Wendy McMahon

Wendy McMahon


  • 3.11 Arts

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Personal profile

Key Research Interests

Caribbean literatures; Contemporary American Literature; Cuban Literature; Latin American Literature; 'World' literatures; Literature of exile; Diasporic literatures;  postcolonial literatures, cultures, and theories; colonialism, postcolonialism, neocolonialism, decolonialism;  Literary and critical theory; ecocriticism; literature and law, literature and human rights, literature and politics, literature and ethics, literature and philosophy, literature and science. 



Key Responsibilities

Academic lead on the Arts Council funded National Writers Centre project, Collaboration, Place, Change (2019-2021)  

Associate Dean for Employability, Faculty of Arts and Humanities (2015-2020) 

Director, Arts and Humanities, Schools: University Partnership Initiative (RCUK) (2013-2016) 

National Ambassador for Public Engagement (NCCPE) 


Wendy McMahon is an Associate Professor in American Studies. She joined the School of American Studies at UEA in 2010 after completing her PhD at the University of Essex. Wendy's research interests centre around the literatures of the American hemisphere and include African American literatures and human rights, literature and law, literature and social justice, representations of capitalism and globalisation, post-9/11 literature, literature, conflict and security, diaspora and exile writing, literary engagements with ideas of home, belonging, and citizenship, and  literature, space, place, and the natural environment. Wendy has published on Cuban exile writing, Caribbean literature and masculinity, the aesthetics and politics of belonging in Caribbean literature; human rights, law, and contemporary American fiction; radical traditions in the Americas; and decolonial humanism.   

From 2017-2019 Wendy was the Principle Investigator on an interdisciplinary AHRC-GCRF funded project, Explosive Transformations: Cultural Resilience to Natural Hazard on St Vincent and Montserrat, which brings literary studies together with volcanology and international development in order to explore the cultural presence of the volcano in the volcanic islands of the Eastern Caribbean and how this influences community repsonses to the risks of hazardous landscapes. Wendy's Co-Investigators on this project are Professor Jenni Barclay (Environmental Sciences, UEA), Dr Teresa Armijos Burneo (International Development, UEA) and Professor David Pyle (Earth Sciences, University of Oxford), and partners are The Montserrat Volcano Observatory and the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre. Wendy is co-investigator on the AHRC funded follow-on project led by Professor Jenni Barclay, Disasters Passed: Resilient Futures via Shared Knowledge of Recent Disasters. In addition, Wendy is a Co-investigator on a Royal Society funded project, Making Sense of Risk and Uncertainty: Narrative and Metaphor in the Face of Volcanic Activity and was co-investigator on the NERC-GCRF funded project, Harnessing 'citizen science' to reinforce resilience to environmental disasters: creating an evidence base of community practice, both led by Professor Jenni Barclay.  Several publications from these projects are in progress. 

Wendy is also working on a project on African American literatures, law and human rights and is co-editing a double volume collection on love and politics due to be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2022. 




Teaching Interests

New American Century: Culture and Crisis (final year module)