Rona Cran

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

My scholarship is interdisciplinary and focusses on twentieth-century U.S. literature and culture. I have a particular interest in the poetry, art, and music of New York City. 

My first book was entitled Collage in Twentieth-Century Art, Literature, and Culture: Joseph Cornell, William Burroughs, Frank O’Hara, and Bob Dylan (Ashgate, 2014). Exploring the influence of Europe’s artist-émigrés on New York City culture from 1912 onwards, it argued that collage was both a transformative practice and a provocative theoretical model that was central to modernism and its aftermaths, revolutionizing the ways in which literature was written and art and music was made during the twentieth century.

I am now writing my second monograph, Multiple Voices: New York City Poetry, 1950-1995, which combines close reading, creative writing, and archival research, to explore the relationship between poetry and the urban, political, and social changes that the city underwent during this time, arguing that socially-situated poetry offers particular sites of resistance. I am also editing a comprehensive new anthology of New York poetry from the eighteenth century to the present day: City of the World: the Poetry of New York (under contract to Fordham University Press, 2021). 

I was recently awarded a British Academy Small Grant, for a project called Joe Brainard and the New York School: Material Texts and Digital Cultures (or 'Make Your Own Brainard'), which has digitized and made interactively accessible a selection of previously-unseen collage materials selected by and belonging to New York School artist and poet Joe Brainard. You can make your own Brainard here: www.makeyourownbrainard.com.

I have written or am writing articles and book chapters on the poetry of New York City, American women poet-editors during the mimeograph revolution, Joe Brainard and John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg and Frank O'Hara, Allen Ginsberg and collage, place, space and identity in Richard Yates, William Burroughs and eating, and William Burroughs and art.

Biography

I joined Birmingham as a Teaching Fellow in 2015, and as a Lecturer in 2016. I previously taught at University College London, where I received my PhD, and I also spent several years working in student support and in the educational charity sector. 

 

 

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA

    22 Jun 2018 -

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

I welcome research proposals on American poetry, New York city literature and culture, the New York School, collage, textual materiality, and aspects of literary and visual culture relating to my research.