Dr Amy De'Ath
Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory
I began working in the Department of English in 2017, after completing my Leverhulme-funded PhD at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. I completed a BA at the University of East Anglia and an MA at University College London.
Research Interests and PhD Supervision
My book manuscript, Unsociable: Antagonism and Abstraction in Contemporary Feminized Poetry, argues that feminized poetry is not only sensitive to capitalism’s processual remakings of gendered and racial difference, but to its concurrent need to make that movement appear natural. I propose a new reading method: one that, in attending to questions of gender as social form, reveals a series of techniques and strategies that feminized poets have been using to write about what fails to be recognized as ‘social’ at all. This method departs from received understandings in the humanities regarding what Marxism is and what it does, to argue that the insights of post-1960s readings of Marx’s critique of value have tremendous implications for how we read literary texts and indeed, difference itself.
With Dr Natasha Hurley (University of Alberta), and Dr Sean O’Brien (University College Dublin) I am also finishing a collaborative book project, Anti-Social Reproduction, which intervenes at the intersection of the anti-social turn in queer theory and new Marxist-feminist theories of social reproduction.
I welcome PhD proposals aligned in any way with my research and/or the following areas:
- Late twentieth and early twenty-first century poetry and poetics
- Marxist literary criticism, aesthetic theory and political theory
- Studies of social reproduction, gender, and sexuality
- Marxian and materialist studies of racialization, especially in relation to black feminism and/or Indigenous and First Nations poetry and politics
- Projects integrating creative and critical practice
For more details, please see my full research profile.
I teach a wide range of literature, media, and critical approaches at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. I designed the creative-critical first year module, ‘Writing Race, Writing Gender’ and lecture on introductory modules in poetry and literary theory. I teach research-led modules for advanced undergraduate students on identity and the politics of representation, as well as methods for interpreting post-war culture. I offer an MA module that introduces graduate students to new readings of Marx, and I regularly teach two other graduate modules, ‘Thinking the Contemporary: Literature and Theory After Postmodernism’, and ‘Post-45: Literature, Culture, Theory’.
Expertise and Public Engagement
I have long been an active member of poetry communities in the UK, US and Canada, and my first full-length collection, Force of Nature, is forthcoming with Futurepoem (New York) in 2023. My poems have been published in chapbooks and magazines, widely anthologized, and translated into Spanish and Catalan. With the Canadian poet laureate Fred Wah, I edited a poetics anthology, Toward. Some. Air. (2015).
In recent years I have organised public-facing symposia on topics including social reproduction and poetry’s relation to labour practices, and I have given public talks at universities, women’s centres and arts organisations in the UK, US, Canada and The Netherlands.