Who got that job?

September 10, 2004

Andrew Warnes
Lecturer in American Literature and Culture
Leeds University School of English

Job advertised in The Times Higher March 5, 2004

After two and a half years of part-time teaching, travelling between Lancaster and Huddersfield, Andrew Warnes is glad to have come to rest in Leeds after fighting off fierce competition to become lecturer in American literature and culture at the department of English at Leeds University.

A study year spent in Washington cemented his love of American literature. He explains: "Issues tackled in Afro-American literature such as racial inequality and segregation are deeply relevant to modern Britain.

There is a sense that postwar Britain just doesn't have the vocabulary for these issues."

The range of diverse interests and air of competition make the red-brick building in a sea of concrete a lively working environment.

"The department is a great place for undergraduates. It offers a massive range of options enabling students to specialise in topics that really interest them. I'm going to enjoy teaching here," Dr Warnes says.

Widening participation to improve access for local students offers a contrast to teaching and research.

"It's a lot of work, but a pleasure to be involved, and it's certainly not an albatross around the neck," he says.

Despite the importance of a good publication list, the arrival in bookshops of his book Hunger Overcome last January probably helped to swing selection in his favour.

Spurred on, he is now working on a study guide for undergraduate readers to Richard Wright's novel Native Son .

And the social life at Leeds? "We have a lot of visiting writers - so, yes, surprisingly, we do go out a lot in the evenings and discuss the latest novels and ideas!" Dr Warnes enthuses.

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