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Dr Susan Greenberg

Areas of interest

I am an interdisciplinary scholar with a special interest in emerging disciplines. My research focuses on the history, theory and practice of narrative nonfiction and publishing.

My first book, Editors Talk About Editing, engages with conversation with editors of all types and genres. My second, more analytical, book, A Poetics of Editing, compares editorial mediation in different media channels (Book and Magazine), technologies (Print and Digital), and time periods, and a chapter is devoted to digital culture.

I am the Lead editor on the Cambridge Elements 'Publishing and Book Culture' strand on ‘Editors and Editing’ which aims to map a new field of Editing Studies.

I have broad interests in material culture and the ways in which we test our subjective experience against the external world. My work on the history of Macmillan in London and New York uses archives to understand on transatlantic tensions in the immediate postwar period and evaluate the role of ‘emotional’ personal factors in human decision-making.

I am a founding member of the International Association of Literary Journalism Studies (IALJS) and I have taught a wide range of narrative nonfiction genres, including reportage, travel writing, memoir, and the lyric essay. I am currently carrying out research on the role of the ‘crossover’ nonfiction book.

My academic work is informed by a previous career in professional media, ranging from reporting and sub-editing for international news media – including Czech and Slovak correspondent for The Guardian – to specialist business journalism, website content strategy and consumer research publications. This experience provides an insight into the importance of publishing-related roles in non-media organisations.

In my previous university post I ran the in-house imprint Fincham Press, a small-scale publisher of books and scholarly journals.

Postgraduate supervision

I am an experienced teacher for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and I have supervised and examined postgraduate and doctoral work in publishing, writing, journalism, and literature. I am a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and hold the SEDA qualification in supervision.


In 2022-23, for the BA programme, I am teaching the Part 3 module Publishing Cultures: Writers, Publics, Archive, and the Part 2 module The Business of Books. I will also be contributing to the core Masters module Materiality & Textuality.

Research centres and groups

My research follows two pathways. In Publishing and Book Studies, the monograph A Poetics of Editing offers the first-ever attempt to define a poetics of the editing arts and outlines the potential for a new field of editing studies, in which the ‘ideal editor’ can be understood as part of the relationship with the long-theorised author and reader. The work has been described by Humanities Professor Alan Liu as providing ‘a rich framework for seeing the world’, and by SHARP as pointing to ‘new and exciting roads of investigation for future scholars’. I am Lead Editor of a strand on ‘Editors and Editing’ for the Cambridge Elements list on Publishing and Book Culture, which aims to take up the challenge outlined in the Poetics to map a new field of Editing Studies.

I will be contributing as an author to another Elements list, about the role of the ‘crossover’ nonfiction book.

My journal article about the publisher Macmillan in London and New York looks through the lens of a particular historical event to throw light on transatlantic tensions in the immediate postwar period and evaluate the role of ‘emotional’ personal factors in human agency. It also brings a significant amount of archival material into view for the first time.

In the field of narrative nonfiction. I am a founding member of the International Association of Literary Journalism Studies, a pioneering body that has extended the field beyond English-speaking counties. The association awards an annual research prize in my name and my work in this field is cited by the Oxford Dictionary of Journalism as the source for its entry on ‘Slow Journalism’.

In Creative Writing more generally, I contributed to a revised national research benchmark and represented the subject association NAWE in consultations on Open Access monographs, winning regulatory support for OA exceptions to creative and crossover outputs.

I have peer reviewed book proposals and manuscripts for numerous journals, book publishers, and funding bodies, including the Leverhulme-funded project ‘The business of women’s words’ and submissions to the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Selected publications

2020: ‘History with feeling: The case of Macmillan New York.’ In Logos: Journal of the World Book Community, 31:1 (July), p7-26.

2018: A Poetics of Editing, Palgrave Macmillan.
‘Editing, Fast and Slow’ in Le Masurier, Megan, (ed) Slow Journalism, London: Routledge, pp117-129.

2015: Greenberg, Susan L. (2015) Editors talk about editing: insights for readers, writers and publishers, Peter Lang.
‘Editorial roles and practices: exploring the creative enterprise’ in Abrahamson, D. and Prior-Miller, M. eds. The Handbook of Magazine Research: The Future of the Magazine Form, London: Routledge

2014: ‘The Ethics of Narrative: A Return to the Source’ in Journalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism, 15.5 (July), p517-532.

2012: ‘The Polish School of Reportage’ in Keeble, R. L. and Tulloch, J. (eds) Global Literary Journalism: Exploring the Journalistic Imagination, New York: Peter Lang, pp123-140

2011: ‘Personal experience, turned outward: responses to alienated subjectivity’ in Free Associations, No 62, September 2011, pp151-174