Centre for Studies in Literature


This network is designed to foster debate, academic collaboration and exchange on topics within the broad field of contemporary fiction. It aims to bring together scholars with interests in the field in order to maximise synergies between their current research projects, exploring both ‘literary studies’ perspectives and other multi-disciplinary approaches. These webpages and the associated mailing list also offer a range of resources for those interested in contemporary fiction, such as information about conferences and events in the field.

Join the Network

Linked to the site is a private JISC-mail discussion group, FICTION-NETWORK, which aims to further disseminate information and knowledge about contemporary fiction and its creators.

You may join the list by visiting http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/FICTION-NETWORK and following the subscription link there. Membership is free, and requests are moderated by the list owner. Please allow up to seven days for membership to be confirmed.


Who we are

The network is affiliated to the Centre for Studies in Literature (CSL) at the University of Portsmouth. Within CSL there is significant expertise in post-war writing (1945-1979) and contemporary fiction (1980-present) in Britain, North America, and Canada, with staff sharing a particular interest in the interface between contemporary cultural production and the literary and cultural past, how strategies of ‘re-writing’ figure in contemporary texts, and how the contemporary literary moment is analysed. Research areas include Post-Second World War British Fiction, crime fiction, travel writing, magical realism, the (neo)historical novel, postcolonial, immigrant and multi-ethnic writing, and  postmodernism.  Current projects involve the study of the link between orality, legal discourse and Native American writing; immigrant writing and transnationalism in post-1965 US literature; the uses of crime fiction by prominent post-war literary novelists; the neo-Victorian novel; the English home tour; and fascism in contemporary literature, film and culture.

Recent notable publications by researchers in this field include monographs on Margaret Atwood and on Anne Hébert; on American postmodernist fiction and the past; and The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction. CSL researchers have also edited essay collections on spectrality in the neo-Victorian novel; land and identity; war writing and the body; and crime cultures.

Our staff sit on editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals, and regularly referee articles and book proposals for journals including TLSBody & SocietyAtlantisMosaicModern Fiction StudiesWomen: A Cultural Review, and Textual Practice, and publishers including Palgrave, Ashgate, Continuum and Cambridge University Press.

Researchers working in this area are: 


The website was formally launched at an event held at the ASPEX Gallery in Portsmouth on April 25th 2012.  See more.

The Centre for Studies in Literature (CSL) hosted a two-day international conference dedicated to Contemporary Fiction in 2013: Trauma & Memory: the Holocaust in Contemporary Culture.

We maintain a list of contemporary authors with an online presence.