Matthew Taunton
  • 2.26 Registry And Council House

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


I grew up in London and studied literature at UCL before doing a PhD at the London Consortium (Birkbeck College). I spent a number of years teaching in a variety of insitutions including UCL, Birkbeck, the Open University, Goldsmiths College, Central St Martins and Camberwell College of Arts. I have always had quite broad interests and enjoy teaching and researching across different historical periods and engaging with different disciplines. But my core area of interest in in twentieth-century British literature, particularly in relation to its political contexts.

External Activities

Key Research Interests and Expertise

I have broad interests in the literature, politics and culture of the twentieth century.

My current project investigates the phenomenon of collective speech--speaking in unison--in a broad historical perspective. It situates modern literature's fascination with collective speech in relation to notions of the chorus that go back to Ancient Greece, as well as the liturgical practices of the Christian church, and anthropological ideas about chanting that associated it with (racialised) primitive cultures. I have published a number of articles around this topic (see publications below) and I have been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to pursue the project.

I am also currently collaborating on two edited volumes. I am co-editing, with my UEA colleague Rachel Potter, The British Novel of Ideas: George Eliot to Zadie Smith to be published in 2023 by Cambridge UP. With Benjamin Kohlmann (University of Regensburg) I am co-editing The People: Belonging, Exclusion and Democracy in the Cambridge Themes in British Literature and Culture series. 

My previous books are Red Britain: The Russian Revolution in Mid-Century Culture (OUP, 2019), A History of 1930s British Literature (co-edited with Benjamin Kohlmann, CUP, 2019) and Fictions of the City: Class, Culture and Mass Housing in Paris and London (Palgrave, 2009). 

I would be very interested to hear from potential doctoral students with interests in these areas.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, London Consortium

Award Date: 1 Jan 2008

Master of Arts, University College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2004

Bachelor of Arts, University College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003