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Dr Christopher Gair,
BA (Loughborough); MA, PhD (Nottingham)

Lecturer in American Studies, University of Birmingham.


Areas of Research: Whiteness; Realism, Naturalism and Modernism; the thriller. Current research is on the redefinition of ‘whiteness’ in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, focusing on the links between canonical fiction and popular culture.

Recent publications include: ‘The Ends of Empire: Race and Imperialism in Jack London's People of the Abyss,’ Symbiosis, 3.2 (1999).

Works in Progress: Writing Americans,1880-1925, examines the ways in which (now canonical) novelists seeking or claiming a lengthy American genealogy engaged with the transformation of American life from the late nineteenth-century. Although the central authors in this study (Mark Twain, Henry James, Jack London, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton) are necessarily ‘canonical’, these are juxtaposed with a combination of writings from other sources, such as fiction by immigrants, non-fictional texts by Veblen, William James, Henry Fairfax Osborn, Henry Adams, William Graham Sumner, etc., in a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary approach to the period.

Policing the Margins: Detective Fiction and Ethnic Identities,1960-1990 is a study of the tensions and possibilities enabled through the incorporation and subversion of popular culture by non-hegemonic communities. This study draws on a variety of critical approaches, concentrating on the problems and possibilities associated with employing popular culture as a means of political protest, and questioning the ways in which marginalized groups have redefined the thriller.

Last updated 1st December 2000 .