Ben Clarke

Ben Clarke

Office: MHRA 3324
Phone: 336-334-3280



Ph.D. University of Oxford-2003
M.St. University of Oxford-1999
B.A. University of Oxford-1998

Research Interests

Ben Clarke specializes in British literature after 1900 and critical theory. He has particular interests in working-class writing, cultural studies, and the literature of the nineteen-thirties. He is the author of Orwell in Context: Communities, Myths, Values (Palgrave, 2007), co-author, with Michael Bailey and John K. Walton, of Understanding Richard Hoggart: A Pedagogy of Hope (Blackwell, 2012), and co-editor, with Nick Hubble, of Working-Class Writing: Theory and Practice (Palgrave, 2018). He has published on authors including Jack Hilton, Malcolm Lowry, Edward Upward, Virginia Woolf, and H. G. Wells, and on subjects including the politics of literary experimentation, public houses, Englishness, the representation of mining communities, the idea of the public intellectual, and Western anthropological accounts of Taiwan. Ben is currently editing the Routledge Companion to Working-Class Literature and co-editing, with Michael Bailey, The Idea of the Lumpenproletariat. Both books are scheduled to appear in 2024. He is also researching a new monograph on representations of labor and gender in twentieth and twenty-first century working-class texts. He contributes regularly to the Chicago Review of Books.

Selected Publications

  • “Irvine Welsh, Neoliberalism, and the Lumpenproletariat.” Modern Fiction Studies 69.3 (Fall 2023): 492-516
  • “‘Low Tastes’: John Braine, Drinking and Class.” Locating Classed Subjectivities: Space and Social Class in Nineteenth-, Twentieth-, and Twenty-First-Century British WritingEd. Simon Lee. Routledge, 2022.
  • “‘Things that are left out’: Working-class Writing and the Idea of Literature.” Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies. Eds. Michele Fazio, Christie Launius, and Tim Strangleman. Routledge, 2020.
  • “‘We’ve got a bastard duke on board’: class, fantasy and politics in Lowry.” Remaking the Voyage: New Essays on Malcolm Lowry and In Ballast to the White Sea. Eds. Helen Tookey and Bryan Biggs. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020.
  • Working-Class Writing: Theory and Practice, eds. Ben Clarke and Nick Hubble (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
  • “Working-Class Writing and Experimentation.” Working-Class Writing: Theory and Practice. Ed. Ben Clarke and Nick Hubble. Palgrave, 2018.
  • “Waste People and Deplorables: Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash.” History Workshop Journal 85.1 (2018): 332-40
  • Callow, Philip, and Ben Clarke. “Introduction.” In Common People. 1958 ed. Richmond: Valancourt, 2017.
  • “George Orwell, Jack Hilton and the Working Class.” Review of English Studies 67.281 (2016): 764-785.
  • “‘Beer and cigarettes and a girl to flirt with’: Orwell, drinking and the everyday” English Studies 96.5 (2015): 541-61
  • “H. G. Wells, élitism, and popular fiction.” The Bloomsbury Introduction to Popular Fiction. Ed. Christine Berberich. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.
  • “In the Thirties: Upward, Literature and Politics.” Edward Upward and Left-Wing Literary Culture in Britain. Ed. Benjamin Kohlmann. Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2013.
  • “‘The poor man’s club’: the middle classes, the public house, and the idea of community in the nineteen-thirties” Mosaic. 45.2 (2012): 39-54.


Working-Class Writing: Theory and Practice

Edited Collection by Ben Clarke