Dr Duco van Oostrum

School of English

Senior Lecturer in American Literature

English Duco van Oostrum
+44 114 222 8468

Full contact details

Dr Duco van Oostrum
School of English
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

I have taught in the School of English since 1995.

After a book monograph on Henry James and Henry Adams, my research has encompassed more contemporary fields in African-American culture, sports literature, urban contemporary fiction, and autobiography.

I have always tried to put research-led teaching into practice, and as a result, became more and more involved in pedagogy and the student learning experience. As part of a group of like-minded individuals across the Arts and Social Sciences, I was part of the successful HEFCE Centre of Learning and Teaching Excellence grant for CILASS (Centre For Inquiry-Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences).

In 2005, I became the first CILASS Academic Fellow and, together with Richard Steadman-Jones, set up major research-led teaching projects within the School of English. In 2003, I received a University Senate Award for Teaching, followed in 2007 with a National Teaching Fellowship.

Research interests

Male Authors, Female Subjects: The Woman Within/Beyond the Borders of Henry Adams, Henry James and Others (1995) reflects my interest in late nineteenth-century American Literature, representations of gender by men, and autobiography.

I also work on African-American Literature and Sports Literature, writing on such diverse people as:

  • Toni Morrison
  • Bill Russell
  • Jack Kerouac
  • John Edgar Wideman
  • Michael Jordan and many others

Autobiography and the manner in which stories are told remain at the centre of this research. I am fascinated by ghost-written autobiographies (such as slave narratives and most sports autobiographies) which complicate notions of a written self.



  • Van Oostrum D (1995) Male Authors, Female Subjects The Woman Within/beyond the Borders of Henry Adams, Henry James and Others. Amsterdam: Rodopi Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • van Oostrum D (2017) 'All that it had to say': Henry Adams and the Rock Creek Memorial, Memory and Memorials: From the French Revolution to World War One (pp. 147-159). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oostrum DV (2017) ‘All that it had to say’, Memory and Memorials (pp. 147-159). Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • van Oostrum D (2006) Transatlantic Exchanges, Teaching, Technology, Textuality (pp. 122-131). Palgrave Macmillan UK RIS download Bibtex download
  • Van Oostrum D (2004) "Slam History" In Janssens R & Kroes R (Ed.), Post-Cold War Europe, Post-Cold War America (pp. 194-202). Amsterdam: Virago Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Van Oostrum D (2004) The Black Athlete's Battle Royal of the 1960s: Anti-American Protests in American Sports In Draxlbauer M, Fellner AM & Froeschl T (Ed.), (Anti-) Americanisms (pp. 268-285). Wien: Lit Verlag. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Van Oostrum D (1999) "Born to Play": Discipline and Play in Jack Kerouac's Narratives of Football In Bent, van der J, Elteren, van M & Minnen, van C (Ed.), Beat Culture The 1950s and Beyond (pp. 159-173). Amsterdam: Vu University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Van Oostrum D (1998) Posthumous Life and the Alibi of Autobiography: The Adams Memorial In Bak H & Krabbendam H (Ed.), Writing Lives American Biography and Autobiography (pp. 29-42). Vu University Press Amsterdam RIS download Bibtex download
  • Van Oostrum D (1996) Literary Responses to America in 1987: "The Double Vision" of Larry McMurtry's Texasville and Toni Morrison's Beloved In Bak H, Holthoon, van F & Krabbendam H (Ed.), Social and Secure? Politics and Culture of the Welfare State : a Comparative Inquiry (pp. 202-217). Amsterdam: VU University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Van Oostrum D (1996) Dear...I have no objection to anything": Constructing Identities in apartment buildings in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City In D'haen T & Bertens H (Ed.), Writing Nation and 'Writing' Region in America (pp. 117-128). Amsterdam: Vu University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Van Oostrum D (1994) Wim Wenders's Euro-American Construction Site: Paris, Texas or Texas, Paris In Chapple R (Ed.), Social and Political Change in Literature and Fil, (pp. 7-21). Gainesville: University Press of Florida. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Van Oostrum D (1992) Men Speaking for Women and American Literature: The Case of Henry Adams alias Frances Snow Compton In Verhoeven WM (Ed.), Rewriting the Dream: Reflections on the Changing American Literary Canon (pp. 75-101). Amsterdam: Rodopi. RIS download Bibtex download
  • van Oostrum D () ‘All that it had to say’, Memory and Memorials, 1789–1914 (pp. 147-159). Taylor & Francis RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews

  • Van Oostrum D (1999) Making the team: The cultural work of baseball fiction. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN STUDIES, 33, 164-166. RIS download Bibtex download

Scholarly editions

  • Van Oostrum D (2020) De Adem der Vrijheid: Wij Slaven van Suriname als Literatuur. Atlas Contact. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I welcome research students in most fields of American literature, and in particular those with interest in African-American culture, urban and consumer literature, and sports.

Current research students, for example, are working on research topics such as, John Edgar Wideman, Oprah Studies, Female Consumer Fiction, and Mountaineering Literature, to name a few. Completed PhDs include topics such as the letters of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Contemporary American Consumer Fiction, Representation of White Women in African-American female fiction. I am also the convenor of the MA pathway in American literature and, as part of that MA, teach the module, Tales of the City: Urban Space in Contemporary American fiction.

Teaching activities

See the 'profile' for a resume of my interests in teaching.

Roots Routes: The CILASS team have put together a stunning website, with resources, explanations, and many video and podcast links which highlight my approach to learning and teaching.

Roots Routes

Video showing e-learning innovation