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James Wills

Academic Background

I graduated from the University of the West of England in 2008, obtaining a first-class degree in English Language and Literature. After seven years away from academic studies, I completed a Masters in English Literature at the University of Warwick in 2016, passing with Distinction. My dissertation - supervised by Professor Daniel Katz - was titled "'Which Tale is the Idiot's?': 'April Seventh 1928' and the Sound and Fury of Interpretation," examining the countless readings purporting to attribute meaning to Benjy Compson’s opening narrative in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, considering the relationship between text and critical debate through the distinctive lens of psychoanalysis.


I am a final year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. My research interests primarily concern the legal cultures of the American South between 1930 and 1970; particularly, how Southern fiction portrays the problematic dilemmas inherent to law and justice in the region. Consequently, my thesis - supervised by Dr Mark Storey - considers how fictional lawyers appearing in literature of the post-war U.S. South between 1946 and 1966 uniquely focus and embody emerging narratives of race and law that characterise regional and national conflicts of the Civil Rights struggle.

The title of my thesis is "Fictions of Justice: Literary Lawyers in the American South, 1946-1966." 




Other Published Work


  • British Association for American Studies (BAAS), since 2016



James Wills

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies

University of Warwick



Academic CV