Dr William Stephenson

Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature; Programme Leader, BA English Literature (Combined Honours).

Qualifications

MA, PhD, PGCert. in Learning and Teaching (HE)

Overview

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of English.  I joined the University of Chester in 2001, after having taught at the Universities of Leeds, Hull and Central Lancashire. 

Teaching

I specialize in twentieth and twenty-first century fiction, particularly science fiction, fantasy, utopian and dystopian fiction and the literature of addiction. Modules I teach on include:

  • Science Fiction
  • Alternative Worlds
  • Modernism and After
  • Approaches to Literature


Postgraduate supervision:

I have supervised successful PhDs on ‘Male Intimacy in Modern Women’s Writing’ and ‘Adaptation and Appropriation in and of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Between Texts: The Resonant Fictions of Sarah Waters’. I am currently supervising MRes students working on science fiction, posthumanism and dystopian fiction.

I welcome enquiries about MRes and PhD projects on:

  • Science fiction / fantasy / dystopian literature
  • Contemporary fiction
  • Posthumanism
  • Hunter S. Thompson, Timothy Leary, the US counterculture
  • David Mitchell
  • John Fowles

Research

My main research interests include science fiction, posthumanism, Hunter S. Thompson, John Fowles and David Mitchell (the novelist, not the comedian).  I have recently given conference papers on David Mitchell and globalization, and Timothy Leary and the posthuman.

Published work

As well as numerous journal articles and book chapters I have published two book-length studies of John Fowles.  My most recent academic book is Gonzo Republic, a monograph on Hunter S. Thompson.  My first full collection of poetry, Travellers and Avatars, was shortlisted for the Live Canon First Collection prize and will be published by Live Canon in 2018.  As well as in my two award-winning pamphlets, Rain Dancers in the Data Cloud and Source Code, my poems have been published in various magazines, including AnonEnvoiIotaThe Interpreter’s HouseThe North, OrbisPennine Platform, The Rialto and Sentinel Literary Quarterly.

Books

Travellers and Avatars [poetry] (London: Live Canon, 2018) [shortlisted, Live Canon First Collection Prize 2015]

Source Code [poetry] (Bristol: Ravenglass Poetry Press, 2013) [Winner, Ravenglass Poetry Prize 2012]

Rain Dancers in the Data Cloud [poetry] (Matlock: Templar, 2012) [Winner, Iota Shot Award 2012]

Gonzo Republic: Hunter S. Thompson's America (New York: Continuum, 2011).

John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman: A Reader's Guide (London: Bloomsbury, 2007).

Writers and Their Work: John Fowles (Tavistock: Northcote, 2003).

 

Book chapters and article

'History, Globalization and the Human Subject in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet' in David Mitchell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives, ed. Wendy Knepper and Courtney Hopf (London: Bloomsbury, 2019). ISBN 978-1-4742-6210-1.

‘The Aesthetics of the Anthropocene: Posthumanism and Contemporary Science Fiction', Research into Marxist Aesthetics 19:1 (2016), pp. 90-104.  ISBN 978-7-5117-3072-5.  7264 words.  Article translated into Chinese for publication.

 ‘Timothy Leary and Alternative Salvation’ in Alternative Salvations: Engaging the Sacred and Secular, ed. Wendy Dossett, Hannah Bacon and Steve Knowles (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), pp. 63-72.  ISBN 978-1-4725-7994-2 (hardback) 978-1-4725-7995-9 (EPdf)

'Timothy Leary and the Trace of the Posthuman' in PostHumain(s): frontières, évolutions, hybridités, ed. Elaine Després and Hélène Machinal (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2014), pp. 281-98.  ISBN 978-2-7535-3374-5.

‘Hippies with Mega Nukes: The Culture, Terror and the War Machine in Consider Phlebas and The Player of Gamesin Bridging fantasies: Critical responses to the writing of Iain (M.) Banks, ed. Katherine Cox and Martyn Colebrook (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2013).

‘A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East: Neo-Colonialism and Self-Fashioning in Hunter S. Thompson’s The Curse of Lono’, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 52:2 (January 2011), pp. 217-32.

‘“Moonlight bright as a UFO abduction”: Science Fiction, Present-Future Alienation and Cognitive Mapping’ in David Mitchell: Critical Essays, ed. Sarah Dillon (Canterbury: Gylphi, 2011).

‘Literature 1945-1990’ and ‘Literature 1990-The Present’, Studying English Literature, ed. Ashley Chantler and David Higgins (London: Continuum, 2010).

‘From Image to Frame: The Filming of The French Lieutenant’s Woman’, Textual Revisions: Reading Literature and Film, ed. Brian Baker (Chester: Chester Academic Press, 2009), pp. 116-38. 

‘A Terrorism of the Rich: Symbolic Violence in Bret Easton Ellis’s Glamorama and J. G. Ballard’s Super-Cannes’, Critique:  Studies in Contemporary Fiction 48:3 (Spring 2007), pp. 278-93.

‘Island of the Assassins: Cannabis, Spectacle and Terror in Alex Garland’s The Beach’, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 46:4 (Summer 2005), pp. 369-81.

‘Scoring Ecstasy: MDMA, Consumerism and Spirituality in the Early Fiction of Irvine Welsh’, Journal for Cultural Research, 7:2 (April 2003), pp. 147-63.

‘Eroticism and Lightness in “Wandering Rocks”’, European Joyce Studies 12: Reading Joyce’s ‘Wandering Rocks’, ed. Andrew Gibson and Steven Morrison (New York and Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002), pp. 121-40.

‘William Golding’s To the Ends of the Earth: A Sea Trilogy and Queer Autobiography’, A/B: Auto/Biography Studies, Volume 15 number 1 (Summer 2000), pp. 5-21.

‘Sex, Drugs and the Economics of Masculinity in William Golding’s Rites of Passage’, Signs of Masculinity, ed. Antony Rowland (Atlanta and Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1998), pp. 178-98.