Professor Rod Mengham

Emeritus Fellow
University Positions
Professor of Modern English Literature

Rod Mengham is Professor of Modern English Literature in Modern English at the University of Cambridge and an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College.

Academic interests

Rod Mengham's academic interests include:

  • 19th and 20th century English literature, especially Dickens
  • The 1930s and the 1940s
  • Contemporary fiction and poetry.

Degrees obtained

  • MA, Cantab.
  • PhD, Edinburgh.


Rod Mengham is the author and editor of books on 19th and 20th century fiction, 20th century poetry, violence and avant garde art, and language and cultural history.

He's also editor of the Equipage series of poetry pamphlets, and joint editor and translator of Altered State: the New Polish Poetry. His own poems have been published under the titles Unsung: New and Selected Poems (Salt, 2001), Chance of a Storm (Carcanet, 2015) and Grimspound & Inhabiting Art (Carcanet, 2018). In 2020, he was given a Cholmondely Award for Poetry by the UK Society of Authors.

In the last 20 years, he has published numerous art critical essays and has also worked as a freelance curator. He was Curator of Works of Art at Jesus between 2003 and 2018.


Contemporary art, landscape archaeology, islands.

Publications, links and resources

  • Mengham, R. (2019) Ambiguity Run Riot: Film-Mindedness in the 1930s Avant-Garde. In: Benjamin Kohlmann and Matthew Sperling, eds. A History of 1930s British Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.211-226.
  • Mengham, R. (2018) Nosing Around: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog. In: Edward Allend, ed. Reading Dylan Thomas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.36-48.
  • Mengham, R. (2017) A Genealogy of the Prose Poem. In: Ivan Callus and James Corby, eds. Countertext 3.2 (2017) Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp.176-186.
  • Mengham, R. (2016) Judging the Distance: Fiction with Europe in Mind. In: Peter Boxall and Bryan Cheyette, eds. British and Irish Fiction Since 1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.190-202.
  • Mengham, R. (2014) Antepostdated Johnson. In: Julia Jordan and Martin Ryle, eds. B.S.Johnson and Post-War Literature. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.121-135.
  • Mengham, R. (2013) Radio Silence: MacNeice’s Two Autumns. In:  in PN Review 212 (June 2013) pp.15-21.
  • Mengham, R. (2013) Walkers not Marchers: the Scope of Walking in Upward’s late fiction. In: Benjamin Kohlmann, ed. Edward Upward and Left Wing Literary Culture in Britain. Farnham: Ashgate, pp.163-172.
  • Mengham, R. (2013) Bollocks to Respectability: British Fiction after the Trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1960-1970). In: David Bradshaw and Rachel Potter, eds, Prudes on the Prowl: Fiction and Obscenity in England, 1850 to the Present Day. Oxford: OUP, pp.159-178. 
  • Mengham, R. (2011) Bad teeth: British Social Realism in Fiction. In: D. Tucker, ed, British Social Realism in the Arts since 1940. London: Palgrave, pp.81-102.
  • Mengham, R. (2009) "A Free hand to Refuse Everything": Politics and Intricacy in the Work of J.H.Prynne. In: I. Brinton, ed, A Manner of Utterance: The Poetry of J.H.Prynne. Bristol: Shearsman, pp.69-82.
  • Mengham, R. and Gilmartin, S. (2007) Thomas Hardy's Shorter Fiction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Mengham, R. (2006) Fiction's History: Adam Thorpe. In: R. Mengham and P. Tew, eds, British Fiction Today. London: Continuum, pp.177-185.
  • Mengham, R. and Kinsella, J. eds, (2004) Vanishing Points: New Modernist Poems. Norwich: Salt.
  • Mengham, R., Pioro, T., Szymor, P. eds, (2003) Altered State: the New Polish Poetry. Todmorden: Arc Publications.
  • Mengham, R. (2002) The Writing of Iain Sinclair. In: R. Lane, R. Mengham, and P. Tew, eds, Contemporary British Fiction. London: Polity Press, pp.56-67.
  • Mengham, R. (2001) Charles Dickens (Writers and their Work series) Tavistock: Northcote House.
  • Mengham, R. (2001) Broken Glass. In: R. Mengham and N. Reeve, eds, The Fiction of the 1940s: Stories of Survival. London: Palgrave, pp.124-133.
  • Mengham, R. (2001) Unsung: New and Selected Poems (second edition) Norwich: Salt.
  • Mengham, R. (1999) 1973 The End of History: Cultural Change According to Muriel Spark. In: R. Mengham, ed, An Introduction to Contemporary Fiction: International Writing in English since 1970. Cambridge: Polity Press, pp.123-134.
  • Mengham, R. (1983) The Idiom of the Time: the Writings of Henry Green, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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