Education and Experience
Julia Jordan has a BA in Classics, and an MA in modern English literature (the ‘Issues in Modern Culture’ MA on which she now teaches). She received her PhD from UCL in 2008, and she has since taught various aspects of twentieth and twenty-first century literature at the Universities of Cambridge, Sussex and Cardiff. She was appointed to UCL as a lecturer in September 2013, and made Associate Professor in 2019.
Her research has largely focused on chance, late modernism, the avant garde of the postwar period, and contemporary experimental fiction. Her first monograph, Chance and the Modern British Novel, was published in 2010, and since then she has published on various writers in journals including Textual Practice, Critique and Modern Language Review. Her second monograph, Late Modernism and the Avant-Garde British Novel: Oblique Strategies, was published by Oxford University Press in March 2020. Its subject is the generation of experimentalist writers in Britain who were influenced by Samuel Beckett and the continental writers of the nouveau roman, and grappling with the legacy of the modernist tradition. The monograph considers, among others, Alan Burns, Christine Brooke-Rose, Brigid Brophy, B. S. Johnson, Nicholas Mosley, Ann Quin, Muriel Spark, Alexander Trocchi, and Denis Williams, and argues for this species of literature as particularly in thrall to the oblique and the accidental. The resurgence of the study of Johnson in particular has been instrumental in reinvigorating interest in this field: Julia is the co-editor of the anthology of his work Well Done God! The Uncollected B.S. Johnson (Picador, 2013), and the editor of a collection of essays on his work B. S. Johnson and Postwar Literature: Possibilities of the Avant Garde (Palgrave, 2014). She has contributed chapters on the mid-century avant garde for the recent Cambridge Companion to post-’45 British Fiction (Cambridge, 2015), and Flower/Power: British Literature in Transition 1960—1980, edited by Kate McLoughlin (Cambridge, 2017). Other interests include the writing of Samuel Beckett, Thomas Pynchon, Henry Green, Iris Murdoch, and William Empson, and her new project is on trees, poetry, and representation, currently entitled Arborealism.
Julia is or has recently been on the supervisory team for PhDs on the concept of the anexact in literature of the mid-twentieth century; the intersection between experimental 1960s literature and art; avant-garde literature and play; narrative form and experimentalism in Muriel Spark and Brigid Brophy; and the legacy of Pavlov, behaviourism and the twentieth-century novel.
Late Modernism and the Avant-Garde British Novel: Oblique Strategies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)
Chance and the Modern British Novel: from Henry Green to Iris Murdoch (London: Continuum, 2010)
Well Done God! Selected Prose and Drama of B.S. Johnson eds. Jonathan Coe, Philip Tew, Julia Jordan (London: Picador, 2013)
B.S. Johnson and Post-War Literature: Possibilities of the Avant-Garde eds. Julia Jordan and Martin Ryle (London: Palgrave, 2014)
Articles and Chapters in Books
‘Autonomous Automata: Opacity and the Fugitive Character in the Modernist Novel and After’, The Legacies of Modernism: Historicising Postwar and Contemporary Fiction, ed. David James (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 96—113.
‘Iris Murdoch’s “Thingy World”’ Modern Language Review, 107: 2 (April 2012), pp. 364—378.
‘“For recuperation”: Form and the Aleatory in B.S. Johnson’s The Unfortunates’, Textual Practice, 28: 5 (July, 2014), pp. 745-761.
‘Evacuating B.S. Johnson and Samuel Beckett', in B.S. Johnson and Post-War Literature: Possibilities of the Avant-Garde eds. Julia Jordan and Martin Ryle (London: Palgrave, 2014), pp. 136–152.
‘“What Arises From This?” The Autostereogrammatical in Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon’ Critique, 56: 3 (May, 2015), pp. 270–283.
‘Late Modernism and the Avant-Garde Renaissance’ in The Cambridge Companion to Post-1945 British Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
'Error and the Aleatory in the 1960s Experimental Novel', in Flower/Power: British Literature in Transition 1960—1980 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).
'Indeterminate Brooke-Rose' Textual Practice, 32: 2 (May, 2018)