Lyndsey Stonebridge

Lyndsey Stonebridge

Colleges, School and Institutes


Lyndsey Stonebridge joined the Department of English Literature and the Institute into Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham, as Interdisciplinary Chair in Humanities and Human Rights in September 2018. She also teaches in the Law School. This innovative interdisciplinary appointment is designed to further new understandings of how the arts and humanities connect with wider global histories of justice and human rights. Before coming to Birmingham, Professor Stonebridge had a long career at the University of East Anglia, where, among other roles, she was the founding Associate Dean of the Arts and Humanities Graduate School. Interdisciplinarity and the real-world relevance of humanities scholarship are core to her thinking, writing, and teaching.  She broadcasts, writes, and blogs regularly in the media on the cultural politics of human rights and, most recently, refugees and migration. 

Research interests


Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge’s work focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary literature, political theory, and history, Human Rights, and Refugee Studies, drawing on the interdisciplinary connections between literature, history, politics, law, and social policy. Her early work was concerned with the effects of modern violence on the mind in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (The Destructive Element (1998), Reading Melanie Klein (1998) and The Writing of Anxiety (2007). Over the past ten years her research has focussed on the creative history of responses to that violence in two awarding-winning books, The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg (2011), winner of the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize, 2014, and Placeless People: Writing, Rights, and Refugees (2018), winner of the Modernist Studies Association Best Book Prize 2018, and in her recent collection of essays, Writing and Righting: Literature in the Age of Human Rights (2020). 

The work of the twentieth-century political theorist, Hannah Arendt, is central to Professor Stonebridge’s understanding of modern history, violence, statelessness, and judgement. She is currently writing a critical-creative account of the relevance Arendt’s thinking for today, Thinking Like Hannah Arendt, which will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2022.  

The interdisciplinary focus of Professor Stonebridge’s work is key to her wider project to re-cast global histories of human rights and justice across a broad and comparative modern moral and political canvas, such, for example, as in the collaborative Global Challenges project with refugees and their host communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, Refugee Hosts, and with the University of Birmingham’s Rights4Time Global network.

She is a regular media commentator and broadcaster, and has written for The New StatesmanProspect Magazine. She is co-editor of Oxford University Press’s Mid-Century Series, and has held visiting positions at Cornell University and the University of Sydney. In 2017, she was elected as a Fellow of the English Association, and in 2019 was elected as a member of the Academia Europaea.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

• Interdisciplinary Human Rights and Refugee Studies
• Modern, Contemporary, and Postcolonial literatures
• Hannah Arendt and Critical Theory