UCL English


Dr Lara Choksey

Email: l.choksey@ucl.ac.uk
Office no: FC206


Photograph of Lara Choksey

Education and Experience 

Lara Choksey grew up in various parts of the UK, including London, Newcastle, Wales, and the Midlands, before moving north for a BA in English at the University of Leeds (2010), south for an MA in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, London (2011), and back to the Midlands for a PhD in English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick (2017). In between her MA and PhD, she worked as a city reporter for the Statesman newspaper in Kolkata, India. She has been a Visiting Scholar in the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, and has held postdoctoral research fellowships at Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study (2017-18) and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter (2018-21). She has been affiliated with the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre as a Visiting Research Fellow since October 2020, where she is now Faculty Associate. She joined UCL as a lecturer in 2021.

Research Interests

Lara works on modern and contemporary literature, specialising in meetings of literature, science and technology, and political philosophy since the late eighteenth century. Topics of interest include French biology and the Haitian Revolution, the triangulation of Darwinism, sociology and literature in English socialism, and genomic neoliberalism. Her first book, Narrative in the Age of the Genome, shows how technologies of DNA sequencing have transformed the narration of human time, in readings of a range of texts – mostly speculative fiction – from the mid-1970s to the contemporary, and was shortlisted for the 2021 British Society for Literature and Science Book Prize. She is now working towards a second book, on abandoned pastorals in anticolonial aesthetics, and a special issue on speculative methodologies.


Narrative in the Age of the Genome: Genetic Worlds (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021).

Edited book

Ed. with Foreword, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Readings (Seagull, 2014).

Articles and Chapters in Books

‘Epidemiological Plots and National Syndrome’, The Sociological Review 70.2 (2022): 281-295.

Environmental Racialisation and Poetics of Influence in the Postgenomic Era: Fire, Soil, Spirit’, Medical Humanities 47 (2021): 145-155.

‘Colston Falling’, Journal of Historical Geography 74 (2021): 77-83.

Max Ritvo's Precision Poetry’, in The Palgrave Handbook of Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature and Science, ed. Ahuja N, Allewaert M, Andrews L, Canavan G, Evans R, Farooq NM, Fretwell E, Gaskill N, Jagoda P (Palgrave, 2020): 345-360.

Wagering the Future: Split Collectives and Decolonial Praxis in Assia Djebar's Ombre sultane and Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber’, in Ethical Futures and Global Science Fiction, ed. Milner A, Kendall Z, Smith A, Champion G (Palgrave, 2020): 211-232.

Peripheral Adaptation: Living with Climate Change in Doris Lessing's The Making of the Representative for Planet 8’, Journal of Literature and Science (2019): 21-37.

The Runaway Sign: Semiotic Adaptation in Literary Analysis’, Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry2.1 (2015): 25-49.


Josie Gill, Biofictions: Race, Genetics and the Contemporary NovelThe Review of English Studies 73. 308 (2022): 197–199.

Farhan Samanani, Race in Britain: Inequality, Identity and Belonging’, Wasafiri: Caribbean, African, Asian and Associated Literatures in English 35:3 (2020): 81-82.

Kevin Brazil, David Sergeant, and Tom Sperlinger (eds.), Doris Lessing and the Forming of History, Doris Lessing Studies 35 (2018): 5-8.