Dr Chloe Green
- School: School of English, Drama and Film
- Mentor: Dr Katherine Fama
Labour Pains: Illness and the Contemporary Workplace Novel
My project examines the function of illness, and its associated affects, in contemporary Anglophone literature from Britain and the United States. This project examines novels by writers such as Ben Lerner, Ling Ma, Kazuo Ishiguro, Natasha Brown, Christine Smallwood and Catherine Lacey, which centre illness in their representations of precarious labour. The research project examines how representations of illness inform embodied experiences of labour in late capitalism. This project poses an intervention into the existing field of workplace literature, by addressing the absence of illness within this genre, and will explore how these workplace novels offer creative perspectives on the past, present and future of work. This project offers insight into the current landscape of precarious labour, as their ability to create fictional, fantastical, and sometimes catastrophic consequences of illness allows us to envision the ramifications of increased precarity and its emotional effects on the labourer.
I am also developing my PhD thesis, awarded from the University of Melbourne in 2020, into a monograph. This project, titled Contagious Feelings: Postcritical Readings of Illness in Women’s Contemporary Life Writing, is under review.