Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences Experts

Caitlin Vandertop

University of south pacific


Before joining the University of the South Pacific, I worked and studied at universities in the UK, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong. I took up a fellowship at the University of Hong Kong in 2012 as part of a research cluster on global modernisms. My research project, which is titled Concrete jungles: modernist literature and the British colonial metropolis, was supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council and later by a scholarship from the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter. I defended my PhD thesis in December 2016, while working at the University of Hong Kong as an archival research assistant. I have taught courses in modern and world literature, as well as academic English, at institutions including the University of Hong Kong, Birkbeck, University of London, the University of Westminster and the University of Canberra. My research is in twentieth-century global literatures in English, urban culture, and postcolonial studies with a special interest in Asia-Pacific literature. I am preparing a monograph that weaves together Anglophone modernist narratives from a network of four British colonial cities in the period 1900-1940. The book explores how modernist writers confronted the monumentalised landscapes of the late British Empire with diverse and dissonant experiences on the city streets. It argues that contemporary theorisations of modernism’s ‘unreal city’ should focus on the uneven, asynchronous modernity experienced in early twentieth-century colonial urban laboratories.

Research Interest

Other areas of research and teaching interest include literature and development, colonial financial enclaves and gated communities, literature and commodities, in particular opium, and intersections between the urban humanities and world-ecological criticism.


  • Review of ‘Combined and uneven development: towards a new theory of world-literature', forthcoming with ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, 2017.

  • ‘Peripheral urbanism, imperial maturity and the fiction of development in Lao She's Rickshaw and Mulk Raj Anand’s Coolie’ (under review).

  • ‘Architectures of the invisible hand: envisioning capital in Joseph Conrad’s Singapore’ Textual Practice (forthcoming).

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