Associate Dean of School (Learning and Teaching), University of Hertfordshire

Before becoming an Associate Dean in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, I ran the undergraduate Interactive Media and Screen Cultures programme there and this is still the focus of much of my teaching. I am also award leader on the MA Screen Cultures within the School's Postgraduate Media Programme, and have supervision responsibilities for a number of PhD students. I completed my own PhD on the poetry of Paul Muldoon at the University of Wales, Swansea, in 1998 and my interests span such subjects as Romanticism and its contexts, Gothic culture, Modernism into postmodernism, 20th/21st century poetry and poetics, and experimental fictions from Laurence Sterne to new media.

My research interests are the result of a slow, strange, magical hybridisation process in which a genetic inheritance of English Literature (BA, MA, PhD) has been subject to the effects of nearly 14 years of teaching students on practice-based courses specialising in Animation, Games Art, VFX, SFX, Model Making, Character Creation, Interactive Media, Screen Cultures, Photography, Fine Art, Graphic Design and Illustration...

So, although I retain a passionate interest in poetry, the novel, and theatrical drama, this has increasingly merged with other concerns and curiosities - some of which might have been frowned upon by my tutors when I was an undergraduate but which were always, really, part of the imaginative make-up of someone who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s.

I'm interested in ideas of narrative, representation and politics across media forms, particularly where the traditional has been transformed through the emergence of a digital mass culture. I become most excited when I begin to suspect that forgotten, neglected or supposedly marginal figures have something to say to the contemporary world. For this reason, much of my work has been concerned with exploring new perspectives on writers and artists such as Thomas Chatterton, Dylan Thomas, David Jones and Wyndham Lewis.

My most recent research has considered aspects of the Gothic in relation to critical theory and new media perspectives - for instance, reflecting on mythologies of the vampire through theories of the interface or reading Gaston Leroux's novel The Phantom of the Opera (1910) as an expression of cultural anxieties within mass-mediated modernity. I'm also delighted that my childhood obsession with _Doctor Who_ has finally been legitimised within an academic context.

I also write plays, poetry and fictional prose. My novel, _Johnny Face-Ache_, hasn't been published (yet!) but poems have appeared in various small press journals and my one-act plays have been performed, with some success, at drama festivals. _The Wise Man Knows_, for instance, about Wyndham Lewis's encounter with a Nazi representative in 1931, won Best Production at the Bedford Festival in 2012.

I am currently writing Once Upon A Time Lord: The Myths and Stories of Doctor Who, due for publication by I.B.Tauris in late 2017.

Experience

  • 2000–2016
    Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies, University of Hertfordshire