Dr Michael Perfect

Humanities and Social Science

I am a Senior Lecturer in English Literature. I hold a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and before joining LJMU in 2016 I taught at Bilkent University in Ankara, at Cambridge, and in London. My main research and teaching interests are in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and culture, with particular emphases on contemporary British literature, postcolonial studies, modernist and postmodernist literature, film and adaptation studies, and theory. I am regarded as a world-leading expert on the celebrated, award-winning writer Andrea Levy, and am currently carrying out externally-funded research on her archive. My book "Contemporary Fictions of Multiculturalism: Diversity and the Millennial London Novel" was published in 2014. My work has also appeared in publications such as ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, The Journal for Cultural Research, The Dictionary of Literary Biography, The Literary Encyclopedia, and a number of edited collections. I am currently writing a book on Andrea Levy for Manchester University Press, and am also working on a project that relates to screen adaptations of contemporary transnational fiction. I have appeared on local and national radio, and have written for the Guardian's Higher Education Network.

I currently lead two undergraduate modules at LJMU: 'Literary and Cultural Theory' and 'Migrants to the Screen'. I also teach on the undergraduate modules 'Post-Millennial British Fiction' and 'Literature in Context', and the postgraduate module 'Mobilities'. I also supervise dissertations at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I welcome enquiries from students considering doctoral research in any of my areas of interest.

Degrees

2011, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, PhD English Literature
2006, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, MA (Distinction) in Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Literature
2004, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, BA (First Class) in English Literature

Academic appointments

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, 2016 - present
Assistant Professor of English Literature, Bilkent University, Ankara, 2014 - 2016
Supervisor (part time), University of Cambridge, 2007 - 2012

Highlighted publications

Perfect MJ. 2022. Some Unsung Songs: Andrea Levy’s Late, Unpublished Work ARIEL, 53 :257-291 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Perfect M. 2014. Contemporary Fictions of Multiculturalism: Diversity and the Millennial London Novel Palgrave Macmillan. Basingstoke 978-1-349-45543-0 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Book

Perfect M. 2022. Andrea Levy: Contemporary World Writers Manchester University Press. Manchester Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2014. Contemporary Fictions of Multiculturalism: Diversity and the Millennial London Novel Palgrave Macmillan. Basingstoke 978-1-349-45543-0 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Journal article

Perfect MJ. 2022. Some Unsung Songs: Andrea Levy’s Late, Unpublished Work ARIEL, 53 :257-291 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Saroukhani H, Lawson Welsh S, Perfect MJ. 2022. Afterlives, Aftermaths: Levy Studies in the Twenty-First Century ARIEL, 53 :7-24 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Perfect MJ. 2019. "Black holes in the fabric of the nation": Refugees in Mohsin Hamid’s "Exit West". Journal for Cultural Research, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Perfect M. 2010. “Fold the paper and pass it on”: Historical Silences and the Contrapuntal in Andrea Levy’s Fiction Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 46: 1 :31-41 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2008. The Multicultural Bildungsroman: Stereotypes in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 43: 3 :109-120 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Other

Perfect M. 2022. Introduction to Andrea Levy’s 'Selected Excerpts from The Adventures of Mrs Seacole' ARIEL, 53 :293-294 DOI Author Url

Chapters

Perfect M. 2021. Monica Ali Bradford R. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Contemporary British and Irish Literature :471-480 Wiley-Blackwell. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Contemporary British and Irish Literature 9781119099796 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2016. “He wished to defend a country that wasn’t his”: British Subjects and Servicemen in Andrea Levy’s Small Island and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth Rau P. Long Shadows: The Second World War in British Fiction and Film :241-262 Northwestern University Press. Evanston 978-0-8101-3335-8 Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2015. The Enigma of Abandonment: Re-thinking the Importance of Hanif Kureishi’s Work for Multiculturalism Fischer SA. Hanif Kureishi: Contemporary Critical Perspectives :7-20 Bloomsbury. London 9781472513342 Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2015. Salman Rushdie Ue T. Dictionary of Literary Biography 377: Twenty-first Century British Novelists 377 :258-283 Gale. Farmington, MI 9780787696528 Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2015. Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host? Cross-cultural Hospitality and Security Anxieties in Mohsin Hamid's Novel of Uncertainty Clapp J, Ridge E. Security and Hospitality: New Literary and Cultural Perspectives :190-205 Routledge. London 9781138915848 Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2015. Lives of Pi Flajšarová P, Flajšar J. Anglophone Culture Across Centuries and Borders :51-61 University of Palacky Press. Olomouc Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2014. Existing in more than one plane of time: Memory and Narrative Form in Every Light in the House Burnin’ Baxter J, James D. Andrea Levy: Contemporary Critical Perspectives :39-52 Bloomsbury. London 9781441113603 Author Url Publisher Url

Internet publication

Perfect M. 2020. More vital now than ever: my research on Andrea Levy’s fiction Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2020. Andrea Levy Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2020. Andrea Levy: The Long Song Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2016. Salman Rushdie: Haroun and the Sea of Stories Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2014. Studying for a humanities PhD can make you feel cut off from humanity Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2012. Don DeLillo: Underworld Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect M. 2010. Andrea Levy: Small Island Author Url Publisher Url

Book review

Perfect MJ. 2015. Review of Davison, Sarah, Modernist Literatures (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) The Literary London Journal, 12: 1- Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Perfect MJ. 2015. Review of Sadiakli, Tamim, Dear Infidel (London: Hansib, 2014) The Literary London Journal, 12: 1- Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Perfect M. 2015. Review of Flajsavora, Pavlina, Diaspora in the Fiction of Andrea Levy (Olomouc: Palacky University, 2014) Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 51: 6 :752-753 Author Url Publisher Url

Perfect MJ. 2013. Review of Colombino, Laura, Spatial Politics in Contemporary London Literature: Writing Architecture and the Body (Oxford: Routledge, 2013) The Literary London Journal, 10: 2 Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Conference presentation:

Research paper on Andrea Levy's archive, English: Shared Futures, University of Manchester, Oral presentation. 2022

Speaker at launch event for special issue of ARIEL, Common Threads: Black and Asian British Women's Writing, University of Brighton, Oral presentation. 2022

"'Black holes in the fabric of the nation': Refugees in Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West", Refugees in Literature, Film, Art, and Media: Perspectives on the Past and Present, University of Liverpool, Oral presentation. 2018

"Midnight’s Children Reborn? Rushdie’s Adaptation", BAAHE Annual Conference on Adaptation, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Oral presentation. 2015

"Commitment Issues: Love and Relationships in Zadie Smith’s NW", Literary London, University of London, Oral presentation. 2015

"'Let us stick to what we are obviously here for': Infidelity and Identity in Zadie Smith’s Fiction’.", Zadie Smith and Her Work: 22nd METU British Novelists Conference, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Oral presentation. 2015

"A Memory of Modernism? A Modernism of Memory? Form in Will Self’s 'Umbrella'", Will Self and the Art of the Contemporary, Roehampton University, Oral presentation. 2013

"The Enigma of Abandonment: Re-thinking the Importance of Hanif Kureishi’s Work for Multiculturalism", In Analysis: The Work of Hanif Kureishi, Roehampton University, Oral presentation. 2012

"Multicultural London in Zadie Smith’s 'White Teeth': a Celebration of Unpredictability and Uncertainty?", Literary London, University of London, Oral presentation. 2011

"The Democratization of Narrative Structure in Andrea Levy's Fiction", On Whose Terms? Critical Negotiations in Black British Literature and the Arts’, Goldsmiths, University of London, Oral presentation. 2008

Other invited event:

Invited Lecture, Online, Invited lecture for MASSOLIT on Andrea Levy. 2021

Invited Lecture, Online, Invited lecture for MASSOLIT on Mohsin Hamid. 2021

Celebrating Andrea Levy, The British Library; Leeds Lit Fest (virtual event), Public event celebrating the life and work of Andrea Levy. Hosted by the British Library, and part of Leeds Lit Fest 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjThEsmfQcE&t=44s. 2021

Mirthy Book Club Q&A, virtual event, https://www.mirthy.co.uk/event-calendar/october-book-club-event/. 2021

Searching for Culture, Palacky University, Czech Republic, Invited talk given on adaptation studies. 2015

Research Grants Awarded:

BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, Levy’s Legacy, Grant value (£): £6805, Duration of research project: Two years. 2020

AHRC Doctoral Research Scholarship, "Celebrated Fictions of Multicultural London of the 1990s and 2000s", Grant value (£): Approx. £50,000, Duration of research project: Three years. 2006

Membership of professional bodies:

Fellow, Higher Education Academy. 2017

Fellowships:

Fellow, Higher Education Academy. 2017

External committees:

PhD Thesis Committee, Ankara University, PhD Thesis Committee Member for a doctoral thesis being written on twentieth-century British drama and censorship. 2015

PhD Thesis Committee, Middle East Technical University, Member of the PhD Thesis Committee for a doctoral thesis being written on eighteenth-century British fiction and trauma theory. 2015

Media Coverage:

https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/aug/27/finishing-phd-thesis-top-tips-experts-advice, Contributor to collaborative article for The Guardian: 'Finishing your PhD thesis: 15 top tips from those in the know'. 2014

https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/jul/08/humanities-phd-students-isolation, Article for The Guardian: ‘Studying for a humanities PhD can make you feel cut off from humanity’. 2014

Interview given on BBC Radio 5 Live on academic dissertations, October 2018.

Interview given on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on Monica Ali's novel 'Brick Lane', May 2008.

Interview given on BBC Radio Merseyside on Andrea Levy and Windrush, October 2018.

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