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Dr Alice Bennett

0151 291 3319 .

My teaching and research focus on literature from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. At Hope, I teach our undergraduate courses on modernism, postcolonial literature, literary theory, contemporary bookselling and publishing, and twenty-first-century writing. In our first year, I lecture on writers including Homer, Mina Loy, Derek Walcott, Ali Smith, and Kazuo Ishiguro, and on our MA in English Literature I convene modules on theory, science fiction, fantasy, and graphic narrative. I also teach our first-year writing tutorials and our third-year research skills tutorials. I'm the course co-ordinator for the final year of the English Literature BA and I also co-ordinate assessment for all our programmes in English Language, Literature, Creative Writing, and Media and Communication.

Before joining the department at Hope, I taught at Durham University, where I also completed my PhD. I have a BA from the University of Warwick and an MA from UCL.

My most recent book is called Alarm (Bloomsbury, 2022) and focuses on the history and cultural meaning of alarms, alerts, sirens and warnings. The book develops some interests in alertness, waking, vigilance, safety cultures and health/medical humanities which I've been working on for a few years. My research on related topics includes some ongoing work in critical sleep studies which looks at representations of sleeplessness in contemporary writing, and a monograph called Contemporary Fictions of Attention (Bloomsbury, 2018) which investigates literature's engagement with the concepts of managed attention and distraction. You can read some reviews of this book in The TLSC21 and The Review of English Studies. If you want to see more of my past research, you can access my work through my Google scholar profile.

I've written on HE issues in various places, including Wordplay and The New Statesman. I'm also deputy editor of C21 Literature: Journal of Twenty-First Century Writingsthe open-access journal of the British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies.

I've examined PhDs and MRes degrees in English Literature and in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Birmingham, Newman University and Queen's University Belfast. I've have also served as External Examiner for the BAs in English Literature and in Creative Writing at the University of Sunderland and as an external for the validation of the BA in Cultural Studies at Wirral Metropolitan College. 

I'm very happy to hear from prospective applicants for taught or research degrees at Hope who have interests in my area. You can email me at


  • Alarm. Bloomsbury, 2022.
  • Contemporary Fictions of Attention: Reading and Distraction in the Twenty-First Century. Bloomsbury, 2018.
  • Afterlife and Narrative in Contemporary Fiction. Palgrave, 2012.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • '"People with equal but opposite afflictions, propping each other up": Sleep Solidarity and Fictions of Mass Sleeplessness'. MFS 68.3, 2022: 525-543.
  • '"This Ridiculous Thing that Passes for a Passport": Seeking Asylum in Ali Smith's Fiction". Contemporary Women's Writing 12.3, 2018: 322-337.
  • 'Cold Reading A. L. Kennedy's The Blue Book'. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 56.2, 2015: 173-189.
  • 'Anticipated Returns: Purgatory, Exchange and Narrative After Life'. The Oxford Literary Review 31.1, 2009: 33-48.
  • 'Unquiet Spirits: Death Writing in Contemporary Fiction'. Textual Practice 23.3, 2009: 461-479.


  • 'Fiction in the Age of Distraction: Reading and Attention in the 2010s'. The 2010s: A Decade of Modern British Fiction. Ed. Nick Hubble. Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2023.
  • 'Wallace and Attention'. David Foster Wallace in Context. Ed. Clare Hayes-Brady. Cambridge UP, 2022.
  • '"'Tuning into my 'awareness continuum'": Optimized Attention in The Yips'. Nicola Barker: Critical Essays. Ed. Berthold Schoene. Gylphi, 2020.
  • 'Literature and Afterlife'. The Routledge Companion to Death and Literature. Eds. Daniel Jernigan, Neil Murphy and Michelle Wang. Routledge, 2020.
  • 'Afterlife'. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature: Literary Theory. Ed. John Frow et al. OUP, 2019.
  • 'Remaindered Books: Glen Duncan's Twenty-First Century Novels'. What Happens Now: 21st-Century Writing. Eds. Sian Adiseshiah and Rupert Hildyard. Palgrave, 2013.

Special Editions of Journals

  • Co-editor, with Peter Sloane. The Short Things. Special Issue of The Journal of David Foster Wallace Studies 1.2, 2019.
  • Co-editor, with Naomi Banks. Afterlives. Special issue of Kaleidoscope 4.1, 2010.

Public Events

  • Origin Stories: Migration. Being Human Festival of the Humanities, Museum of Liverpool (17 November 2018)
  • Not Sleeping: A One-Night Symposium on Wakefulness, Liverpool Hope University (8 September 2017). Funded by the Wellcome Trust.