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Dr Joshua Powell

Dr Joshua Powell


School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 (0)29 2087 4618
2.32, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision


I came to Cardiff in 2017, having completed a PhD in English at the University of Exeter. My research focuses on the relationship between twentieth-century literature and psychology. Much of my work has focused on the writing of Samuel Beckett and I have just completed a monograph focusing on Beckett's relationship with experimental psychology. This will be released in January 2020 as part of Bloomsbury's Historicizing Modernism series. Other authors that I work on include R.L. Stevenson, Gertrude Stein, Ann Quin and Philip Roth.

At Cardiff I currently lead a number of modules that take in the history of Gothic literature and the relationship between literature and science.


My research focuses on the intersection between twentieth-century literature and psychology. In particular, I have considered the relationship between Samuel Beckett’s literary experiments and the disciplines of experimental psychology and psychotherapy. I have worked to share this research through a series of publications that culminated in a monograph (published by Bloomsbury in January 2020):

I have recently moved away from Beckett to publish articles on writers such as Philip Roth and Ann Quin, but the core aim of my research remains that of detailing how scientific, therapeutic and aesthetic methodologies can inform one another.

Looking ahead, I am currently working on a project which considers how literary writing has engaged with the concept of depersonalisation since its emergence in psychiatric and psychological literature in the late nineteenth century. I want to broaden understandings of depersonalisation by investigating how it has been portrayed in literary and psychological writing, and what the analysis of literary writing can add to the psychological study of depersonalisation.


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Samuel Beckett studies
  • Modernist Literature
  • Literature and Psychology
  • Philip Roth studies

Areas of expertise