Dr Carole Sweeney

Staff details

Position Reader in Modern Literature
Email c.sweeney (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7463

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) English and French
  • MA English, Simon Fraser University
  • DPhil English, University of Sussex

Prior to being appointed at Goldsmiths in 2005, Dr Carole Sweeney was a Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Southampton from 1999-2005.


Carole is currently the convenor of Introduction to Comparative Literature, MA Modern Literary Movements. She also covenes and teaches Moderns, Writing, Gender and Anxiety.

Areas of supervision

  • Writing, feminism and ethics
  • race and modernism
  • twenty-first century writing
  • literature and politics
  • Nancy Cunard
  • Michel Houellebecq
  • surrealism
  • modernism and gender
  • neoliberalism and literary aesthetics
  • posthumanism in contemporary  literature
  • British post-war avant garde cultures and the writing of Anna Kavan

Featured work 

Conference papers 

  • British Assocation of Modernist Studies, Modernism Now, June 2014, 'Weird Modernism: Alienation and Experimentation in the Writing of Anna Kavan'
  • Univeristy of Warwick, Seminar in Literature and Philosphy, October 2013
  • Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, Hybrids, Monsters, Aliens and Other Creatures in 20th and 21st Century Writing, ‘A  post-human Third Sex: Michel Houellebecq’s Atomised and The Possibility of an Island’, 9th-11th of September 2010
  • University of St Andrews 2010 Twenty First Century European Literatures, ‘‘Backlash? Platform and the woman question’ in Michel Houellebecq’, September 2010
  •  University of Nottingham, Work in Post-Fordist France, 'Michel Houellebecq',  September 2008
  • MLA Annual Convention, Philadelphia, “'Whatever,Never Mind': Michel Houellebecq's Millennial Nausée,” December 2006
  • University of Wales, Swansea, Romance Studies Annual Conference, The Literary Territories of Postcolonialism: Theories and Language of Resistance, ‘History, the body and writing in Edwige Danticat’, September 2005
  • Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Institut français, The French Atlantic, ‘‘J’ai deux amours’: Josephine Baker and a ‘black’ Atlantic aesthetic.’ December 2005
  • Modernist Studies Association Annual conference, Vancouver, Canada. ‘L’internationalisme noir’: Aesthetics, race and writing’.  October 2004.
  • University of Birmingham, France and the Exotic ‘Subversion and Exotic Kitsch: The Surrealist Group and the Anti-Exposition of 1931’, March 21-23 2003
  • Invited speaker. European Research Institute, Salford and the Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris. Americans in Paris, Paris in America. ‘Le tumulte noir: modernism and the primitive’ July 20-22, 2002
  • Anglia Polytechnic University, Department of English, Nancy Cunard Conference, “The Disappearance of the Negro Anthology: Surrealism and Internationalism” November 10 2001
  • ASCALF Conference, University of Westminster, 29 November, Institut française,  Remembering Empire/Mémoires de l’Empire. ‘The Francophone black Atlantic and The politics of Transfiguration: Remembering the ‘rescuing critiques’ of the Nardal sisters’. 30, Nov-Dec 1 2001
  • Université de Bourgoyne, Dijon, Centre de Recherches, Image, Texte, Langage. ‘ “A pint of plain is your only man’: Satire and Myths of Irishness in the novels of Flann O’Brien’  6-7 April 2001
  • University of Southampton, France and America, ‘Modernity and Race: ’Josephine Baker and La Revue Nègre’, July 20-21 2001
  • University of Sussex, British Association of American Studies Conference. “Surrealism, anti-colonialism and documentary culture in Negro: An Anthology (1934). November 1998
  • Modern Languages Association Convention, Washington D.C. ‘Nancy Cunard's Negro: An Anthology: Race, History and Modernist Aesthetics’ December 1997
  • University of Newcastle, Department of English, Literature and Empire ‘Josephine Baker and The Iconography of Modernist Primitivism’ April 1996
  • University of Kent, Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Postcolonialism and Representations of the Body. ‘The Feminine Other: Race, Gender and Colonialism in Inter-war France’, September 1996
  • University of Sussex, School of African and Asian Studies, Modernity and Race, ‘Modern Primitivism’, 1995

Overseas Research

  • August 2003- New York Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture


Research Interests

My research interests include:

Modernist literature; surrealism and modernist primitivism; transatlantic aesthetic and cultural movements 1900-1945; anxiety in contemporary French and American writing, the writing of  Michel Houellebecq; documentary cultures of 1930s; postcolonial Francophone literatures; feminist theor, Anna Kavan; post-war British avant garde literature; neoliberalism, posthumanism and literary culture.‘



Sweeney, Carole . 2020. Vagabond Fictions: Gender and Experiment in British Women's Fiction, 1945-1970. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9781474426176

Sweeney, Carole . 2013. Michel Houellebecq and the Literature of Despair. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9780826422620

Sweeney, Carole . 2004. From Fetish to Subject: Race, Modernism and Primitivism, 1919-1935. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0275977471

Book Section

Sweeney, Carole . 2020. Brigid Brophy, The Dissenting Feminist. In: Richard Canning and Gerri Kimber, eds. Brigid Brophy: Avant-Garde Writer, Critic, Activist. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9781474462662

Sweeney, Carole . 2016. 'After Beauvoir: French Feminism and The Question of Difference'. In: Stuart Sim, ed. The Edinburgh Companion to Critical Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9780748693399

Sweeney, Carole . 2016. After de Beauvoir: 'French' Feminism & Sexual Difference. In: Stuart Sim, ed. The Edinburgh Companion to Critical Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9780748693399

Sweeney, Carole . 2010. Race, Modernism and Institutions. In: Nicky Marsh and Peter Middleton, eds. Teaching Modernist Poetry. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 77-93. ISBN 9780230202320

Sweeney, Carole . 2010. 'Race, Writing and Institutions'. In: Nick Marsh and Peter Middleton, eds. Teaching Modernist Poetry. London: Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 978-0230202337

Sweeney, Carole . 2005. ‘Josephine Baker’, ‘Haiti’, ‘Joseph Zobel’, ‘Claude McKay’. In: Bill Marshall, ed. France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History (Transatlantic Relations). ABC-CLIO Ltd. ISBN 978-1851094110

Sweeney, Carole . 1997. C.E. Gittings Imperialism and Gender and Bruce King ed. National And Postcolonial Literature. In: Jean Howard; Alan Sinfield and Lindsay Smith, eds. Textual Practice: Volume 11 Issue 2: Vol 11, Issue 2. Routledge, pp. 349-352. ISBN 978-0415161763


Sweeney, Carole . 2020. Cadaverised girls: the writing of Anna Kavan. Textual Practice, 34(4), pp. 647-668. ISSN 0950-236X

Sweeney, Carole . 2019. ‘Le mot déclin est presque trop doux’: Michel Houellebecq’s (Euro)déclinisme. Modern and Contemporary France, 27(1), pp. 45-59. ISSN 0963-9489

Sweeney, Carole . 2018. "Why This Rather Than That?": The Delightful Perversity of Brigid Brophy. Contemporary Womens Writing, 12(2), pp. 233-247. ISSN 1754-1476

Sweeney, Carole . 2018. ‘Groping Inside Language’: Translation, Humour and Experiment in Christine Brooke-Rose’s Between and Brigid Brophy’s In Transit. Textual Practice, 32(2), pp. 301-316. ISSN 0950-236X

Sweeney, Carole . 2017. 'Keeping the Ruins Private': Anna Kavan and Heroin Addiction. Women: A Cultural Review, 28(4), pp. 312-326. ISSN 0957-4042

Sweeney, Carole . 2013. Introduction: Fractured, Travelling, and Transformed Narratives. Comparative Critical Studies, 10(Supp), pp. 1-10. ISSN 1744-1854

Sweeney, Carole . 2012. “And yet some free time remains. . . .”: Post-Fordism and Writing in Michel Houellebecq's Whatever. Journal of Modern Literature, 33(4), pp. 41-56. ISSN 0022-281X

Sweeney, Carole . 2012. Natural Women? Anti-Feminism and Michel Houellebecq's Plateforme. Modern & Contemporary France, 20(3), pp. 323-336. ISSN 0963-9489

Sweeney, Carole . 2011. Fin de millénaire French Fiction: The Aesthetics of Crisis. Modern and Contemporary France, 19(3), pp. 367-368. ISSN 0963-9489

Sweeney, Carole . 2007. The Unmaking of the World: Haiti, History and Writing in Edouard Glissant and Edwige Danticat. Atlantic Studies, 4(1), pp. 51-66. ISSN 14788810

Sweeney, Carole . 2007. Experimental Nations: Or, the Invention of the Maghreb. Comparative Literature Studies, 44(1-2), pp. 208-211. ISSN 0010-4132

Sweeney, Carole . 2005. `One of them, but white': The Disappearance of Negro: An anthology (1934). Women a Cultural Review, 16(1), pp. 93-107. ISSN 09574042

Sweeney, Carole . 2005. Le Tour du Monde en Quatre Jours: Empire, exhibition, and the surrealist disorder of things. Textual Practice, 19(1), pp. 131-148. ISSN 0950236X

Sweeney, Carole and Clarke, Jackie. 2005. France and America: Introduction. Nottingham French Studies, 44(3), pp. 1-3. ISSN 0029-4586

Sweeney, Carole . 2005. ‘Le tour du monde en quatre jours’: empire, exhibition, and the surrealist disorder of things. Textual Practice, 19(1), pp. 131-147. ISSN 0950-236X

Sweeney, Carole . 2004. Resisting the Primitive: The Nardal Sisters, La Revue du Monde Noir and La Dépêche Africaine. Nottingham French Studies, 43(2), pp. 45-55. ISSN 0029-4586

Sweeney, Carole . 2003. Vestimentary identities: the politics of dress in everyday life. Journal of Romance Studies, 3(2), pp. 95-101. ISSN 1473-3536

Sweeney, Carole . 2001. La Revue Nègre: négrophilie, modernity and colonialism in inter-war France. Journal of Romance Studies, 1(2), pp. 1-14. ISSN 1473-3536

Sweeney, Carole . 2000. ‘Diasporic Voices in Pre-Negritude Paris’. Southampton Papers in Language and Culture, 1,