Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Christopher J. Griffin

It's Chris Griffin.

Brief bio

Christopher Griffin is an AHRC-funded PGR in late 20C and 21C Anglophone Literature and Culture. His current research centres on the interrelationship of the contemporary novel in Britain, neoliberalism, and the aesthetics of 'the secret'.

 

Thesis title:

The Aesthetics of the Secret in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction, 1998 – 2018

​Why do novels contain secrets? What purposes does ‘the secret’ serve in the contemporary novel? And why is this significant for understanding the social and political significance of novels in the twenty-first century? These questions guide the central focus of my thesis, which examines how an aesthetics of the secret in some Anglophone novels since the turn of the twenty-first century articulate the extent to which the novel can expose and contest neoliberalism in Britain. The relationship between neoliberalism and the dialectic of transparency and secrecy can be traced back through its intellectual history. Cumulatively, the understanding of transparency throughout these debates and advancements expresses a desire to eliminate social and psychological frictions that prevent the development of a seamless web between the economy and society. In Britain, the Thatcher, Major, and New Labour administrations shared this concern and were particularly influenced by some of neoliberalism's intellectual architects. Building from this understanding of an ideational and institutional relationship between neoliberalism, transparency, and secrecy in Britain, my thesis investigates the contemporary Anglophone novel’s own relationship with ‘the secret’ and how it intersects with this neoliberal transformation of transparency and secrecy.

Research Area

  • Literary Studies
  • Cultural History
  • Lay Philosophy

Other Research Interests

Late 20C and 21C Anglophone Fiction and Poetry (esp. Britain and the Caribbean).
Experimental and Avant-garde Literature.
Neoliberalism and the State in Literature.
Biopolitics, Poststructuralism, and Postmodernism.
Anti-/Post-colonial Theory and Literature.
Black SF and Afrofuturism.
Neurodivergency (esp. autism/ASC).
Affect and Aesthetics.
Intersection of Literature and Continental Philosophy.

Publications

​Griffin C. J. “Jackie Kay: Identity, Secrecy, and Love.” Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds, 2021, <https://writersmakeworlds.com/essay-kay-identity-secrecy-love>. Accessed 5 January 2022.

Griffin C. J., "Jackie Kay." Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds, 2021, <https://writersmakeworlds.com/jackie-kay>. Accessed 6 January 2022.

Griffin, C. J. and Misbah Ahmed eds. 'Special Issue: World Literature and the alter|native', Alluvium 9.5, Oct 2021, n.p., <https://www.alluvium-journal.org/2021/10/22/alluvium-editorial-9-5/>. Accessed 26 Jan 2022.

Griffin, C. J. "A close-reading of Anthony Joseph's 'Bosch's Vision' from Bird Head Son (2009)." Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds, 2020, <https://writersmakeworlds.com/essay-joseph-boschs-vision/>. Accessed 28 September 2020.

Griffin, C. J. “Anthony Joseph.” Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds, 2020, <https://writersmakeworlds.com/anthony-joseph/>. Accessed 28 September 2020.

Griffin, C. J., 'A Brave New Postmodern Ustopia: (pre-)figurations of neoliberal capitalist realism in H.G. Well’s A Modern Utopia and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World', Innervate: Leading Student Work in English Studies, Volume 11 (2018-19), pp. 194 - 202.

Conferences

Sep 2021: Panel Chair, 'Panel 11: Art, Colonialism, and Proto-capitalism: Making the Invisible Visible​', The Hidden in Performance, Visual, and Literary Culture, Cyberspace.

Sep 2021: Chair, 'Plenary Session: Dr Clare Birchall (KCL), "Radical Secrecy"', The Hidden in Performance, Visual, and Literary Culture, Cyberspace.

Jun 2021: Presenter, 'On Neoliberal Society: The Aesthetic of the Secret in the Fiction of Jackie Kay', Jackie Kay: An International Conference, Cyberspace.​

May 2021: Presenter, '"A sad narcissistic and pious masturbation": The Novel, the Secret, and Neoliberal Britain', Modern and Contemporary Flash Papers and Networking Event, University of Cardiff.​​

Oct 2020 - Sep 2021: Conference Organiser, Treasurer, 'The Hidden in Performance, Visual, and Literary Culture' (September 2021), Cyberspace.

Jul 2020: Panel Chair, 'Capitalism in Crisis', In Crisis: Art in the Eras of Emergency 1750 – Present (6th - 10th July), University of Cambridge.

Oct 2019 - Jul 2020: Conference Organiser, Chair and Treasurer, In Crisis: Art in the Eras of Emergency 1750 – Present, University of Cambridge.

Apr 2019: Presenter, ‘Towards a Melanated Future: An xposition of an alter|native Afrofuturism in Anthony Joseph’s The African Origins of UFOs', School of English Showcase, University of Nottingham.

 

Public Engagement & Impact

Nov 2020: Presenter, AHRC-M4C, 'Midlands4Cities Application Writing Workshop for 2021 entry', Cyberspace.

May 2020: Gave a seminar for a Widening Participation Cohort, “Contemporary Literature, Cultural Theory, and Capital: A Discussion of Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?", University of Cambridge.

 

Memberships

Apr 2021 - Present: Pandemic Perspectives UK​

Aug 2020 - Present: British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS)

Dec 2021 - Present: Contemporary Women's Writing Association (thecwwa.org)

 

Formal Education

MPhil Modern and Contemporary Literature, University of Cambridge, 2020. Distinction.
BA English (Single Honours), University of Nottingham, 2019. First Class.
A-Levels: Northampton (Further Education) College.
GCSE: Kingsthorpe Community College.

Training and Qualifications

Nov 2021: Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) Training, (two weeks), Cyberspace.

Oct 2021: 'New to Teaching' Training Course, AdvanceHE, (six weeks), Cyberspace.

Jun 2021: 'The Academy in Black and Whiteness' - Anti-racism course delivered by brap (three days), Cyberspace.

Oct 2020: 'Reading Like A Writer' - Royal Literary Fund Writing Course (three days), Cyberspace.

 

Awards, Scholarships, and Grants

Aug 2021: Midlands4Cities-AHRC Engagement Fund, for 'New to Teaching' AdvanceHE training course (£315).

Jun 2021: Contemporary Women's Writing Association PGR/ECR Commendation Prize, for an "extremely well presented, conceptually rich' conference paper that 'provided for fascinating new routes into reading [Jackie] Kay’s work" (a year postgraduate membership to the CWWA).

Dec 2020: Cohort Development Fund, funding for organising the postgraduate academic conference 'The Hidden in Performance, Visual, and Literary Culture' (£963).

Apr 2020: Midlands4Cities AHRC Doctoral Studentship Award, University of Warwick, (Full) - Accepted.

Apr 2020: Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP - Pembroke College Match-funded Studentship - (Politely) Declined.

Dec 2019: Cambridge Graduate Funding Committee, funding for organising the postgraduate academic conference 'In Crisis: Art in the Eras of Emergency, 1750 – Present' (£400).

Oct 2019: Sir Thomas White Award: awarded to ‘exceptionally academically high-achieving young people’ (£500).

Oct 2019: Sargeant and Beckett Educational Foundation Award (£500).

Jul 2019: ‘University Prize’ – awarded to an exemplary student graduating from the University of Nottingham's Faculty of Arts (£100).

Jul 2019: Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Academic Excellence Award; for attaining a mark profile 'within the top 3% of the graduating cohort'.

Jun 2019: School of English Prize for Best Undergraduate Dissertation: 'for an outstanding dissertation with a grade of 85%' (£50).

Jun 2019: School of English Prize for Best Single Honours Student: ‘for an overall average of 79%’ (£100).

March 2019: Cambridge UK Masters and Pembroke College Scholarship: awarded to ‘top-scoring applicants’ for one-year’s postgraduate study (£12,000).

Sep 2018: Sargeant and Beckett Educational Foundation Award (£500).

Sep 2018: Sir Thomas White Award, awarded to ‘exceptionally academically high-achieving young people’ (£1000).

Jun 2018: Dorothy Johnson Trust Award (£300).

Jun 2018: Sargeant and Beckett Educational Foundation Award (£800).

 

University Service

May 2021 - Present: Midlands4Cities Student Advisory Forum (SAF) Representative, University of Warwick.

Nov 2020 - Present: PGR Representative for Postgraduate Student-Staff Liason Committee (PGSSLC), Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick.

 

Teaching

Sep 2021 - Present: Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant, "EN101: Epic into Novel", University of Warwick, Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Apr 2021 - Jul 2021: Brilliant Club Tutor, National Tutoring Scheme, Orchard Mead Academy (Cyberspace).

May 2020: Widening Participation Seminar Tutor, "Contemporary Literature, Cultural Theory, and Capital: A Discussion of Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?", University of Cambridge.

Office Hours 2021-22

Term Two:

Tues, 1100-1200, FAB6.06

Write to me to arrange an appointment or use the booking form here

Contact & Social Media

E-mail: Christopher.J.Griffin@warwick.ac.uk

Twitter: @CJGriffin

Blog: www.nogodnomasters.blog