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Dr Peter Lawson

Peter Lawson

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am an Honorary Associate and Associate Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the Open University. My research concerns contemporary British-Jewish poetry and drama, Holocaust literature and utopian/dystopian texts. Among my critical works are two books on British Jewish poetry: Passionate Renewal: Jewish Poetry in Britain since 1945 (Five Leaves, 2001) and Anglo-Jewish Poetry from Isaac Rosenberg to Elaine Feinstein (Vallentine Mitchell, 2006). The former was awarded a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. I am also a poet with a published collection, Senseless Hours (2009).

As a member of the Open University Postcolonial and Global Literatures Research Group, I convened a conference on utopia and dystopia in contemporary British-Jewish culture (2015). Subsequently, I guest-edited a special issue of the Journal of European Popular Culture (2016), which features articles based on conference papers.

Currently, I am guest-editing a special issue of Humanities on contemporary British-Jewish literature, 1970-2020. A recent essay, 'Pinter and Poetry', will appear in The Harold Pinter Review later this year.

Please find below a selection of my publications and conference papers. 

Publications

Books

Senseless Hours (London: Bayswater Press, 2009), 46 pages

Anglo-Jewish Poetry from Isaac Rosenberg to Elaine Feinstein (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2006), 227 pages

Passionate Renewal: Jewish Poetry in Britain since 1945 (Nottingham: Five Leaves, 2001), 354 pages

Edited Book

Karen Gershon, A Tempered Wind, edited by Peter Lawson and Phyllis Lassner (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2009), 183 pages

Essays in Edited Books

'The Promised Land: Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary Anglo-Jewish Literature’, Yearbook for European Jewish Literature Studies, edited by Caspar Battegay (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016), pp.183-201

‘Otherness and Transcendence: The Poetry of Ruth Fainlight and Elaine Feinstein’, in British Jewish Women Writers, edited by Nadia Valman (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2014), pp.135-155

‘Anglo-Jewish Theatre’, in The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp.592-593

‘Anglo-Jewish Poetry’, in The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp.478-479

Edited Journals

Humanities: 'Contemporary British-Jewish Literature, 1970-2020' [special issue, TBP 2020]: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/british_jewish

Journal of European Popular Culture: ‘Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary British Jewish Literature’ 7.1 (2016), 99 pages
 

Shirim: ‘British Jewish Poetry’ 27.2-28.1 (2009), 63 pages

Refereed Articles in Journals

'Pinter and Poetry', The Harold Pinter Review [TBP 2020]

'The Promised Land: Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary British Jewish Literature’, Journal of European Popular Culture 7.1 (2016), 3-8

‘Utopia and dystopia in the British Jewish poetry of Ruth Fainlight and Elaine Feinstein’, Journal of European Popular Culture7.1 (2016), 47-57

‘Trouble in Utopia: “With the Night Mail” and “As Easy as A.B.C.”’, The Kipling Journal 89.359 (2015), pp.42-52

 ‘Towards a Diasporic Poetics: the case of British Jewish poetry’, European Judaism: A Journal for the New Europe 47.2 (2014), pp. 30-40

Poems and Blogs

‘The State of British Jewish Poetry’, The Jewish Quarterly (2015), blog

‘Poems’, The Jewish Quarterly 61:1 (2014), p.11

Conferences and Lectures

'Pinter and Poetry', 2019, Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies, A Three-Day International Conference, Leeds University

'Utopia Postponed: The Didactic Theatre of Arnold Wesker', 2018, Hyphenated Cultures: Contemporary British-Jewish Theatre, Technische Universität Braunschweig (https://britishjewishtheatre.org)

'Beyond Realism: London and the Theatre of Harold Pinter', 2018, The City: Myth and Materiality, Association for Literary Urban Studies/ Institute of Historical Research, University of London

'Performing Jewishness: Reflections on the Theatre of Harold Pinter', 2018, Bangor Jewish Contemporary Cultures, Bangor University

'Poetry and Protest: Reflections on the Plays of Steven Berkoff, Harold Pinter and Arnold Wesker', 2017, Hyphenated Cultures: Contemporary British-Jewish Theatre, Technische Universität Braunschweig 

‘John Rodker: “Foreign-ness” and Modern Jewish Literature’, 2016, The Texture of Jewish Tradition: Investigations in Textuality, University of Birmingham

The Promised Land: Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary British-Jewish Culture (conference convener), 2015, The Open University (http://britishjewishcontemporaryculture.com)

'Recollection in Anxiety: Howard Jacobson’s The Finker Question and J’, 2015, Memory Frictions: Conflict-Negotiation-Politics’, Universidad Zaragoza

‘Poetry after Auschwitz’, 2015, Tracing Topographies: Revisiting the Concentration Camps Seventy Years after the Liberation of Auschwitz, University of Kent

‘Rudyard Kipling’s Dystopian Turn: “With the Night Mail” and “As Easy as A.B.C.”’, 2014, European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies Conference, University of Helsinki

‘Palestine in the Poetry of Isaac Rosenberg and Siegfried Sassoon’, 2014, The Jewish Experience of the First World War, University of Sussex/Royal Holloway

‘British Jewish Poetry Projects’, 2014, British Jewish Contemporary Culture Colloquium, University College London

 ‘Diasporic Poetry in Britain’, 2014, Associate Lecturer Research Seminar, The Open University

‘Towards a Diasporic Poetics: the case of British Jewish poetry’, 2013, Postgraduate Research Seminar, University of Northampton

‘Paul Celan’/ ‘Sylvia Plath and the Holocaust’/ ‘Philip Roth and the American Dream’/ ‘The American Jewish Novel 1960-1990’, 2013, The Rest is Noise, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London

‘The State of British Jewish Poetry’, 2013, British Jewish Contemporary Culture Colloquium, University of Winchester

 ‘Poetry After the Holocaust’, 2012, A Day at the IWM London, Imperial War Museum