Jarad Zimbler

Colleges, School and Institutes


I completed my undergraduate degree at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. After a period away from academia, I returned in 2004 for an MPhil in Criticism and Culture at Pembroke College, Cambridge, followed by a PhD in English Studies. I spent a year at the University of California, Berkeley as a Visiting Scholar in 2006-2007. Before joining Birmingham in 2013, I was the Junior Research Fellow in World Literatures of the 20th and 21st Centuries in English at Wolfson College, Oxford, and in January 2018 I was seconded to the University of Illinois at Chicago for two years as a Marie-Skłodowska Curie Global Fellow.

Research interests

My first monograph, J. M. Coetzee and the Politics of Style (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which was shortlisted for the University English Book Prize 2015, traces the emergence and meaning of Coetzee’s spare, stark and sometimes lyrical prose, and situates his early and middle fictions in relation to works of South African, European and American predecessors and peers. I am co-editor, with Ben Etherington, of The Cambridge Companion to World Literature (2018), and editor of The Cambridge Companion to J.M. Coetzee (2019).

Since 2012 I have been involved in a larger collaborative research project, Crafts of World Literature, initiated by myself and Dr Ben Etherington (Western Sydney University, Australia). We have thus far staged three international conferences and colloquia (Crafts of World Literature, 2012; Poetic Craft and White Settler Colonialism, 2013; Craft Wars, 2014), and convened a panel at the MLA 2018 (Crafts of World Literature: Materials, Genres, Forms) and a stream of panels at ASAUK 2018 (African Literature: Communities, Collaborations, Crafts & Crossings). We have also produced special issues of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature (2014), Wasafiri (2016) and The Cambridge Quarterly (2020).

I am currently completing work on a second book, Moving to America: Mid-Century American Literature and its Place in the World, which tracks the careers of three literary migrants (Denise Levertov, Stefan Heym, and Vladimir Nabokov).

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I would be very happy to supervise dissertations on topics in postcolonial/ world literatures, especially those focused on anglophone novelists and poets from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean. I would also be happy to supervise dissertations on British and American writers of mid- to late twentieth century, particularly if addressed from narratological and stylistic and/ or book historical perspectives.