|Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies||Room 265, Elvet Riverside 2||+44 (0) 191 33 44334|
Office hour 2021-22: Online via Zoom (Link TBC)
I am Assistant Professor in World Literatures in English. My research focuses on literary style, ‘world literature’ and the historical sociology of modernity. My first book, The Politics of Style: Towards a Marxist Poetics (Brill: 2017), developed a systematic theory of literary style through an immanent critique of the work of Raymond Williams, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson. I have continued to refine my thinking on style in articles for Poetics Today, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory, and Textual Practice (the latter forthcoming).
Style raises the question of how one conceptualizes the intersection of individual and collective. The phenomenon of impersonality raises similar questions. To explore them, I have published several articles which offer (broadly speaking) an interdisciplinary study of literary impersonality in ‘world literature’ across the long twentieth century: from the writings of Karl Marx, through early twentieth-century modernism and literary criticism, to contemporary postcolonial fiction and literary theory. They connect and intervene in four debates: the question of modernist impersonality (its nature, range and variable political valences); contemporary theories of ‘world literature’; the notion of capitalism as a system of ‘impersonal domination’; and what might broadly be called the ‘poetics of critique.’
I have also continued my engagement with Raymond Williams’s work. I read Williams’s late work in particular – from the 1970s onwards – as a complement and challenge to prevailing materialist approaches to ‘world literature.’ In a recent article, I argued that his writings on Wales, nationalism, modernism, the classics, writing and orality, not to mention his cultural materialist methodology more generally, offer a powerful anti-imperial conception of literacy and a novel understanding of universality, intellectuality, and education. For 2022, I have been invited to edit a special issue of the journal Key Words, the topic for which will be ‘Raymond Williams and “World Literature.”’
I am currently working on a new book project, provisionally entitled Peasant Modernism: The Cultural Logic of Post-Capitalism. Depeasantization is often seen as definitive of modernity: the peasant belongs to a pre-modern past that is overcome in the course of modern capitalist development. Yet contemporary repeasantization movements (e.g., La Via Campesina) challenge this view of history. In their rejection of capitalist industrial agriculture, their fight for food sovereignty and land, peasants are fully contemporary global subjects. Accordingly, this project develops a theory of "peasant modernism". It identifies the impasses of dominant discourses of modernity (on left and right), explores old and new modes of (aesthetic and political) peasant representation, and studies the grassroots decolonization of intellectual production. Peasant imaginaries, I claim, are key to any "Green New Deal".
I am also compiling material for projects on Spinozism and literature, the Objectivist poets, and anti-capitalist documentary poetics. Long term, I hope to write an intellectual history of cultural revolution. To this end I have already published two preparatory articles, both on the early Marx: one on the relevance of Schiller’s conception of aesthetic education for the early Marx’s theory of revolution, and one on objectivity, alienation and the senses in the 1844 Manuscripts. I have ongoing interests in the history of aesthetics, the Anthropocene/ Capitalocene, and theories of the subject in radical contemporary thought.
I completed my B.A. in English Literature at the University of Cardiff, during which I worked for one year as an assistant d'anglais at a lycée in Orléans (France). Following my undergraduate studies, I returned to France to work as a lecteur d'anglais for one year at Université Nancy 2 and Sciences Po. From 2008-2010, I undertook a two-year Research M.A. in Literary Studies at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. I was subsequently awarded a scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (Germany). Following my Ph.D., I worked for two years as a wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, and 6 months as a Temporary Professor, in the English department at Gießen. From 2016-18, I was a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for World Literatures at the University of Leeds, working as part of a Leverhulme project entitled “Traumatic Pasts, Cosmopolitanism, and Nation-Building in Contemporary World Literature.” In summer 2018, I was appointed Assistant Professor of World Literatures at Durham.
I welcome applications or informal queries relating to Ph.D. supervision in research areas which overlap with my own, in particular:
- Anglo-American Marxist literary theory (especially the work of Raymond Williams)
- Althusserian and post-Althusserian thought (esp. Badiou and Rancière)
- Materialist approaches to "world literature"
- Most areas of Marxist poetics/ aesthetics
- Hartley, D. (2016). The Politics of Style: Towards a Marxist Poetics. Brill Academic Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004287624
Chapter in book
- Hartley, D. Die Stimmen des Kapitals: Poetik der Kritik jenseits von Empfindung und Zynismus. In M. Bies, & E. Mengaldo (Eds.), Marx konkret: Poetik und Ästhetik des Kapitals (93-108). Wallstein Verlag
- Hartley, D. (2021). Anti-Imperial Literacy, the Humanities, and Universality in Raymond Williams’s Late Work. In P. Stasi (Ed.), Raymond Williams at 100. Rowman & Littlefield
- Hartley, D. (2021). The Voices of Capital: Poetics of Critique Beyond Sentiment and Cynicism. In M. Steven (Ed.), Understanding Marx, Understanding Modernism (74-85). Bloomsbury
- Hartley, D. (2020). Style. In J. Frow (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190201098.013.1163
- Hartley, D. (2019). Keeping it Real: Literary Impersonality under Neoliberalism. In S. Deckard, & S. Shapiro (Eds.), World literature, neoliberalism and the culture of discontent (131-155). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-05441-0_6
- Hartley, D. (2019). Home and Law: Impersonality and Worldlessness in J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus and Jenny Erpenbeck’s Gehen, Ging, Gegangen (2015). In S. Durrant, D. Farrier, L. Stonebridge, E. Cox, & A. Woolley (Eds.), Refugee Imaginaries: Research Across the Humanities. Edinburgh University Press
- Hartley, D. (2018). 'Slavery to an Assembly Line is not Liberation from Slavery to the Kitchen Sink': Assessing Social Reproduction Theory's Challenge to Liberal-Feminist and Classical-Marxist Paradigms. In G. Olson, M. Horn, D. Hartley, & R. Schmidt (Eds.), Beyond Gender: An Advanced Introduction to Futures of Feminist and Sexuality Studies (100-116). Routledge
- Hartley, D. (2017). Radical Schiller and the Young Marx. In S. Gandesha, & J. Hartle (Eds.), Aesthetic Marx (163-184). Bloomsbury
- Hartley, D. (2016). Anthropocene, Capitalocene and the Problem of Culture. In J. W. Moore (Ed.), Anthropocene or Capitalocene? (154-165). Oakland: PM Press
- Hartley, D. (2015). Style as Structure of Feeling: Emergent Forms of Life in the Theory of Raymond Williams and George Saunders's Tenth of December. In M. Basseler, D. Hartley, & A. Nünning (Eds.), Emergent Forms of Life in Anglophone Literature: Conceptual Frameworks and Critical Analyses (1-24). Trier: WVT
- Olson, G., Horn, M., Hartley, D., & Schmidt, R. (Eds.). (2018). Beyond Gender: An Advanced Introduction to Futures of Feminist and Sexuality Studies. Routledge
- Basseler, M., Hartley, D., & Nünning, A. (Eds.). (2015). Emergent Forms of Life in Anglophone Literature: Conceptual Frameworks and Critical Analyses. Trier: WVT
- Hartley, D. (2022). 'down-to-earth (o very earthy) magic': Nature, Objectivity and Folk Speech in Lorine Niedecker and Theodor W. Adorno
- Hartley, D. (2022). Dedramatising Ideology: Style, Interpellation and Impersonality in Denise Riley. Textual Practice, 36(4), 562-581. https://doi.org/10.1080/0950236x.2022.2030513
- Hartley, D. (2021). The Jamesonian Impersonal; or, Person as Allegory. Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, 29(1), 174-186. https://doi.org/10.1163/1569206x-12342004
- Hartley, D. (2020). 'Dead Letters': Impersonality and the Mourning of World Literature in Ivan Vladislavić's Double Negative. Interventions, 22(2), 195-211. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801x.2019.1659156
- Hartley, D. (2018). Style in the Novel: Toward a Critical Poetics. Poetics Today: International Journal for Theory and Analysis of Literature and Communication, 39(1), 159-181. https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-4265119
- From the Worker’s Two Bodies to Cultural Revolution
- Hartley, D. (2016). Combined and Uneven Styles in the Modern World-System: Stylistic Ideology in José de Alencar, Machado de Assis and Thomas Hardy. European Journal of English Studies, 20(3), 222-235. https://doi.org/10.1080/13825577.2016.1230388
- Hartley, D. (2016). On Raymond Williams: Complexity, Immanence, and the Long Revolution. Mediations (Normal, Ill. Online), 30(1), 39-60