Professor Benjamin Noys

Professor of Critical Theory

Professor Benjamin Noys


Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory and coordinator of the MA English Literature.

His research focuses on critical and literary theory, with particular interest in the avant-garde, film, and the cultural politics of theory.


Professor Noys’ research interests include:

  • Critical theory
  • Literary theory
  • Psychoanalysis
  • American literature
  • Film
  • The avant-garde
  • Art and art practice
  • Modern and contemporary poetry
  • Cultural politics.

He is External Affiliate of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths, University of London, contributing editor of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, a member of the advisory editorial board of Film-Philosophy, and a corresponding editor of Historical Materialism.

He is currently completing a book on contemporary politics and developing a future project on neurosis.


Professor Noys teaches on the following undergraduate modules:

  • ENL 103 Strategies for Reading
  • ENL 108 Critical Perspectives
  • ENL 218 Postcolonial Readings
  • ENL 324 Psychoanalysis and Culture

He is also the Coordinator for the MA English Literature courses, and teaches on:

  • MAEN01 Literature in the Present Moment
  • MAEN03 Visions of the Real
  • MAEN04 Activating Research

He is also the coordinator for the MA dissertations.

PhD Supervision

Professor Noys is a qualified PhD Supervisor with successful supervisions on the visual and textual politics of pornography and the archiving of digital art.

He is looking to supervise in the areas of contemporary critical and cultural theory, film, psychoanalysis, the avant-garde, and the intersections of literature and theory.


His recent work includes the books The Persistence of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press 2010) and Malign Velocities: Accelerationism and Capitalism (Zero Books 2014), both dealing with the state of contemporary theory.

Recent and forthcoming articles and chapters include ‘Happy like Neurotics: Roland Barthes, Ben Lerner, and the Neurosis of Writing’, College Literature 45.1 (2018), ‘Matter against Materialism: Bruno Latour and the Turn to Objects’, in Theory Matters: The Place of Theory in Literary and Cultural Studies Today (2016), and pieces on drones, libidinal economy, intoxication and accelerationism, the ontologies of life, American literature, and the philosophy of art.

Selected publications

  • Malign Velocities: Accelerationism and Capitalism (Zero Books, 2014)
  • The Persistence of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press, 2010)
  • The Culture of Death (Berg 2005)
  • Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (Pluto 2000)


  • BSc (Brunel University)
  • MA (Sussex University)
  • DPhil (Sussex University)

Other department members

David Swann
Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

David Swann was born four doors up the street from the novelist Jeanette Winterson, who scared him stiff with spooky stories.

Karen Stevens
Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Karen has a special interest in the contemporary novel, children’s fiction and short fiction.

Professor Duncan Salkeld
Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature

Professor Duncan Salkeld is Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Chichester.

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