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Adam Parkes

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Past President, SAMLA
Past President, D.H. Lawrence Society of North America

Adam Parkes specializes in British, Irish, and American literature from the late nineteenth century to the twenty-first.  

Modern & the aristocracyHis most recent book, Modernism and the Aristocracy: Monsters of English Privilege (published in 2023 by Oxford University Press), examines literary responses to the aristocracy in the modern democratic age.  Through readings of Bowen, Ford, Huxley, Lawrence, Waugh, and Wharton, among others, Monsters analyzes the attitudes and affects that writers attributed to the British aristocracy between the world wars, and explores the formal and stylistic possibilities to which this subject-matter gave rise.  The coda considers the Patrick Melrose novels of Edward St Aubyn.  

Designed, in part, as an extended alternative coda, Parkes's new book project, "Styles of Obsolescence in Kazuo Ishiguro," is an archive-based study of the Japanese-born Nobel Prize winner.  Initial results have appeared as journal articles in the U.S. (Modern Fiction Studies, 2021) and China (Foreign Literature Studies, 2022).  An earlier study of Ishiguro was published in the Continuum Contemporaries series in 2001.

A Sense of ShockParkes's previous book-length scholarly monographs are A Sense of Shock: The Impact of Impressionism on Modern British and Irish Writing (Oxford, 2011) and Modernism and the Theater of Censorship (Oxford, 1996).  A recent article, "Erskine Childers and the Sense of Insecurity: Impressionism and Intelligence in The Riddle of the Sands," appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Cusp: Late-Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Cultures.  The theme of insecurity runs through two other current projects: an essay on the spy novelist Len Deighton and a guest-edited special issue of South Atlantic Review.   

Parkes serves on the editorial advisory boards of Modern Fiction Studies, Victorians Institute Journal, and D.H. Lawrence Review.  He is Past President of both the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) and the D.H. Lawrence Society of North America. 

Parkes regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the 20th-Century British and Irish novel, 21st-Century British fiction, and James Joyce.  He has taught several freshman seminars on Kazuo Ishiguro and, in Fall 2023, a graduate seminar on D.H. Lawrence.  A recent addition to his undergraduate offerings is a course in spy fiction, which will run again in the spring and summer of 2024.  


Ph.D. in English, University of Rochester, 1988-1993

B.A. in English, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, 1985-1988

Wolverhampton Grammar School, 1977-1984

Selected Publications:


Modernism and the Aristocracy: Monsters of English Privilege (Oxford University Press, 2023; published on Oxford Academic, Dec. 2023). (enter code AAFLYG6 for 30% discount when ordering from

A Sense of Shock: The Impact of Impressionism on Modern British and Irish Writing (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day: A Reader's Guide (Continuum, 2001). 

Modernism and the Theater of Censorship (Oxford University Press, 1996).  Listed by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Book.

Recent essays and articles

"Erskine Childers and the Sense of Insecurity: Impressionism and Intelligence in The Riddle of the Sands."  Special issue on "First Impressions: The Impact of Impressionism on English Literature."  Cusp: Late-Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Cultures, vol. 1, no. 2 (2023), pp. 250-271.  Parkes_Erskine Childers & the Sense of Insecurity.pdf

"Monotony and the Masses."  Etudes Lawrenciennes, no. 54 (2022).

“Nothing New Under the Sun: Planned Obsolescence in Ishiguro’s Klara.”  Foreign Literature Studies (China), vol. 44, no. 1 (Feb. 2022), pp. 13-27.  

“Ishiguro's ‘<Strange> Rubbish’: Style and Sympathy in Never Let Me Go.”  Special issue on "Ishiguro After the Nobel."  Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 67, no. 1 (2021), pp. 171-204.  Parkes_Ishiguro's Strange Rubbish.pdf

“Stupidity, Intellect, and Hierarchy in Lawrence and Huxley.”  Twentieth-Century Literature, vol. 68, no. 4 (2021), pp. 455-82. 

“Logics of Disintegration in Lawrence and Huxley.”  Etudes Lawrenciennes, no. 52 (2021).

“‘A more emotional, a more keenly analytical picture’: Impressionism, Naturalism, and Sociology in Ford Madox Ford," in The Socio-Literary Imaginary in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Britain: Victorian and Edwardian Inflections, ed. Maria K. Bachman and Albert D. Pionke (New York: Routledge, 2020), pp. 198-218

"The Ache of Nostalgia in Women in Love.D.H. Lawrence Review, vol. 44, no. 2 (2019), pp. 33-49. 

"Expatriation, Snobbery, and Uncommon Commonness in Aaron’s Rod and Kangaroo.D.H. Lawrence Studies (South Korea), vol. 26, no. 2 (2018), pp. 22-49

“Elizabeth Bowen’s Mélisande.”  Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 59, no. 4 (2017), pp. 457-76.   Parkes_Elizabeth Bowen's Melisande.pdf 

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