Timothy Bewes

Professor of English

Brown University

Timothy Bewes is a Professor of English at Brown University. Before beginning at Brown in 2004, Bewes received his Ph.D. at the University of Sussex and held teaching and research positions at University of Sussex, the University of North London, Liverpool John Moores University, Brandeis, and, as a visiting professor, at Brown. He held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Pembroke Center at Brown in 2003-04. He is the author of Cynicism and Postmodernity (Verso 1997); Reification, or The Anxiety of Late Capitalism (Verso 2002); and The Event of Postcolonial Shame (Princeton UP, 2011). He has also edited several collections of essays, including Jacques Rancière and the Novel (Duke UP, 2014), The Contemporary Novel: Imagining the Twenty-First Century (Duke UP, 2012), Georg Lukács: The Fundamental Dissonance of Existence (Aesthetics, Politics, Literature) Continuum, 2011, with Timothy Hall), Cultural Capitalism (Lawrence and Wishart 2001, with Jeremy Gilbert), as well as a special issue of New Formations titled After Fanon (2002). His articles have appeared in such journals as New Left Review, New Literary History, Textual Practice, Contemporary Literature, Parallax, Genre, Differences, Twentieth Century Literature and Cultural Critique. He has served on the editorial board of the journal New Formations since 1998, and as an editor of Novel since 2005.

Bewes's writing and research have turned away from questions focused on the "politics of literature," and have begun instead to address the categories that are presupposed in that relation: not only "politics" and "literature" themselves (and closely-related categories such as "ethics" and "aesthetics"), but more basic concepts such as the contemporary, perception, subjectivity, the event, the frame, materiality, the body, and reading. He has published a number of articles dealing with these terms, as well as with theorists working at the intersection of the philosophy of literature, literary criticism and aesthetics, including Georg Lukács, Theodor Adorno, Alain Badiou, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Rancière, and writers such as Paul Auster, Flannery O'Connor, Dennis Cooper, Kazuo Ishiguro, W. G. Sebald and Jean-Philippe Toussaint.
His current larger project attempts to extend and consolidate these readings into a theoretical analysis of the contemporary novel. In response to recent developments in the practice of fiction and criticism, this project will make use of an emergent set of terms and concepts in order to approach the formal preoccupations of the contemporary novel.