Dr Ben Holgate, MA (Research), MCom (Sydney), DPhil (Oxon)
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgRoom Number: Graduate Centre 607Office Hours: Semester 1: Tuesdays, 3pm to 4pm, Graduate Centre 203
I joined QMUL’s Department of Comparative Literature in September 2018 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. Previously, I was an Associate Lecturer in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York. My Leverhulme research project is interdisciplinary, combining literary criticism and economics. It investigates how contemporary world literature critiques the nature of money in the digital age and ways in which ‘virtual’ finance has fundamentally transformed modern life and culture. I am teaching a module based on my research titled “Cybercapitalism and Literature” (COM 6207) in first semester 2019-20.
My monograph, Climate and Crises: Magical Realism as Environmental Discourse, was published by Routledge in early 2019. Click here to read more about it. The book makes a dual intervention in both world literature and ecocriticism by examining magical realism as an international style of writing that has long-standing links with environmental literature. I argue that, in the era of climate change when humans are facing the prospect of species extinction, new ideas and new forms of expression are required to address what the novelist Amitav Gosh calls a “crisis of imagination.” The book also challenges conventional conceptions of magical realism, contending they are often influenced by a geographic bias in the construction of the orthodox global canon, and instead examines contemporary fiction from Asia (including China) and Australasia, two regions that have been largely neglected by scholarship of the narrative mode. I am teaching a module titled “Expanding Boundaries: Re-thinking Magical Realism” (COM 5211) in second semester 2019-20.
I have a background in both media and finance. Initially, I worked as a newspaper journalist (including for The Australian and The Australian Financial Review), and as an executive producer of factual television for News Corp in Australia. Subsequently, I worked for investment banks Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as an equities research analyst covering the media industry.
I hold a Doctor of Philosophy in English from the University of Oxford, as well as a Master of Arts (Research) and a Master of Commerce (finance major) from the University of Sydney. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
World literature, contemporary Chinese literature, contemporary Anglophone literature, magical realism, ecocriticism, economics, digital humanities, postcolonial studies, critical theory.