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Dr Sean O'Brien

  • Overview



    Sean O'Brien is Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature. He teaches on the MA Contemporary Literature and Culture, BA English, BA Liberal Arts and Foundation Year programmes. Sean is currently at work on his first book, Representing Precarity: American Literature and Culture from Boom to Crisis.


    • Public Lecture Series, ‘Marx After Growth’. Digital Poetics. Hosted by the 87 press’s open access platform, The Hythe. Funded by the Arts Council of England. 31 May – 1 September 2020. Four-part lecture series available online at:


    • PhD, University of Alberta
    • MA, Simon Fraser University
    • BA (Hons), Memorial University Newfoundland
  • Research


    Research overview

    Sean's primary research interests are in precarity and representation; the literature and culture of the American Century; and new Marxian reading methodologies. His current book project, Representing Precarity, tracks rising precarity and its representation in post-1945 American literature and culture. Sean has published articles on the representation of gendered precarity in the police procedural, the historicity of antiblackness in the late industrial novel, representations of climate crisis in contemporary science fiction, and the aesthetics of stagnation in experimental cinematic realism. His long-term research plan is to establish the Economic Humanities as a cross-disciplinary field of research that highlights the essential contribution the insights and methods of humanities scholarship bring to bear on the study of modern capitalist economies and the crucial question of transition to equitable, more sustainable forms of wealth creation and distribution.

    Research Centres and Institutes

  • Publications



    Book Section

    • O'Brien, Sean Joseph (2019) Accumulation. In: Pendakis, A. and Szeman, I. and Diamanti, J. (eds.) The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx. Bloomsbury Companions. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 251-258. ISBN 9781474278713.