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School of English and Drama

Professor Scott McCracken, BA (Cantab), PhD (KCL)


Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature



I did my undergraduate degree in English at the University of Cambridge and my PhD at King’s College University of London. I have taught at the University of Salford, the University of the Pacific, Sheffield Hallam University, and Keele University. I have been a visiting Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University and a visiting Professor at the University of British Columbia. My earliest publications were on the Fin de Siècle, but I now focus on the long twentieth century.

I am a member of the Sexual Cultures Research Group in the School of English and Drama.

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Undergraduate Teaching

I have taught on:

  • ESH213: Modernism
  • ESH291: The Art of Brevity: The Short Story 1890-1945
  • ESH6049: All in the Mind: Literature and Consciousness


Research Interests:

  • Modernist Literature
  • Dorothy Richardson
  • Popular Fiction
  • Critical Theory
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Gender Studies; Masculinities.

Recent and On-Going Research

I am currently working on two projects. I am the General Editor of Dorothy Richardson Scholarly Editions Project: a collaboration between Queen Mary, the University of Oxford, the University of Birmingham, and Birkbeck, funded by a major AHRC grant. Dorothy Richardson was a pioneering modernist writer, a contemporary of Marcel Proust and James Joyce, whose contribution to European modernism has not had the recognition it deserves. The Richardson editions, eleven volumes of her fiction, letters, and non-fiction, will be published by Oxford University Press and will restore Richardson to her proper place in literary history. Details of the project can be found at

The second project is a monograph, which rethinks the twentieth century from the perspective of political defeat: Thinking Through Defeat: Literary Responses to Political Failure from the Paris Commune to the Berlin Wall. The starting point of is what Perry Anderson describes at the ‘comprehensive’ defeat of the left at the end of the twentieth century. The study examines the aesthetic responses to three earlier moments of defeat, 1871, 1933, and 1989 in Britain, France, and Germany, to ask how those responses might help us to rethink the twentieth century from the perspective of its losers.

I am an active member of the new formations editorial collective and I was editor the journal from 2000-2004 and co-editor with David Glover 2004-2008. I was a founder member of the Northern Modernism Seminar, the Dorothy Richardson Society, and the British Association of Modernist Studies. I was a member of the AHRC peer review college 2009-2012.



2012 The Cambridge Companion to Popular Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp.225, introduced and edited with David Glover.
2007 Masculinities, Modernist Fiction and the Urban Public Sphere (Manchester University Press), pp.201.
Paperback edition published in 2013.
2006 Benjamin’s Arcades Project: An Unguided Tour (Manchester University Press), pp.205, co-authored with Peter Buse, Ken Hirschkop, Bertrand Taithe.
1998 Pulp: Reading Popular Fiction (Manchester University Press), pp.209.

Recent publications

2016 ‘The Commune in Exile: Lissagaray, Verlaine, and Monet’, in Joseph Bristow and Jo McDonagh (eds) Essays in Honour of Sally Ledger (Palgrave Macmillan)
2016 ‘Wet Aesthetics: Immersion versus the “perfect imbecility” of the stream in Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage’, co-authored with Rebecca Bowler, in Christine Reynier, Bénédicte Coste, and Catherine Delyfer (eds), Beyond the Great Divide: Reconnecting Aestheticism and Modernism (London: Routledge).
2015 The Long Modernist Novel, (eds) with Jo Winning, Modernist Cultures 10, 3.
2015 ‘Günter Grass’s Ein weites feld as Post-Cold War Novel’, Novel: a forum for fiction, 48, 1 (August), 190-207.
2014 ‘The Mood of Defeat’, in ‘Mood Work’ Ben Highmore and Jenny Bourne Taylor (eds) a special issue of, new formations: a journal of culture/theory/politics, 82 (Autumn), 64-81.
2014 ‘The Author as Arsonist: Henry James and the Paris Commune’, Modernism/Modernity 21,1 (Jan 2014), 71-87.


I have extensive supervision of doctoral supervision and I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research. 

I have supervised successful projects on Dorothy Richardson, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Arnold Bennett, T. S. Eliot, women and the modernist city, the child in contemporary literature, modernism and Vanity Fair, representations of the hand in modernist literature, literary representations of cricket, and a creative practice PhD on avant-garde poetry.

Public Engagement

I am actively engaged in raising the public profile of the early twentieth-century modernist writer, Dorothy Richardson. An online exhibition about her letters was launched in 2015 In 2015 I collaborated with the Marchmont Association to erect a blue plaque commemorating Richardson’s residence in Woburn Walk in Central London. A physical exhibition about Richardson will tour from 2017.