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Dr Michael Niblett

Michael Niblett is Assistant Professor in Modern World Literature in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies

Academic Profile

BA in English Literature and Cultural Criticism (University of Cardiff, 1998-2001)

MA in Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (University of Warwick, 2002-2003)

PhD in Comparative Literature (University of Warwick, 2003-2006)

Research Interests

Michael Niblett’s research interests centre upon Caribbean literature and culture, as well as world literature, environmental history, and critical theory. He is interested in the literary encoding of ecology, modernity, nationhood, and class struggle in texts produced in the Caribbean and in other peripheral and semi-peripheral areas within the capitalist world-system. Between 2009 and 2012, he was involved in a Leverhulme Trust-funded research project entitled Literature and the Environment in the Caribbean: The Case of Guyana, which examined the intersection between aesthetics, the environment, and social justice in Guyana. His current research explores the ways in which world literature might be reconceptualised through the prism of what environmental historian Jason Moore terms the "world-ecology". Forthcoming publications include studies of the literary mediation of commodity frontiers and ecological revolutions; of the different political ecologies of resources such as oil, sugar, and rubber; and of the economic-ecological dynamics of boom-towns.

He is also Principal Investigator on an AHRC Research Grant based in the Centre, titled Decolonizing Voices: World Literature and Broadcast Culture at the End of Empire. Making use of the unique access the Yesu Persaud Centre has to the papers, diaries, and letters of the BBC producer Henry Swanzy, the project examines the networks of literary and cultural production in the Anglophone Caribbean, West Africa (specifically Ghana and the work of the Ghana Broadcasting System in Accra), and the mediating role played by the BBC Colonial Service in shaping the stylistic and political contours of emerging world literatures in the twentieth century. The project aims to map out a cultural topography of the uneven production, circulation, and reception of cultural forms within the world-system at the time of decolonization (1945-1968). The project team comprises Dr. Chris Campbell (Warwick), Dr. Victoria Smith (Warwick), and Professor Stewart Brown (Birmingham). Please see link for further details.

AHRC Project: Decolonizing Voices: World Literature and Broadcast Culture

As part of his research into world literature and world-ecology, he is engaged in developing a research network under the rubric of Global Frontiers: Ecologies, Commodities, Labour, and the Arts (ECLAs). This network involves colleagues from the UK, Ireland, and the Caribbean and includes a range of interconnected themes, programmes, and events: "Plotting the World System: Cash-Crops, Foodways, and Literary Representation", "Captain Swing and King Sugar: Approaches to World-Ecological Comparativism", and "Islands Unchained" (a series of talks and workshops held in the UK and the Caribbean). For further information about the network, see link below or click on tabs at the top of the page.

Global Frontiers: Ecologies, Commodities, Labour, and the Arts

This year, with Dr. Chris Campbell, he is running a module on contemporary Caribbean literature as part of the new MA in World Literature programme. See here for further details

 EN9A2 The Caribbean: Literature and Global Modernity 

He would be interested to hear from research students working in any of the areas outlined above.

Selected Publications

  • The Caribbean Novel since 1945: Cultural Practice, Form, and the Nation-State (Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2012).
  • The “impossible quest for wholeness”: sugar, cassava, and the ecological aesthetic in The Guyana Quartet" in Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 49.2 (2013): 148-60

  • Postcolonial Studies and World Literature Co-edited special edition, with James Graham and Sharae Deckard, of Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 48.5 (2012)
  • “World-Economy, World-Ecology, World Literature”, in Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 16 (2012)
  • “Eric Walrond and the Proletarian Arts Movement” in Eric Walrond: The Critical Heritage, eds. Louis Parascandola and Carl Wade. (University of the West Indies Press, 2012)
  • “The Manioc and the Made-in-France: Reconsidering Creolization and Commodity Fetishism in Caribbean Literature and Theory” in Readings in Caribbean History and Culture: Breaking Ground, ed. D.A. Dunkley (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2012)
  • “When you take thing out the earth and you en’t put nothing back”: Nature, Form and the Metabolic Rift in Jan Carew’s Black Midas" in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 46.2 (June 2011)
  • Perspectives on the ‘Other America’: Comparative Approaches to Caribbean and Latin American Culture Co-edited with Kerstin Oloff (New York and Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009)
  • “The Unfinished Body: Narrative, Politics, and Global Community in Wilson Harris’s The Infinite Rehearsal” in Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 43.1 (April. 2007)
  • “The Body Grotesque: The Ecology of Identity in Patrick Chamoiseau’s Biblique” in What is the Earthly Paradise? Ecocritical Responses to the Caribbean (eds. Erin Somerville and Chris Campbell. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007)


  • MA in Literatures of Migration (Jan. 2009 – July 2009)
  • MA in Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Fictions and History (Jan. – April 2008)
  • MA in Hybrid Identities (Jan. – April 2008)
  • BA in Cultural Studies: (January 2007 – July 2009)
  • BA in Introduction to North American Literature (Sept. 2006 – July 2009)


Contact details
Room: H106, Humanities





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