Professor Len Platt

Len’s major interest is in the politics of text and the ways culture performs in politically strategic ways.

Staff details

Professor Len Platt


Professor Emeritus


Educational Studies


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Len Platt is Professor of Modern Literatures at Goldsmiths.

He has published widely on modernist literary culture, especially on the works of James Joyce and on contemporary culture in various genres and technological forms. His major interest is in the politics of text and the ways culture performs in politically strategic ways. He is also a leading expert on early musical theatre and the exchange and transfer practices that made it a characteristic culture of conservative popular modernism at the fin de siècle.

Len has published on a diversity of subjects besides, including postmodernism, postcolonialism, cultural adaptation, Scottish cultural nationalism, early Australian literature and cultural geographics. His range of interests has included social satire in the 1930s, the Hannibal Lector phenomenon, the television of classic novels and children’s literature. His most recent book is an application of centre/margin debates once shaped by postcolonialism to the more local geographics of London and the Thames estuary.

He has lectured widely in Britain, the Republic of Ireland and Europe. Most recently, he gave the keynote at the 2017 JOTA conference at the University of Saō Paulo, Brazil on the subject of cultural translation/adaptation in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century popular theatre.


Len has taught on a wide range of undergraduate modules including Moderns, The Novel, Nation States, The Making of the Modern World, Popular Culture in Practice, the History and Philosophy of the Curriculum and the 3rd year Dissertation. At MA level he has taught on Moderns, Psychoanalytic Studies, Children’s Literature and on the PG Certificate in the Management of Learning and Teaching.

Research Students

Len has had wide experience of examining and supervision at postgraduate research levels. His current PhD students include Philippa Campbell who is researching the contemporary campus novel. Successful PhD students from the past include:

  • Trevor Brent, ‘Wyndham Lewis and the Body’
  • Daniella Holland, ‘The influence of the Third Sector and Government in encouraging Active Citizenship and Community Engagement — Case Study: The Worker’s Education Association South Wales
  • David Linton, ‘West End Revue and National Identity’
  • Amba Sayal-Bennett, ‘Cyborg Aesthetics: Performing a Posthumanist Pedagogy’

Professional projects

Len has been committed to adult education and widening participation since the 1980s when he worked for the Workers Educational Association, the Extra Mural Studies department of the University of London and in Further Education. He played a leading local role in the provision of Access and developed in the late 1990s the part-time degree framework at Goldsmiths, a flexible program of undergraduate study designed for part-time adult learners. He was Head of the Department of Professional and Community Education between 2005 and 2009, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Community Empowerment in the Department of Social Therapeutic and Community Studies between 2010-2011 and Head of the Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre (formally GLEU) from 2011 to 2014.

Len has been funded by the British Council and Eramus to participate in the international dissemination of scholarship and by a number of external agencies to work on research projects. He was a project director for the South East London Lifelong Learning Network (SELLN) in the late 1990s and between 2011 and 2014 principal investigator for ‘West End and Friedrichstrasse: a comparative study of popular theatre in London and Berlin, 1890-1930’, a project a jointly funded by the AHRC and the Deutsche Forschunsgemeinschaft and involving research teams in both capitals.

Len worked on the development the University of London’s External Degree in English. He is the originator and founder member of a seminar in the University of London’s Institute for Advanced Studies (English) – the Finnegans Wake Group.

Publications and research outputs


Platt, Len. 2017. Writing London and The Thames Estuary 1576-2016. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004346659

Platt, Len. 2012. James Joyce : Texts and Contexts. London: Continuum. ISBN 9781441113337

Platt, Len. 2007. Joyce, Race and Finnegans Wake. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052186884X

Edited Book

Platt, Len and McHale, Brian, eds. 2016. The Cambridge History of Postmodern Literatutre. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978 107 14027 1

Platt, Len and Upstone, Sara, eds. 2015. Postmodern Literature and Race. Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPlace. ISBN 9781107042483

Platt, Len; Becker, Tobias and Linton, David, eds. 2014. Popular Musical Theatre in London and Berlin, 1890 to 1939. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107051003

Book Section

Platt, Len and McHale, Brian. 2016. General Introduction to The Cambridge History of Postmodern Literature. In: Len Platt and Brian McHale, eds. The Cambridge History of Postmodern Literature. Cambridge: University of Cambridge, pp. 1-14. ISBN 9781107149271

Platt, Len and McHale, Brian. 2016. After the fall - Introduction to part iv of the Cambridge History of Postmodern Literature. In: Len Platt and Brian McHale, eds. The Cambridge Hisotry of Postmodern Literature. Cambridge: University of Cambridge, pp. 339-405. ISBN 9781107140271

Platt, Len and Upstone, Sara. 2015. Introduction to Postmodern Literature and Race. In: Len Platt and Sara Upstone, eds. Postmodern Literarue and Race. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781107337022


Platt, Len and Becker, Tobias. 2013. Popular Musical Theatre, Cultural Transfer, Modernities: London/Berlin, 1890-1930. Theatre Journal, 65(1), pp. 1-18. ISSN 0192-2882

Platt, Len. 2009. 'Unfallable encyclicing': Finnegans Wake and the Encyclopedia Britannica. James Joyce Quarterly, 47(1), pp. 107-118. ISSN 0021-4183

Platt, Len. 2008. 'Altogether better-bred looking': Race and Romance in the Australian Novels of Rosa Praed. Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 8, pp. 31-44. ISSN 1447-8986