Dr Samuel Thomas
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Before arriving in Durham some years back, I completed my doctorate at the University of Sussex (where I also worked as a tutor in English and Cultural Studies). My research is mostly focused on resistance politics in fiction from the Cold War era to the present day, especially the work of Thomas Pynchon. My first book, entitled Pynchon and the Political, was published by Routledge in 2007 (available in paperback as of 2012). I am one of the founding editors of the new, open access journal Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon: https://www.pynchon.net/owap/index
I'm also the designated organiser of 'International Pynchon Week' here in Durham: http://www.ipw2013.com/
My more recent work has a distinctly trans-atlantic and trans-hemispheric bent, exploring Pynchon’s engagement with national/regional cultures beyond the borders of the USA. This research includes articles on the representation of the Balkans in Against the Day and on the significance of Argentinian cultural politics in Gravity’s Rainbow (which is backed up by some unique archival sleuthing carried out in Buenos Aires).
In addition to this, I have strong interests in critical theory (esp. the Frankfurt School and Slavoj Žižek) and in the depiction of terrorism in fiction and film. In the latter area I have written on topics such as suicide bombing and the figure of 'Carlos the Jackal'.
I am currently in the process of starting a number of new projects, which both consolidate and depart from the research that has kept me busy thus far: on the gaucho stories of the Anglo-Argentine novelist and naturalist W. H. Hudson (inspired by a recent visit to Hudson’s birthplace in Argentina); on The Wire and the globalisation of organised crime; on documentary making and the radical environmental movement.
My teaching is mostly concentrated on the American Fiction and Literary Theory modules. I also run a special topic called Fictions of Terrorism and a Masters option on Thomas Pynchon, both of which are continually evolving in relation to new publications (and indeed to events in the world).
I supervise a number of PhDs and I welcome enquiries from anyone interested in working on a project related to my research areas.
- American Studies
- Critical Theory
- European Frontiers
- Thomas Pynchon
- Terrorism in Fiction and Film
- Critical Theory
- Argentina and Anglo-American Fiction
- Thomas, S. (2008). Review of Slavoj Žižek's In Defense of Lost Causes. Times Higher Education No.1,852(3-9 July): 51.
- Thomas, S. (2011). Review of Reaganism, Thatcherism and the Social Novel by Colin Hutchinson. Modern Language Review 106(1): 253-254.
- Thomas, S. (2007). Local and Global Antagonisms: Three Approaches to the Contemporary Novel. Textual Practice 21(4): 181-191.
- Thomas, S. (2007). Pynchon and the Political. London and New York: Routledge.
Journal papers: academic
- Thomas, S. (2013). The Gaucho Sells Out: Thomas Pynchon and Argentina. Studies in American Fiction 40(1): 53-85.
- Thomas, S. (2011). Outtakes and Outrage: The Means and Ends of Suicide Terror. MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 57(3): 425-449.
- Thomas, S. (2010). Metković to Mostar: Pynchon and the Balkans. Textual Practice 24(2): 353-377