Dr Sebastian Groes

Dr Sebastian Groes

Reader in English Literature

Department of English and Creative Writing


My interests focus on twentieth and twenty-first century Literature, Culture and Theory, with a particular emphasis on Modernist and contemporary writing, and a growing interest in the Digital Humanities, and the intersections between science and the arts and humanities. I am the Principal Investigator of the Memory Network, an AHRC and Wellcome Trust-funded Research Network bringing scientists, arts and humanities scholars, writers and artists together to think critically and creatively about memory in the twenty-first century. I'm Series Co-Editor of Contemporary Critical Perspectives (Bloomsbury), and wrote The Making of London (Palgrave, 2011), and British Fiction in the Sixties (Bloomsbury, 2015). I edited volumes on Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and two volumes on Kazuo Ishiguro's work: Kazuo Ishiguro: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (Bloomsbury, 2010) and Kazuo Ishiguro: Critical Visions of the Novels (Palgrave, 2011). I'm interested in historicizing our contemporary moment, with a special interest in Modernism, as evidenced by my recent writing on memory in the digital age, information overload, cognitive offloading and the extended mind thesis (EMT), as well as my historicisation of the relationship between literature and surveillance in an essay entitled 'Observing Fictions: Literature and Surveillance from 1984 to 9/11'. My next book project explores cognition and memory in the digital age, The Prosthetic Gods (Yale UP).  

I welcome research students interested in exploring time, memory and consciousness; place/space; psychogeography; spying, surveillance and carceral theory; subversive and experimental literatures and radical aesthetics; and 'the posthuman'. I also work with creative writing students.


MA (VU University, Amsterdam), MA (East Anglia), PhD (East Anglia)

Research interests

Research projects undertaken

Consultancy experience

Teaching interests

Taught courses




‘Proust and Memory in Tom McCarthy’s Remainder’, in Critical Perspectives on the Work of Tom McCarthy. Ed. Dennis Duncan. Gylphy, 2015.

‘Surveillance in Nicola Barker's Clear’, in Women’s Fiction and Post-9/11 Contexts. Ed. Claire Colebrook, Peter Childs, and Sebastian Groes. Lexington, 2014

'Residual Traces of Postmodernism in Contemporary English Literature' in Reconsidering the Postmodern: European Literature beyond Relativism. Eds. Thomas Vaessens and Yra van Dijk Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 123-145.


'The Texture of Modernity in J. G. Ballard's Crash, High-rise and Concrete Island, in J. G. Ballard: Critical Visions, ed. Jeannette Baxter and Roland Wymer. Houndmills: Palgrave, 2011.

'Ian McEwan and the Modernist Consciousness of the City, in Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Ian McEwan, ed. Groes, S. New York/London: Continuum, 2009, pp. 99-114.

'From Shanghai to Shepperton: Crises of Representation in J. G. Ballard's Londons', in Contemporary Critical Perspectives:J.G. Ballard, ed. J. Baxter.New York/London: Continuum, 2009, pp. 78-93.

'Ghost Signs: London's Fading Spectacle of History' Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London Volume 5, Number 2, September 2007,

'The blown-by forgotten strands of sky between them': Monica Ali's London, ABC Journal, Volume 8, July 2007, p. 99-127. 

'Iain Sinclair's Ships of Fools: The Language of the Mad in Downriver' In: City Visions: The Work of Iain Sinclair. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Press, 2007, pp. 174-86.

'McLiterature: The Effects of Globalisation on Literature.' (2003)


British Fictions of the Sixties. Bloomsbury, 2015.

The Making of London: Representations of London in Contemporary Fiction. Palgrave, 2011.


(Co-)Edited collections:

Memory in he Twenty-First Century: Critical Perspectives from teh Arts, Humanities and the Sciences. Palgrave, 2015.

Women's Fiction and Post- 9/11 Contexts. Lexington, 2014.

Ian McEwan: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Bloomsbury Academic, May 2009. [2ndedition forthcoming 2013]

Kazuo Ishiguro: Critical Visions of the Novels. Palgrave, 2011.

Julian Barnes: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Bloomsbury, 2011.

Kazuo Ishiguro: Contemporary Critical Perspectives.Bloomsbury, 2009.


'The New Seriousness': Kazuo Ishiguro in Conversation with Sebastian Groes, in Kazuo Ishiguro: Critical Visions of the Novels. Co-Editor with Barry Lewis. Palgrave, 2011, pp. 247-64.

'Journeys without Maps: An Interview with Ian McEwan', by John Cook, Sebastian Groes and Victor Sage, in Ian McEwan: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Editor and Contributor New Yorkand London: Continuum, May 2009, pp. 123-134.

'Far Away': a review of Kader Abdolah's My Father's Notebook (Canongate) for The Guardian Review, 22 April 2006.

'A Hatred of Reason' - Martin Amis & Sebastian Groes in Conversation. The London Magazine, June/July, 2004, pp. 44-51.

'Truly good writing has a kind of desperation to it' – Iain Sinclair in Conversation with Sebastian Groes, Pretext 11: This Little World, September 2005, Norwich: Pen & Inc, 2005.

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Department news

Leading Roehampton academics to entertain at Wimbledon BookFest

A host of leading writers and academics from the University of Roehampton look set to captivate audiences for the tenth annual Wimbledon BookFest, which begins this month on Wimbledon Common.

Roehampton plays host to Poetry House Live rehearsal

The Department of English and Creative Writing have hosted the European team behind Poetry House Live as they prepare to make their debut at the Kings Place in September.

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