Dr Samuel Thomas
(email at email@example.com)
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
In August 2013, I organised 'International Pynchon Week' here in Durham: http://www.ipw2013.com/
I have also spoken about Pynchon on CBC's 'Sunday Edition': http://goo.gl/v8Y1MX
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 Argentinian cultural politics in Gravity’s Rainbow (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 (from the American novel to Palestinian cinema) and the figure of 'Carlos the Jackal'.
I am currently in the process of starting a large new project on region and labour history in contemporary US crime fiction (initially focusing on Elmore Leonard's Kentucky-set 'Raylan' stories and the TV series Justified).
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
- Contemporary US Crime Narrative
- 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. (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.
- Thomas, S. (2011). Review of Reaganism, Thatcherism and the Social Novel by Colin Hutchinson. Modern Language Review 106(1): 253-254.
Journal papers: academic
- Thomas, S. (2013). The Gaucho Sells Out: Thomas Pynchon and Argentina. Studies in American Fiction 40(1): 53-85.
- Thomas, S. (2013). Yours in Revolution: Retrofitting Carlos the Jackal. Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research 5(n/a): 451-478.
- 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