School of Language Arts and Media


Caitlin Vandertop
  • Caitlin Vandertop
    Job Info
    School of Language, Arts & Media
    Position Title:
    Lecturer in Literature
    Contact Info
    Phone #:
    +679 3232016
Personal Info


BA (Leeds) MA (Queen Mary, London) PhD (HKU)

Before joining the University of the South Pacific, I worked and studied at universities in the UK, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong. My PhD, awarded in 2017, was supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council and the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter. I have taught courses in literature and 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 modernist and twentieth-century literatures in English, urban culture, and postcolonial studies with a special interest in Asia-Pacific writing. 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. Other research and teaching interests include literature of coastal and island cities, literature and commodities, and intersections between the urban humanities and environmental criticism.

Research interests

Modernist and twentieth-century world literatures in English
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Monograph in progress

Concrete jungles: literary modernism in the British colonial metropolis

Journal articles

 ‘Opium cities, carbon routes: world-ecological prehistory in Amitav Ghosh's Hong Kong' (forthcoming).

“The earth seemed unearthly’: capital, world-ecology and enchanted nature in Conrad's Heart of Darkness', MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, special issue “The Anthropocene: Fiction and the End(s) of Human Ecologies” 64:4 (2018).

‘Architectures of the invisible hand: envisioning capital in Joseph Conrad’s Singapore’, Textual Practice (published online, 2018).

 ‘Peripheral urbanism, imperial maturity and the fiction of development in Lao She's Rickshaw and Mulk Raj Anand’s Coolie’, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction (forthcoming).

'The colonies in concrete: Walter Benjamin, urban form, and the dreamworlds of empire', Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 18: 5 (2016), pp. 709-29.

'Travel literature and the infrastructural unconscious’, in New Directions in Travel Writing Studies, eds. Julia Kuehn and Paul Smethurst (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015), pp. 26-44.

Selected conference papers

'Colonial urbanism, modernist literature, and the spectacle of unevenness', Archives of Resistance, University of Leeds, 22 June 2018.

'Opium, world-ecology and urban memory in Amitav Ghosh's Hong Kong', Oceanic Memory, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2 December 2017. 

‘Unreal cities: peripheral modernisms in the British colonial metropolis’, The City as Modernist Ephemera, London South Bank University, 16 June 2017.

‘Joseph Conrad and the invisible hand’, Humanities Research Seminar Series, University of the South Pacific, 8 March 2017.

‘Concrete jungles: modernist fiction and the British colonial city’, Hong Kong Intercollegiate Modernism Seminar, University of Hong Kong, 5 November 2016

‘Uneven city: colonial architecture, imperial maturity and the crisis of development in Mulk Raj Anand’, Transgressions and the Southwest: Penryn Symposium, University of Exeter, 3 June 2016.

‘Architectures of the invisible hand: Joseph Conrad in colonial Singapore’, Transnational Modernisms: Australasian Modernist Studies Network Conference, University of Sydney, 15 December 2014.

‘Mapping Conrad’s colonial city’, Joseph Conrad Society Annual Conference, University of Kent, 4 July 2014.

‘The colonies in concrete: Walter Benjamin, colonial culture and urban form’, Hong Kong Intercollegiate Modernism Colloquium, University of Hong Kong, 10 February 2014.

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School of Language Arts and Media (SLAM)
Faculty of Arts, Law and Education
The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji,
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