George Twigg

Department: Department of English and Film
Discipline: English

Project Summary

My PhD thesis, fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is entitled ‘“The centre cannot hold”: Geo/Biopolitics, Nation and Region in the Works of Salman Rushdie’.  My project investigates the representation of power, politics and resistance in Rushdie by using the theoretical lens of biopolitics – the set of technologies that seek to order and optimise human life through, for example, sanitation, public health programmes or biomedicalisation, and which punish those bodies that resist their authority.  Drawing on and critiquing such contemporary philosophers as Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Hardt and Negri and Roberto Esposito, my thesis explores how modern technologies of biopower are represented in Rushdie’s novels, how they are animated by discourses of racialisation, and how they are opposed through spaces, discourses and movements of resistance.  In doing so I focus on Rushdie’s depiction of the legacy of colonialism, and the new intercultural relations created by decolonisation and globalisation.

Supervisory Team

I am supervised by Professor Gerald Maclean and Dr Florian Stadtler.

Wider Research Interests

Since beginning my PhD I have presented conference papers on a wide variety of topics, from presentations based on my thesis, to successful papers at International Pynchon Week and the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, to explorations in the emerging field of Medical Humanities with regard to Shakespeare, Sophocles and Roth, to applying contemporary philosophers such as Debord, Baudrillard and Agamben to the unusual analysand of professional wrestling.