Philip Tew

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Professor Philip Tew (born Enfield, Middlesex, England) is an English academic. A professor in English (Post-1900 Literature) in the School of Arts at Brunel University,[1] Tew is a literary critic and theorist in the field of contemporary and modern British fiction after 1945, and of various strands of critical or 'high' theory, particularly metarealism and materialism. He has been an opponent of the essentialism and anti-realist orthodoxies underlying much of postmodernist and postcolonial criticism. Tew is the author of works on B.S. Johnson, Jim Crace, Zadie Smith, and the contemporary British novel. He has edited academic collections, series and journals.[2] Some of his work has focused on social gerontology and the use of narrative theories in social, cultural and policy analysis.[3]

Education and career[edit]

Tew worked in the early 1980s as a playleader on a Greater London Council (GLC) inflatable scheme alongside future novelist Will Self.[4] After part-time research focusing on the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, Tew was awarded an MPhil in 1985.[5] In 1995, Tew left full-time employment to enter the PhD programme at the University of Westminster, completing his doctorate - on avant-garde, working class author, B.S. Johnson - in 1997.[6][7] Manchester University Press published a revised version as an academic monograph in 2001.[8]

Memberships and other roles[edit]

Tew is the founding and executive Director of the UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies,[9] joint managing editor of Symbiosis: a Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations,[10] and a member of a national panel to assess research funding submissions in the humanities (the AHRC Peer Review College) and Social Research in the ESRC Peer Review College. He is founding co-editor of Critical Engagements, a peer-reviewed journal affiliated to the UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies. He is currently Director of the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing (BCCW), and Principal Investigator of the Fiction and the Cultural Mediation of Ageing Project (FCMAP), based at Brunel, funded by the Joint Research Councils (part of the New Dynamics of Ageing Initiative). He is Director of the B.S. Johnson Society.[11]

Selected works[edit]


  • Coming of Age. Bazalgette, L., Holden, J., Tew, P., Hubble, N. and Morrison, J., London: Demos, 2011.
  • Zadie Smith [Palgrave Macmillan New British Fiction Series, Gen. Eds. Philip Tew and Rod Mengham] London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 [ISBN 0230516769 / 978-0230516762].
  • Beckett and Death. Steve Barfield, Philip Tew and Matthew Feldman (eds). London: Continuum, 2009 [ISBN 0826498353 / 978-0826498359].
  • New Versions of Pastoral: Post-romantic, Modern, and Contemporary Responses to the Tradition. David James and Philip Tew (eds). Madison / Teeaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2009. pp. 295. [ISBN 083864189X / 978-0838641897].
  • Writers Talk: Interviews with Contemporary British Novelists. (With Fiona Tolan and Leigh Wilson). London: Continuum, 2008. pp. 257(ISBN 1847140246 / 978-1847140241).
  • Re-Reading B. S. Johnson. Philip Tew and Glyn White (eds.) London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. pp. 240. (ISBN 978-0-230-52492-7) (ISBN 0-230-52492-3).
  • The Contemporary British Novel, London: Continuum, 2007. Second Revised Edition. pp. 257 (ISBN 082647349) (ISBN 0826493203 / 978-0826493200 ).
  • British Fiction Today. Philip Tew and Rod Mengham (eds.) London: Continuum, 2006 (ISBN 08264 87319) (ISBN 08264 873 27).
  • Jim Crace. Contemporary British Fiction series (gen. ed. Dr. Daniel Lea). Manchester: Manchester UP, 2006. (P/B 0719069130/ 978-0719069130; H/B 0719069122/ 978-0719069123).
  • The Contemporary British Novel, London: Continuum, 2004, pp. 206 (ISBN 082647349) (ISBN 0 8624 7350 4). Reviewed in TLS No. 5294, 17 Sept. 2004.

Chapters and essays in books and collections:

  • ‘Childhood, longing, sexuality, violence and sacrifice in ‘’The River’’, ‘’An Episode of Sparrows’’, and ‘’The Greengage Summer’’. In ‘’Rumer Godden: International and Intermodern Storyteller’’. Phyllis Lassner and Lucy Le-Guilcher (eds). Ashgate, 2010 forthcoming [ISBN 978-0-7546-6828-2].
  • 'Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night (1961) Howard W. Campbell, Jr., and the Banalities of Evil,' in New Critical essays on Kurt Vonnegut. David Simmons (ed). New York: Palgrave Macmilla, 2009: 11 - 26.
  • ‘Situating the Violence of J.G. Ballard's Postmillennial Fiction: The Possibilities of Sacrifice, the Certainties of Trauma,’ in J. G. Ballard: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Jeanette Baxter (ed). London: Continuum, 2008: 107 - 119.

Periodical and journal publication:

Electronic / online publication:

  • ‘B. S. Johnson.’ The Literary Encyclopaedia. Published 9 Mar 2003[12]
  • ‘Teaching the Contemporary: Fiction.’ English Subject Centre project, Prof.. Philip Tew & Dr. Mark Addis. Completed & published April 2007[13]


  • Review of B. S. Johnson: A critical reading[14]
  • Review of The Contemporary British Novel: From John Fowles to Zadie Smith.[15]
  • Review of The Contemporary British Novel: From John Fowles to Zadie Smith.[16]


  1. ^ "School of Arts | Brunel University, London". 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  2. ^ "Philip Tew - Philip Tew". Bloomsbury. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  3. ^ "The Economic and Social Research Council". ESRC. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  4. ^ "HOW WE MET; JIM CRACE AND WILL SELF - Arts & Entertainment". The Independent. 1995-07-16. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  5. ^ "Navigation Menu". Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  6. ^ "British Library EThOS : Thesis Details - Accepting the known? : dialectical thematics in B.S. Johnson". Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  7. ^ "Philip Tew | Symbiosis". Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  8. ^ B.S. Johnson: A Critical Reading - Philip Tew - Google Books. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "About | The B. S. Johnson Society". 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  12. ^ "Literary Encyclopedia | B. S. Johnson". 2003-03-09. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  13. ^ "Teaching the contemporary". Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  14. ^ "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  15. ^ "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  16. ^ [3][dead link]