Prof John Beck

Prof John Beck

I work mainly on twentieth century British and American literature and visual culture.

I studied at the University of East Anglia, UCL, and King's College, Cambridge. I was an Adrian Research Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge before taking up a post at Newcastle University, where I taught until 2012. At Westminster, I am Professor of Modern Literature and Director of the interdisciplinary Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture. 

My primary areas of research are Twentieth Century US literature, intellectual history and visual culture. I have published books on American modernist poetry, postwar Western American fiction, and 1960s art and technology. I have also published on landscape and politics in relation to aspects of American photography and film. Current research projects include a book on landscape photography and a study of Melville and the avant-garde.

I am collaborating, with artist Matthew Cornford, on a long-term project dealing with the history of British art schools. Work from the North West leg of this project has been exhibited in Liverpool (2018) and Bury (2019), and we are exhibiting new work on the West Midlands at New Art Gallery Walsall in 2020.

Research Supervision and External Examining

I have supervised 14 PhDs to completion on a wide range of subjects in English and American literature and culture. I have served as external examiner of PhDs at a number of universities, including Cambridge, Manchester, and Nottingham. I have served as external examiner for MSc programmes in American Literature and in Cultural Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and for undergraduate literature programmes at the University of East Anglia, the University of Kent, and Durham University.

In brief

Research areas

American Literature, Visual Culture, Modernism and American Intellectual History

Supervision interests

American Literature, Modernism and English and American Twentieth Century fiction