School of the Arts, English and Drama

School staff

Dr Jennifer Cooke

Photo of Dr Jennifer Cooke

Senior Lecturer in English

I joined Loughborough in 2007, after gaining my DPhil the same year from Sussex University. I became Senior Lecturer in 2014. I chair the Gendered Lives Research Group

My research interests lie in twentieth- and twenty-first-century experimental writing, from modernism through to contemporary poetics and life-writing; in critical and literary theory, especially in theories of intimacy, affect, and emotion; gender theory and feminism; and in the representation and politics of social and relational organisation. My teaching reflects these areas of expertise.

I am also a poet and regularly give readings in the UK and abroad.

I lecture on the compulsory first-year course Narrative Forms and Fictions and, with Paul Jenner, convene the first-year core course Literary and Critical Theories. Paul and I offer a second-year module, Philosophy, Literature and the Visual Arts, and I offer a research-led module, The Writings of Intimacy, to third-years.

I teach on the MA in English, convening the Research Mentorship and the Dissertation modules, as well as offering some seminars on the Creative Writing MA.

I have seen several PhD students to completion. I am currently supervising PhDs on:

-          American women writers and neo-transcendentalism; 

-           women’s performance writing and voice;

-          ‘new woman’ writing;

-          contemporary literary prize culture;

-          Kate Atkinson and feminism.

I am a Fellow of the HEA. 

I am currently completing a monograph, The New Audacity: Contemporary Feminist Life-Writing, which identifies and examines a group who are writing about their lives and the lives of others in audacious new ways. They refuse shame; they unflinchingly confront sexual violence and other difficult life experiences, but do not want to be defined by them; they are disappointed by the lack of progress feminism has achieved. Different chapters examine rape narratives; the writing of sex and desire; the ugliness of unravelling; trans writing; and the limits of audacity. Authors I examine are: Katherine Angel, Alison Bechdel, Marie Calloway, Virginie Despentes, Sheila Heti, Juliet Jacques, Chris Kraus, Jana Leo, Maggie Nelson, Vanessa Place, Paul B. Preciado, and Kate Zambreno.

This year I have also written an article on empathy, elegy, and the poetry of Rob Halpern and Andrea Brady.

Within the Gendered Lives research group, I lead the collaborative ‘Anger and Feminist Well-Being’ project and am involved in the Trans Lives: East Mids project. 


The New Audacity: Contemporary Feminist Life-Writing (in preparation; anticipated MS submission Sept 2017).

Scenes of Intimacy: Reading, Writing and Theorizing Contemporary Literature, ed. (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013). 

Legacies of Plague in Literature, Theory and Film (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).


Journal Articles

‘Elegy on a Knife-edge: The Allure and Dangers of Empathy in Poetry by Andrea Brady and Rob Halpern’, New Formations (submitted).

‘Intimacy, the Good Life and Instructive Psychoanalytic Errors’, Textual Practice, 27:6 (2013): 943-960. 

‘Dorothy Richardson, Queer Theorist’, Pilgrimages: The Journal of Dorothy Richardson Studies, Vol. 4 (2011): 7-30.

‘The Risks of Intimate Writing: Loving and Dreaming with Hélène Cixous’, Angelaki, 16:2 (2011): 3-18. 06:3 (2011f. mam a poet myselfbove for published work)versity onal, as well as persona, like a discovery in chemistry.'e all day

‘Katherine Mansfield’s Ventriloquism and the Faux-Ecstasy of All Manner of Flora’, LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory, 19.1 (Jan-March, 2008): 79-94.

‘Dreaming Plague and Plaguing Dreams: The Teachings of Psychoanalysis’, Textual Practice, 22:3 (2008): 433-452.

'Brushing Thinking Against the Grain: Walter Benjamin and the Potentialities of Art and History', Studies in Social and Political Thought, No.8 (May 2003): 19-34.


Book Chapters

‘Having the Audacity: Experiments in Life-Writing’, The Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Women’s Experimental Literature, ed. Kaye Mitchell (in preparation; submission Jan 2017).

‘The Writings of Intimacy: Theories of Affect, Emotion and Relationality’ in Introducing Criticism in the Twenty-first Century, 2nd Ed., ed. Julian Wolfreys (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp. 9-36.

‘Towards an Anatomy of Contemporary Literary Intimacy’ in Scenes of Intimacy: Reading, Writing and Theorizing Contemporary Intimacy, ed. Jennifer Cooke (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), pp. 3-21. 

‘Writing Plague: Transforming Narrative, History and Witnessing’ in The Tapestry of Health, Illness and Disease, eds. Peter Twohig and Vera Kalitzkus (Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi Press, 2009), pp. 21-42.

‘The Laughter of Narcissism: Loving Hot White Andy and the Troubling Chain of Equivalence’, in Complicities: British Poetry 1945-2007, eds. Sam Ladkin and Robin Purves (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2007), pp. 323-340.


Academic Interviews

‘Politics, Teaching, Art and Writing: An Interview with Lauren Berlant’ in Textual Practice, 27:6 (2013): 961-970.

‘A New Literary Intimacy: An Interview with Nicholas Royle’ in Scenes of Intimacy: Reading, Writing and Theorizing Contemporary Intimacy, ed. Jennifer Cooke (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), pp. 23-34. 



Apocalypse Dreams (Bristol: Sad Press, 2015). 

*not suitable for domestic sublimation (London: Contraband Books, 2012).

I chair the Gendered Lives Research Group at Loughborough. You can read details of our events and researchers on the blog, here.

I am a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Peer Review College. 

I am on the Executive Committee for the British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies as Treasurer.

I am a member of the Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community group; the British Association of Modernists; the Modernist Studies Association; the Loughborough Anarchist Research Group; the Love Research network; and the Protoform feminist poetics group.

I am on the Editorial Board for the Glyphi Contemporary Writers: Critical Essays Series. I regularly undertake peer-reviewing, including for Manchester University Press, Continuum, Bloomsbury, Gylphi, Textual Practice, Contemporary Women’s Writing, LIT, Somatechnics, and research proposals for the Leverhulme Trust.

I’m regularly invited to speak at conferences and colloquia, which has recently seen me visit Cardiff University, Humbolt-Universität zu Berlin, Oxford University, Cambridge University, and UC Santa Cruz.

My poetry is featured on Archive of the Now and a reading from my latest pamphlet, recorded in London, is up on the PennSound archive, here.

Apocalypse Dreams is available here and *not suitable for domestic sublimation, here.

My poetry has recently been anthologized in Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America and the UK and written about by David and Christine Kennedy in Women’s Experimental Poetry in Britain, 1970-2010.

You can read about my latest poetry pamphlet here and follow the links to an interview about the work.

Follow me on Twitter @JenniferACooke for news of talks, poetry readings, and occasional cat updates.