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Dr Nick Lawrence

Profile pictureAssociate Professor

Email: n dot lawrence at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


Trained in American literature from the nineteenth century to the present, with a focus on poetry and poetics, I work primarily on environmental approaches to world-literary studies; global modernism; Marxism and Frankfurt School critical theory; Anthropocene debates in the humanities; and contemporary postcapitalist aesthetics.

Research interests

Principal interests include the project of theorising world literature in relation to the history of capitalism, and situating the emergence of global modernism within the context of uneven and combined development. The former is the focus of a forthcoming monograph that aims to assess how world-literary studies might respond to the challenges, and opportunities, posed by the advent of the Anthropocene. Additional interests in the aesthetics of ecology and labour in American literary history; eco-Marxism; critical theory, with a focus on the early Frankfurt School; and debates around degrowth. These interests are reflected in three current studies: Sacrifice Zones: Neoliberal Culture and the Limits to Capitalist Nature, on the co-production of weird nature and weird culture in contemporary literary responses to capitalist crisis; Collaborations with Nature, an examination of the ecological roots of Frankfurt School critical theory; and Degrowth Imaginaries, a preliminary survey of cultural prefigurations of a world order beyond the present regime of open-ended capitalist accumulation, extractivism and ecocide.

Teaching and supervision

I teach on the BA/MA programmes in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. In addition to those listed above right, I lecture on the following modules:

My postgraduate research supervisions include the following:

  • Elizabeth Smith (PhD, expected 2025), The “Environmental Uncanny”: Unsettling the Multispecies Encounter in Contemporary Environmental Poetry (co-supervised with Jonathan Skinner)
  • Martin Platais (PhD, expected 2027), On the Natural History of Catastrophe: Crisis, Form, and Temporality in Lukács’s Concept of Reification and His Theories of the Novel
  • Paul Vernell (PhD, expected 2027), The Poetics of Combined and Uneven Development:
    Chronotopic Forms in World-Poetry
  • Sam Weselowski (PhD, expected 2024), The Poetics of Scale: Vancouver and American Poetry Writing Against Capital (co-supervised with Myka Tucker-Abramson and Jonathan Skinner)
  • Demet Intepe (PhD, 2020), Environmental Justice and Writers as Activists in Multi-Ethnic North American Literatures, Film, and Theater (co-supervised with Pablo Mukherjee)
  • Martin Schauss (PhD, 2019), Like a Thing Forsaken: Beckett, Sebald and the Politics of Materiality (co-supervised with Daniel Katz)
  • Justin Neville Kaushall (PhD, 2018), The Historical Negation of Aesthetic Categories: Adorno’s Inheritance of Kant’s Critique of Judgment (co-supervised with Diarmuid Costello)
  • George Ttoouli (PhD, 2017), Twentieth Century US Ecopoetics and Serial Poetic Form
  • Nesrin Degirmencioglu (PhD, 2013), Uneven Cities: The Dialectic of Urban Modernity and Literary Form in Dos Passos, Tanpınar, Auster and Pamuk (co-supervised with Maureen Freely)
  • William Clarke (PhD, 2009), Perturbed Realism: The Social Novel and Fictitious Capital (co-supervised with Neil Lazarus)

I welcome supervisions in the areas listed under my research interests, above.

Selected publications

  • Co-author, with the Warwick Research Collective, "Collectivity and Crisis in the Long Twentieth Century," MLQ: A Journal of Literary History 84.4 (December 2020): 465-489
  • "Post-Capitalist Futures: A Report on Imagination." Ethical Futures and Global Science Fiction, ed. Zachary Kendal, Aisling Smith, Giulia Champion and Andrew Milner (Palgrave, 2020)
  • "Everyday Dissent: Colonised Lifeworlds in Twentieth Century Poetry." World Literature and Dissent, ed. Lorna Burns and Katie Muth (Routledge, 2019)
  • Co-author, with the Warwick Research Collective, Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature (Liverpool UP, 2015)
  • How to Read Adorno and Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment (Pluto Press, forthcoming)
  • "General Introduction." The Collected Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne (Cambridge Scholars Press, forthcoming)
  • Co-editor, with Marta Werner, Ordinary Mysteries: The Common Journal of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne (American Philosophical Society, 2006)
  • "Frank O’Hara in New York: Race Relations, Poetic Situations, Postcolonial Space” (Comparative American Studies 4.1, 2006)
  • Co-editor, with Kristin Dykstra, North American Language Poetries, 1965–2000 (Havana: Casa de Letras, 2005)
  • Editor, special feature on Language poet Bruce Andrews, Jacket 22 (
  • "World Echoes: Caribbeanness as Method" (Xcp: Cross-Cultural Poetics 12, 2003)

Professional associations

Office hours

I am on research leave during the academic year 2023-24, but please contact me via email to arrange any meetings.