John Wrighton lectures and researches in Literature with a specialism in 20th Century and contemporary American poetry.
His concept of the 'poethical', a contemporary poetic "turn to ethics", characterises John's approach. He also works with American literature and culture, modernist and avant-garde experimental writing, and representations of the city space.
PhD Aberystwyth University
B.A. Hons. University of Southampton
Dr John Wrighton is Head of Research for the School of Humanities, and Research Leader (Literature). He directs the strategic development of researchers in the Humanities subjects at Brighton (Literature; Language & Linguistics; History of Art & Design; History, Philosophy, Culture and Politics), and has served as Subject Leader for Literature, and is currently Course Leader, MA Literature. During 2011-13, Dr Wrighton was seconded to the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre at Ryerson University in Toronto, where he held the position of International Research Fellow.
In 2006, Dr Wrighton was awarded the Rose and Sigmund Strochlitz Research Grant to undertake archival work at University of Connecticut (USA). Synthesizing his studies in ethical philosophy and post-structuralist theory with a pioneering new reading of post-war American poetics this project led to the publication of his acclaimed first book Ethics and Politics in Modern American Poetry (New York and London: Routledge, 2010). His cutting-edge research knowledge is disseminated regularly at major international conferences, in addition to guest lectures for prestigious institutions (including, in 2011, Edinburgh University in Scotland and Ryerson University in Canada). He has organised and chaired important gatherings in the field and has co-authored articles with world leading scholars, most recently with Tier One Canada Research Chair, Professor Irene Gammel.
Dr Wrighton’s research at the critical nexus of ideas between literature, ethics, and society, is motivated in synergy with a deep commitment to the idea of the university and the personal and social value of literary study. In 2014, in recognition of his professional and academic leadership, Dr Wrighton was accredited to Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2009, he took a central role in a nation-wide HEFCW funded project supporting the enhancement of learning and teaching through the innovative use of digital technologies and he has been an ambassador for widening participation and social inclusion at institutions in England and Wales. Through his leadership as International Research Fellow 2011-13 at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre (MLCRC) at Ryerson University in Toronto, and in his current post as Head of Research, Dr Wrighton actively supports the early career development of researchers and postgraduate students across the humanities. Recent collaborative projects include the expansion of the inter-departmental Centre for Contemporary Poetry across four universities and the co-ordination of its annual and international video-linked seminar series.
Dr Wrighton's personal website: www.johnwrighton.com.
Dr Wrighton’s profile page at Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre (MLCRC), Ryerson University, Canada: www.ryerson.ca/mlc/inside158.html.
Centre for Contemporary Poetry website edited by Dr Wrighton: www.contempoetry.com.
Dr Wrighton’s research focuses on twentieth century American literature and culture, the study of poetic schools and movements in modernist and avant-garde poetry, and the “turn to ethics” in literary theory. Through creative and critical enquiry and in cross-disciplinary collaborative and archival work, his research explores the intersections between literature, society, ethics, and technological innovation, through perspectives from cultural history, ecology, philosophy, and literary theory.
Dr Wrighton welcomes expressions of interest from prospective PhD students. (See University of Brighton Doctoral College for further information). His supervision to-date includes:
Wrighton, John (2017) Reading Responsibly between Martha Nussbaum and Emmanuel Levinas: Towards a Textual Ethics for the Twenty-First Century Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, 19 (1). ISSN 1524-8429
Wrighton, John (2016) The Textual Ethics of Dada: A Case Study Textual Practice, 31 (1). pp. 117-140. ISSN 0950-236X
Gammel, Irene and Wrighton, John (2013) “Arabesque Grotesque”: Toward a Theory of Dada Ecopoetics Isle: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, 20 (4). pp. 795-816. ISSN 1076-0962
Wrighton, John (2013) Ethnopoetics and the performativity of place: Jerome Rothenberg and "That Dada Strain" In: Davidson, Ian and Skoulding, Zoe, eds. Placing Poetry. Spatial Practices . Editions Rodopi B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 257-280. ISBN 9789042036147
Wrighton, John (2010) Ethics and politics in modern American poetry Literary criticism and cultural theory . Routledge. ISBN 9780415801225
Wrighton, John (2005) Expanding the range of reference English, 51 (208). pp. 72-76. ISSN 0013-8215
(2017) 'Contemporary British and American Poetics: the trans-Atlantic avant garde', Seminar organiser for English Shared Futures, Newcastle Civic Centre
(2016) Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts (DRHA) 20th Anniversary Conference, with Alan Bolden, University of Brighton
(2013) Modernist Poetry Criticism and the New Ethics, Roundtable organiser and moderator for Modernist Studies Association annual convention, Sussex University
(2012) Poetry's Public, International seminar (featuring Canada's Poet Laureate, Fred Wah, Ryerson University Professor Dale Smith, and American poet, Hoa Nguyen) for Centre for Contemporary Poetry. Organiser & chair. Hosted at Ryerson University in Toronto, with a live transatlantic video-link across five universities (download the podcast flier here)
(2012) Poetry, Philosophy, and 'Creative Thinking', Introduction and Chairperson for Ryerson University, Faculty of Arts, Evening Lecture with Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy, Christopher Norris
(2011) Technology and Modernity, panel co-organised and co-chaired (with Professor Irene Gammel) for Modernist Studies Association annual convention, State University of New York, Buffalo, USA
(2009) Gwella Launch Symposium: Good Practice in Technology-enhanced Learning and Teaching, Conference Organiser, Aberystwyth University. (See Gwella Project Report and the Nexus Good Practice website)
(2008) Writers and Writing, Conference Organiser for Universities of Wales Staff/Postgraduate Annual Conference, Gregynog, Newtown, Wales
(2007) Fragment: Cultural Histories and Vocabularies of the Fragment in Text and Image, Conference Committee Member, Aberystwyth University, Wales
(2004) Cityscapes: perspectives from modern & contemporary culture, Conference Committee Member, Aberystwyth University, Wales
(2004) SKIN: texture/textuality/word/image, Conference Committee Member, Aberystwyth University, hosted by Institute of English Studies, University of London, England
Praise for Wrighton’s Ethics and Politics in Modern American Poetry (London and New York: Routledge, 2010) ISBN 0415801225
Thoughtful and copiously researched
- David Gewanter, Times Higher Education, 2009
An important and original piece of scholarly work, both literary and philosophical
- William E. Cain, Mary Jewett Gaisser Professor of English at Wellesley College
An insightful and nuanced account of the emergence of ethical trends in recent American poetics... Critically engaging… Wrighton’s conception of poethics providesEthics and Politics in Modern American Poetry with a clear organizational framework... excellent use of unpublished archival material and recent critical developments... a well-worked critical account of modern American poetry
- Alexander Howard, Textual Practice, Vol 25, 2011
Persuasively argued and thoughtfully researched, John Wrighton offers engaging analysis... The range of material is impressive, while each chapter builds toward a refreshingly unified view of post-WWII poetry -- one in which an "ethical turn" constitutes a formative and lasting aspect of American writing...
Both sophisticated and readable, "Ethics and Politics in Modern American Poetry" is an indispensable study for literary critics, university teachers, and general readers.
- Stephen Voyce, Assistant Professor of English, University of Iowa
(2011-13) International Research Fellow, Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre (MLCRC), Ryerson University, Canada
(2006) Rose and Sigmund Strochlitz Research Grant, Thomas J. Dodd Research Centre, University of Connecticut, USA
(2006) Department of English Postgraduate Travel Grant, Aberystwyth University, Wales
(2015-18) Member, Academic Group, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer Review College
(2015-) Member, Languages and Literature Subject Group panel, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) TECHNE Doctoral Consortium
(2016-) English (ISSN 0013-8215), Peer-Reviewer
(2016) Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice (ISSN 1364-2529), Peer-Reviewer
(2015-) Monograph reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan, Scholarly and Reference Division
(2015-) Modernism/Modernity (ISSN 1071-6068), Peer-Reviewer
(2013-) KB Journal: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society (ISSN 1930-0026), Peer-Reviewer
(2013-) Dada/Surrealism (ISSN 00849537), Peer-Reviewer
(2011- ) C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century Writings (ISSN 2045-5216), Editorial board
(2007-08) New Welsh Review (ISSN 09542116), Assistant Editor
(2006- ) Centre for Contemporary Poetry online journal, Editor
(2014) Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
(2015) Member, JISC Learning and Teaching Experts Group
(2017-19) Advisory Council member, Institute of English Studies, University of London, School of Advanced Study
(2016) Panel member for Program Collaboration Approval Event, University of Northampton, with DEI College, Greece
(2016) External Examiner, doctoral viva voce
(2009) Report for Higher Education Academy Blended Learning Benchmarking and Pathfinder project, commended for dissemination via Evaluation and Dissemination Support Advisers: 'The Student Learner Experience: Eliciting and Embedding the Learner Voice in Processes of Quality Enhancement'
University Committee Membership