Prof Peter Knight

Professor of American Studies

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PhD Supervision areas:

I would be interested in supervising projects in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture. Some examples of potential research topics:

  • fictions of finance in 19thC and/or 20thC America
  • history of financial advice
  • history of popular and literary representations of American corporations, and corporate self-representations in PR
  • comparative study of how Americans and Europeans came to mis/understand political economy (in business schools curricula, popular self-education manuals, etc.)
  • comparative analysis of popular guides to the stock market in 19thC Britain and the US (and/or contemporary China and Eastern Europe)
  • literature, film and popular culture in the wake the demise of the international gold standard in 1973, and the crash of 2008
  • Americanization and anti-Americanism: transnational approaches to the role of demonology in American politics and culture (especially post-9/11)
  • reassessment of particular episodes of American countersubversive fears, such as the Illuminati scares of the 1790s
  • investigation of mega-conspiracy theories in contemporary literature and popular culture
  • conspiracy theories in the digital age, especially mixed methods (digital methods, ethnography, critical discourse analysis)

I have supervised or co-supervised PhD students on topics including :

  • Don DeLillo (Robert McMinn)
  • work and happiness in postmodern times (Angela Lait)
  • popular evangelical prophecy writings (Jennie Chapman)
  • Chester Himes (Will Turner)
  • postmodern American encyclopedic fiction (Matthew Tresco)
  • discourse of money in American naturalism and modernism (Laura Bekeris Key)
  • interactivity in experimental fiction and online gaming environments (Elizabeth Burgess)
  • Cormac McCarthy (Tony Harrison)
  • the black hair industry in the US since 1975 (Carina Spaulding)
  • conspiracy theories in post-Soviet Russia (Ilya Yablokov)
  • finance and American Gothic writing (Amy Bride)