Nick Monk's Profile Image
Director of the Center for Transformative Teaching
Courtesy Professor of English

Dr. Nicholas Monk is Director of the Center for Transformative Teaching at UNL.

Professional Areas of Specialty

As a literary critic I focus on the American West, and the Southwestern deserts in particular. The works of Leslie Silko and the novels of Cormac McCarthy have been significant for me in this context. Philosophically and culturally I’m interested in modernity, its representation, and the resistance to it in Silko and McCarthy. In terms of genre I’m captivated by the gothic and its multifarious subsets. Related to this is my absorption in the sublime, and had my career not taken me in other directions I would now be working on a book entitled, provisionally, ‘Desert Sublime.’ I also have a long-standing interest in Willa Cather – indeed she was the principle author in my PhD qualifying exam while I was a graduate student at Rutgers. Another reason I’m excited to be here in Nebraska!

My research and teaching interests intersect in the essay, ‘Cormac McCarthy Made Me Do It,’ in which I look at feeling and embodiment in both literary work and teaching and learning. Pedagogy and literary studies first overlapped for me, however, when I worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the English Department at the University of Warwick, to apply the principles of the theatrical ensemble to the learning space. From this partnership emerged the pedagogy of Open-space Learning (OSL).

Others areas in which I have taught and/or published are cultural literacy and communication, identity, laughter, and the use of videoconferencing technology to create a face-to-face experience in distance learning.

I am an invited peer reviewer for The Cormac McCarthy Journal, Cambridge University Press, Routledge, and Macmillan.

Awards and Affiliations

Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow in 2013.

Warwick's Butterworth Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008/9.

Honorary Associate Professor Monash University, Melbourne, 2014-19.

Selected Publications

‘Cormac McCarthy and Modernity.’ Cormac McCarthy in Context. Ed. Steven Frye. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming.

‘Cormac McCarthy Made Me Do It.’ Approaches to Teaching the Works of Cormac McCarthy (MLA P). Ed. Stacey Peebles & Benjamin West. Forthcoming.

‘Desert Gothic: Cormac McCarthy, Paul Bowles, and Don Waters.’ The Cormac McCarthy Journal. 17.2 (2019): 171-86.

Monk, Nicholas, et al, eds. Identity: A Transdisciplinary Approach. London: Palgrave-MacMillan. 2017. Print.

Monk, Nicholas, Sarah McDonald, and Gabriel Ochoa. ‘Embedding Cultural Literacy in Higher Education: A New Approach.’ Intercultural Education. 27.6 (2016): 546-59. Print

Monk, Nicholas. ‘Leslie Silko and the Native American Renaissance.’ The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American West. Ed. Steven Frye. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2016.

Monk, Nicholas, et al. ‘Portal Pedagogy: from Interdisciplinarity and Internationalisation to Transdisciplinarity and Transnationalisation.’ London Review of Education. 13.3 (2015): 62-77. Print

Monk, Nicholas. True and Living Prophet of Destruction: Cormac McCarthy and Modernity. University of New Mexico Press. 2016.

Monk, Nicholas et al. Open-space Learning: a Study in Interdisciplinary Pedagogy. London: Bloomsbury, 2011. Bloomsbury Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities.

Selected Presentations/Workshops

June 2019: ‘Desert Sublime: Leslie Silko and Cormac McCarthy.’ Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. UC Davis.

June 2016: ‘Desert Gothic: Cormac McCarthy, Paul Bowles, Don Waters.’ ‘Transgressions: Cormac McCarthy Between Worlds,’ Conference. Free University of Berlin.

May 2016: ‘“A Devil’s Batter by the Stink of it”: what’s Funny about Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.” International Society for Humor Studies Conference. Trinity College Dublin.

May 2016: Keynote. University of Derby Teaching and Learning Conference. ‘What's the Narrative, Minister? Learning, Teaching, the TEF, and the White Paper.’

March 2016. ‘The Realities of the International Classroom: Culture, Technology, Space, and Pedagogy.’ ‘Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference.’ London.

June 2015: Keynote at the Norwegian Forum for English for Academic Purposes 2015 on ‘The International Classroom.’ Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

April 2015: Workshop on Intercultural Communication. ‘Cultural Literacy in Europe Conference,’ Birkbeck, London.


Ph.D. (2007), University of Warwick, United Kingdom
English and comparative literature

M.A. (2003), Rutgers University
English literature

M.A. (1999), University of Warwick, United Kingdom
English literature

B.A. (1998), University of Reading, United Kingdom
English literature