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

Lecturer and Discipline Coordinator for Literature

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 modern and contemporary world literatures in English, with a focus on colonial urban culture, particularly in Southeast Asia and Oceania. My book project brings together modernist narratives from a network of four British colonial cities in twentieth-century literature. Other research and teaching interests include literature of coastal and island cities, literature and colonial commodities, and intersections between the urban and environmental humanities.

Research interests

  • Modern and contemporary world literatures in English
  • Urban cultures of the British Empire
  • Literature of coastal and port cities, especially in Southeast Asia and Oceania
  • Environmental humanities


Book project

  • Modernism in the metrocolony: urban cultures of empire in twentieth-century literature (under review).

Journal articles

  • ‘Opium cities, carbon routes: world-ecological prehistory in Amitav Ghosh's Hong Kong', Journal of Postcolonial Writing, published online (2019).
  • “The earth seemed unearthly’: capital, world-ecology and enchanted nature in Conrad's Heart of Darkness', MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, special issue 'Anthropocene Fictions' 64:4 (2018), 680-700.
  • ‘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), 709-29.

Book chapters

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


  • Review of Warwick Research Collective, Combined and uneven development: towards a new theory of world-literature, Ariel: Journal of International Literary Studies, special issue ‘Postcolonial Capitalism’ 49:4 (2018), 189-92.

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 Seminar, 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,
Tel: +679 323 2214
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