Biography

I studied English and History at undergraduate level at Keele University in the UK and stayed on to complete an MA in Twentieth-Century British Fiction. After completing my doctorate on 1950s British fiction in 2001, I taught at a number of Universities including University of Birmingham, Staffordshire University, and the Open University before taking up the post of lecturer in English Literature at Keele in January 2005. I was promoted to senior lecturer in 2010.

Research and scholarship

My main research interests are in twentieth and twenty-first century literature and literary and cultural theory, and more specifically in:

  • the connections between (post-)postmodernism, postcolonialism and contemporary fiction and culture
  • fiction that addresses youth subcultures
  • contemporary working-class writing
  • BAME fiction (in a British context) of the postwar and contemporary period
  • the expression of marginalized and intersectional voices in postwar and contemporary literature

I would welcome PhD and MPhil applications for projects in any of these areas. I particularly welcome proposals that address issues of marginalized voices and identities in literature. I also co-supervise creative writing PhDs, particularly in the critical components of the work.

Current Projects and Membership of Subject Associations

I am currently working on a monograph on youth subcultures in fiction from the postwar period to the first decade of the twenty-first century. I am also developing research interests and funding bids in contemporary working-class writing, and the representation and construction of neurological conditions and mental illness in contemporary fiction.

I am on the executive committees of The British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies and the Literary London Society. I am a member of the British Association of Modernist Studies, American Comparative Literature Association, the European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, and the Doris Lessing Society.

Teaching

Undergraduate

ENG-10028: Telling Tales: An Introduction to Narrative Fiction

ENG-10034: Texts and Contexts

ENG-20033: Romanticisms

ENG-20056: Twentieth-Century British Fiction and Poetry

ENG-30053: Postmodernism: Fiction, Film and Theory

Postgraduate

ENG-40050: Working in Contemporary Literature and Film

ENG-40049: Studying Contemporary Literature and Film

ENG-40007: Criticism, Analysis, Theory in Literary Studies

MDS-40018: Globalisation, Culture and Media

Research

I would welcome PhD and MPhil applications for projects in any of the following areas:

  • the connections between (post-)postmodernism, postcolonialism and contemporary fiction and culture
  • fiction that addresses youth subcultures
  • contemporary working-class writing
  • BAME fiction (in a British context) of the postwar and contemporary period
  • the expression of marginalized and intersectional voices in postwar and contemporary literature.

I particularly welcome proposals that address issues of marginalized voices and identities in literature.

I also co-supervise creative writing PhDs, particularly in the critical components of the work.

During my time at Keele, I have completed three monographs, the first of which, Radical Fictions: The English Novel in the 1950s (Peter Lang, 2007), re-assesses the work of selected writers of the decade with respect to postwar reconfigurations of culture and politics and to changing attitudes to class, race, youth, gender and literary form. Contemporary British Fiction (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008), offers introductions to, and new readings of a range of well-known and less well-known contemporary writers. My third book, Martin Amis (Liverpool UP, 2015) offers a critical introduction of the writer’s work. My most recent book Contemporary British Fiction: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism (Palgrave Macmillan) offers an introductory guide to the major critical approaches in contemporary literary studies.

I have also edited and co-edited a number of collections. I am editor of British Fiction of the 1990s (Routledge, 2005) and have co-edited three collections: The 2000s: A Decade of Contemporary Fiction (Bloomsbury, 2015) (edited with Nick Hubble and Leigh Wilson); The 1950s: A Decade of Modern Fiction (Bloomsbury, 2018) (edited with Alice Ferrebe and Nick Hubble); and Teenage Dreams: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media (Palgrave, 2018) (edited with Beth Johnson and Andrzej Zieleniec). I have also had several journal articles and book chapters published on post-Second World War literature and culture.

 

Selected Publications

  • Bentley NP. 2018. Contemporary British Fiction: Readers' Guides to Essential Criticism. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bentley NP. 2016. ‘I’m an adolescent. And that’s how I’m going to stay’: Lessing and Youth Culture, 1956-1962. In Doris Lessing and the Forming of History. Brazil K, Sergeant D, Sperlinger T (Eds.). Edinburgh University Press.
  • Bentley NP. 2015. Subcultural fictions: Youth subcultures in twenty-first century British fiction. In The 2000s: A Decade of Contemporary British Fiction. Bentley N, Hubble N, Wilson L (Eds.). London: Bloomsbury.
  • Bentley NP. 2015. Martin Amis (Writers and Their Work). Northcote House.
  • Bentley NP. 2015. 'Unanchored fragments of print': Lessing’s Experiments with Drama and Poetry in the Late 1950s. Doris Lessing Studies, 19-26. full text>

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Bentley NP, Ferrebe A, Hubble N (Eds.). 2018. The 1950s: A Decade of Modern British Fiction. Bloomsbury.
  • Bentley NP. 2018. Contemporary British Fiction: Readers' Guides to Essential Criticism. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bentley NP, Johnson B, Zieleniec A (Eds.). 2018. Teenage Dreams: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media. Palgrave.
  • Hubble N. Bentley NP (Ed.). 2015. The 2000s: A Decade of Contemporary British Fiction. (9 vols.). Bloomsbury.
  • Bentley NP. 2015. Martin Amis (Writers and Their Work). Northcote House.
  • Bentley N. 2008. Contemporary British Fiction (Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature). Edinburgh University Press.
  • BENTLEY NP. 2007. Radical Fictions: The British Novel in the 1950s. Peter Lang Pub Inc.
  • Bentley N (Ed.). 2005. British Fiction of the 1990s. Routledge.

Journal Articles

  • Bentley NP. 2018. ‘Trailing Postmodernism: David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Zadie Smith’s NW, and the Metamodern’. English Studies, vol. 99(7), 723-743. doi> full text>
  • Bentley NP. 2015. 'Unanchored fragments of print': Lessing’s Experiments with Drama and Poetry in the Late 1950s. Doris Lessing Studies, 19-26. full text>
  • BENTLEY N. 2010. 'New Elizabethans': The Representation of Youth Subcultures in 1950s British Fiction. Literature & History, vol. 19(1), 16-33. link>
  • Bentley NP. 2009. Satiromania: Postmodern Satire in Martin Amis's Dead Babies. Critical Engagements: A Jounal of Criticism and Theory, vol. 3(2), 53-71.
  • BENTLEY NP. 2007. 'Re-writing Englishness: imagining the nation in Julian Barnes's "England, England" and Zadie Smith's "White Teeth"'. Textual Practice, vol. 21(3), 65-83. doi>
  • Bentley NP. 2007. Developing the Canon: Texts, Themes and Theories in Teaching Contemporary British Fiction. Anglistik & Englishunterricht, 27-45.
  • BENTLEY NP. 2005. 'Form and language in Sam Selvon's "The Lonely Londoners"'. Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, vol. 36(3-4), 67-84.
  • Bentley NP. 2005. The Young Ones: A reassessment of the British New Left's representation of youth subcultures. The European Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 8(1), 65-83. doi>
  • Bentley NP. 2004. Cruel Britannia: Translating Englishness in Colin McInnes' "City of Spades" and "Absolute Beginners". Connotations: A Journal of Critical Debate, vol. 13(1-2), 149-169.
  • Bentley N. 2003. Black London : The Politics of Representation in Sam Selvon's\fIThe Lonely Londoners\fP. WASAFIRI, vol. 39(39), 41-45. doi>
  • Bentley N. 2003. Writing 1950s London: Narrative strategies in Colin MacInnes's"City of Spades" and"Absolute Beginners". Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London.

Chapters

  • Bentley N. 2018. Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On: The Politics of Youth in 1950s Fiction. In The 1950's - A Decade of Modern British Fiction. Bloomsbury.
  • Bentley NP. 2018. From Prog to Punk: Cultural Politics and the Form of the Novel in Jonathan Coe's The Rotters’ Club. In Jonathan Coe: Contemporary British Satire. Tew P (Ed.). (1st ed.). Bloomsbury. link>
  • Bentley NP. 2017. Working-Class Writing and the Decline of Class Consciousness. In Accelerated Times: British Literature in Transition, Volume 5: 1980-2000. Schoene B and Pollard E (Eds.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Bentley NP. 2016. ‘I’m an adolescent. And that’s how I’m going to stay’: Lessing and Youth Culture, 1956-1962. In Doris Lessing and the Forming of History. Brazil K, Sergeant D, Sperlinger T (Eds.). Edinburgh University Press.
  • Bentley NP. 2016. The Changingman: Maculinity, Violence and Revenge in Martin Amis's Yellow Dog. In Beyond the City: Return of the Real London in Contemporary British Fiction. Hubble N and Tew P (Eds.). (1st ed.). Continuum. link>
  • Bentley NP. 2015. Subcultural fictions: Youth subcultures in twenty-first century British fiction. In The 2000s: A Decade of Contemporary British Fiction. Bentley N, Hubble N, Wilson L (Eds.). London: Bloomsbury.
  • Bentley NP. 2015. Re-Writing National Identities in 1990s British. In The 1990s: A decade of Contemporary British Fiction. (10 vols.). Bloomsbury.
  • Bentley N. 2015. Postmodern Revisions of Englishness: Rushdie, Barnes , Ballard. In Postmodern Literature and Race. Platt L and Upstone S (Eds.). (17 vols.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bentley NP, Hubble N, Wilson L. 2015. Introduction: Fiction of the 2000s: Political Contexts, Seeing the Contemporary, and the End(s) of Postmodernism. In The 2000s: A Decade of Contemporary British Fiction. (9 vols.). Bloomsbury.
  • Bentley NP. 2014. Postmodern Cities. In The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature. McNamara KR (Ed.). (18 vols.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bentley NP. 2014. Staring at the Rudeboys: The Representation of Youth Subcultures in Gautam Malkani’s Londonstani and John King’s Skinheads. In Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change. (13 vols.). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Bentley NP. 2014. 'Who Do You Think You Are Kidding?': The Retrieval of the Second World War in Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remians of the Day and Ian McEwan's Atonement. In Exoticizing the Past in Contemporary Neo-Historical Fiction. Rousselot E (Ed.). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bentley NP. 2013. Mind and Brain: the Representation of Trauma in Martin Amis's Yellow Dog and Ian McEwan's Saturday. In The Syndrome Syndrome: Disorders and Diseases in Contemporary Literature. Peacock J and Lustig T (Eds.). Routledge.
  • Bentley NP. 2012. Northern Yobs: Representations of Youth in 1950s Writing: Hoggart, Sillitoe and Waterhouse. In The Literary North. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. doi>
  • Bentley NP. 2011. Angry Young Man Fiction. In The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Bentley NP. 2010. ‘Alan Sillitoe: Realism, Representation and the (Ir)responsibility of Writing’. In Realism’s Others. Baker G and Aldea E (Eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.
  • BENTLEY NP. 2009. Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook: An Experiment in Critical Fiction. In Doris Lessing: Border Crossing. Ridout A and Watkins S (Eds.). London and New York: Continuum.
  • Bentley NP. 2005. Introduction: Mapping the Millennium: themes and trends in Contemporary British Fiction. In British Fiction in the 1990's. N B (Ed.). Routledge.