Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Dr Caitlin Vandertop

vandertopAssociate Professor

Email: Caitlin dot Vandertop at warwick dot ac dot uk

5.45 Faculty of Arts Building
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


I joined the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies in 2019. Before this, I was a lecturer at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, having also worked and studied at universities in Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and the UK.

Research Interests

My research areas include modern and contemporary world literature, postcolonial studies, urban culture and the environmental humanities, with a special interest in writing from Oceania/the Pacific Islands and areas of the Asia/Pacific region. My book Modernism in the Metrocolony: Urban Cultures of Empire in Twentieth Century Literature (Cambridge UP, 2021) is a comparative study of twentieth-century Anglophone literature from a network of British colonial port cities. A blog post introducing the book can be found here.

I am currently working on a second book which explores the relationship between island literatures and successive resource regimes in the Pacific World from the mid nineteenth century to the independence period. I am also editing a book on Commodities and Literature (under contract with Cambridge UP). This traces a literary history of the commodity as a concept, bringing together chapters on the aesthetics, genres and narrative 'lives' of various global commodities.

Outside Warwick, I am a commissioning editor for the journals Literature Compass and Postcolonial Text.

Teaching and Supervision

I convene or teach on the following undergraduate and postgraduate modules:

Literature in Theory

Fundamentals of World Literature

Literary and Cultural Theory

Modern World Literature

I'd be interested in supervising dissertations in any of the research areas mentioned above.

Selected Publications

  • Modernism in the metrocolony: urban cultures of empire in twentieth-century literature (Cambridge University Press, 2021).
  • 'The Colonial City', in The Idea of the City in British Literature, edited by Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
  • '"The land has eyes and teeth": copra, gothic fertility and literary genealogies in Oceania', Interventions (forthcoming)
  • 'Unearthing phosphate in the Pacific pastoral', Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (2022), opens in a new window
  • '"A swamp becomes the capital": urban ecologies of empire in Fiji', Shima 16.1 (2022), 45-60, 10.21463/shima.152Link opens in a new window
  • 'Ghosts of the plantation: sugar, narrative energetics and gothic ecologies in Fiji', Green Letters 24.2 (2020), 155-168 10.1080/14688417.2020.1772847Link opens in a new window
  • ‘Architectures of the invisible hand: envisioning capital in Joseph Conrad’s Singapore’, Textual Practice 34:2 (2020): 127-45.
  • 'Opium cities, carbon routes: world-ecological prehistory in Amitav Ghosh's Hong Kong', Journal of Postcolonial Writing 55.4 (2019), 527-40.
  • ‘Peripheral urbanism, imperial maturity and the crisis of development in Lao She's Rickshaw and Mulk Raj Anand’s Coolie’, Novel: A Forum on Fiction 53.2 (2019), 369-85.
  • “The earth seemed unearthly’: capital, world-ecology and enchanted nature in Conrad's Heart of Darkness', Modern Fiction Studies, special issue 'Anthropocene Fictions' 64:4 (2018), 680-700.
  • 'The colonies in concrete: Walter Benjamin, urban form, and the dreamworlds of empire', Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 18:5 (2016), 709-29.

Office Hours

Monday 2-3pm

Friday 12-1pm

(FAB 5.45 or call on MS Teams)


EN942 Fundamentals of World Literature

EN123 Modern World Literatures

EN2L4 Literature in Theory