Gavin Cologne-Brookes at Adamas University

In addition to publishing essays, often related to the books, I’ve given talks and conducted the occasional interview across the United States and Europe and in Africa, India and South America. Such interactions are always privileged experiences. My favourite times include interviewing authors, and being asked questions in countries as fascinating as Kenya, Turkey, India and Brazil. Interviewing is akin to painting a portrait. You focus intently on a single other person to find out more about who they are. To answer questions, as with the ones put to me in Uruguay by Danielle Supervielle, can provoke reflections that challenge your own assumptions. Giving talks involves assessing a new group’s interests and cultural expectations, as well as encountering new people. In Istanbul I met an old toymaker who said he now wanted to teach. I invited him to attend my public lecture at Kadir Has University.  Spotting him later at the back of the hall, I pointed out my new friend and his interests and thanked him for coming. Everyone turned and clapped. With a large audience at Adamas University, Kolkata, I began a discussion about Bruce Springsteen. I discovered that while barely anyone had heard of him they did have a Bengali version of a folk song he’s recorded, “We Shall Overcome.” We had an Anglo-Bengali singalong.

Articles and Interviews

“Try to Make it Real: A Bruce on Broadway Tale”

(2019) Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, 21 (1). 57-69.

“Dead Man Walking: Nat Turner, William Styron, Bruce Springsteen, and the Death Penalty”

(2016) Mississippi Quarterly, 69 (1). 9-29.

“It’s all too Easy to Think One’s World is the Whole World”

(2016) Interviewed by Daniel Supervielle. Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay. 13 July.

“This Quiet Dust Swirls Back to Life”

(2016) Mississippi Quarterly, 67 (2). 319-325.

“Rome to Ravello with Set This House on Fire

(2014) The Sewanee Review, 122 (3). 484-494.

“Sophie’s Voice, Tolstoy, Film, Music: Interpreting a Leaf from the Manuscript of Sophie’s Choice”

(2009) Mississippi Quarterly, 62 (3-4). 511-526.

“Looking Back: A Conversation with William Styron”

(2009) Mississippi Quarterly, 62 (3-4). 499-510.

“Introduction: Humility, Audacity and the Novels of Joyce Carol Oates”

(2006) Studies in the Novel, 38 (4). 385-394.

“Written Interviews and a Conversation with Joyce Carol Oates”

(2006) Studies in the Novel, 38 (4). 547-565.

“Extracts from Conversations with William Styron”

(1995) In: Cologne-Brookes, G, The Novels of William Styron: From Harmony to History. LSU Press, 213-247.

“Discord Toward Harmony: Set This House on Fire and Peter’s ‘Part in the Matter'”

(1987) Papers on Language & Literature, 23. 449-464.

Book chapters

Gavin Cologne-Brookes at The Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay

“Joyce Carol Oates Ou Quelque Chose D’Approchant [Joyce Carol Oates: Something Like This]”

(2017) Tromble, T and Marquette, C, eds. Joyce Carol Oates. Éditions de L’Herne, 88-97.

“The Strange Case of Joyce Carol Oates”

(2014) In: Crow, C, ed. A Companion to American Gothic. Wiley-Blackwell, 303-314.

“East of Eden County: John Steinbeck, Joyce Carol Oates and the Afterlife of Cathy Trask”

(2013) In: Meyer, M. J and Veggian, H, eds. East of Eden: New and Recent Essays. Rodopi, 181-200.

“A Stroll through Hell in Search of Love”

(2013) In: Peters, G and Peters, F, eds. Thoughts of Love. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 207-220.

“Joyce Carol Oates”

(2010) In: Seed, D, ed. A Companion to Twentieth-Century United States Fiction. Wiley-Blackwell, 445-453.

“The Ghost of Tom Joad: John Steinbeck’s Legacy in the Songs of Bruce Springsteen”

(2002) In: Shillinglaw, S and Hearle, K, eds. Beyond Boundaries: Rereading John Steinbeck. Alabama University Press, 34-46..

“Sophie’s Choice: Dialogic Worlds”

(2002) In: Bloom, H, ed. William Styron’s ‘Sophie’s Choice’. Chelsea House Publishers, Philadelphia, 21-55.

“Writing and America: An Introduction”

(1996) In: Cologne-Brookes, G, Sammells, N and Timms, D, eds. Writing and America. Crosscurrents. Addison-Wesley-Longman, London, 1-27.

“Disclosing the Closure: The Recent Novels of Joyce Carol Oates”

(1995) In: Versluys, K, ed. The Insular Dream: Obsession and Resistance. VU University Press, 335-341.

Recent Talks

Gavin Cologne-Brookes in Istanbul

7 October 2022. – “Surfing, Submerging, Subverting: The Poe-litics of a Popular Genre.” Plenary, Study Day Short Crime Fiction, L’Université Catholique de Lille, France.

4 May 2018. – “Three American Writers: William Styron, Joyce Carol Oates, Bruce Springsteen.” Adamas University, Kolkota, India.

13 June 2017. – “Literature and Us: Literary Studies in the Twenty-First Century.” Kenyatta University, Nairobi. Kenya.

9 June 2016. – “North American Writing.” Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay.

24 May 2016. – “Creative Criticism.” Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

15 February 2016. – “Creative Criticism / Crítica Criativa.” Encontras do Instituto de Cultura Americana, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.

15 May 2016. – “Words Misunderstood: Teaching Literature in Translation.” Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

24 May 2016. – “Creative Criticism.” Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

25 June 2014. – “Mortality and Memoir: Recalling What Matters.” Bath Spa University Professorial Lecture.

19 February 2014. – “Pragmatism and American Writing, Art and Music.” Culture & the Arts Lecture Series 13-14, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey.