERC-funded project, “Ego-Media: The Impact of New Media on Forms and Practices of Self-Presentation” (2014-2019). Her current book project draws on theories of life writing, the public sphere, linguistics, information theory and history of the book/material culture to explore communication and collaboration in digital literature.

A further project on online identity in patients with epilepsy also explores these issues around identity, representation and narrative within the growing field of e-health. She is also creating an ethnographic archive of online self-presentation.

Prior to joining Kings, Rebecca completed her doctorate at Oxford University in March 2014. Her thesis, entitled “Transatlantic Conversations: The Art of the Interview in Britain and America” assesses the role of the interview form within Anglophone literature from the late nineteenth century to the present day. The project contends that the interview, although styling itself as a revealing, authentic, private confession, is a genre of life writing that deeply troubles the model of singular Romantic authorship that it simultaneously promotes. The thesis argues that the interview has been a key site for negotiating conceptions of authorship since its inauguration. Drawing on the social sciences, legal history, cartoons, twitter, press and book history, as well as a wide variety of literary texts, the project is the product of interdisciplinary study. Overall, the project illustrates how central the interview has been in the cultural construction of authorship in the last 150 years. Rebecca is currently preparing a book manuscript that extends the research developed in her thesis.
Research interests
  • Transnational modernism and its legacies
  • The institutionalisation of literary studies
  • The culture of celebrity as it interacts with literature
  • Book and media history
  • Sociology and literature
Rebecca’s research straddles the late nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries and across Anglophone literature, with particular interest in the relation of literature and literary studies to wider culture. Research interests include digital culture, life writing, book and media history, transnational modernism and its legacies, literature and sound, the institutionalisation of literary studies, sociology and literature, and the culture of celebrity as it interacts with literature

For more detail, please see my full research profile
Selected publications
  • “‘How Writers Work’: Interviewing the Author in EverymanTextual Practice (Dec 2014)
  • “Modernism’s ‘Playback:’ Beat Writers and the Interview Form” Nonsite special issue on “B-Side Modernism,” sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, (Dec 2014).
For a full list of my publications, please see my full research profile
Teaching interests include nineteenth and twentieth century literature in America and Britain, contemporary Anglophone literature, theories of authorship, literature & new media, history of the book, literature & sound and the history of journalism.
Expertise and public engagement

Rebecca is very happy to discuss the history of the interview or any facet of her research with the media. She has previously curated an exhibition at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Aldous Huxley and His Contemporaries, Sept. 2013), given lectures to general audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and contributed to a diverse range of non-academic online and print publications. She is also keen to support activities that widen access to higher education.





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