Professor Neil Badmington

BA (Exeter), MA, PhD (Wales)


School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 (0)29 2087 6255
2.07, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

I am Professor of English Literature and have taught at Cardiff University since 1999. I was educated at the University of Exeter, the University of California (Santa Cruz), and Cardiff University.

I am the author of three books (with a fourth under contract), editor of twenty-one volumes, and author of many essays. Please click on ‘Publications’ (above) for a complete overview of my work.

I am the Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies for the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, and a member of the School's Senior Management Team.

Research interests

  • Contemporary fiction, especially American.
  • Poststructuralist critical and cultural theory, with an emphasis upon the work of Roland Barthes.
  • Film, particularly the work of Alfred Hitchcock.
  • Postmodern culture.

I welcome queries from potential PhD students whose plans overlap with any of my listed interests.

Academic activities

I am co-editor, with Emma Mason (previously with David Tucker), of The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, an annual narrative bibliography of scholarship in the field. The journal is published by Oxford University Press for the English Association.

I am the founding editor of the journal Barthes Studies.

I write regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and I am a member of the editorial/advisory panels of:

I am a member of the Northern Theory School.

I have acted as undergraduate and postgraduate External Examiner at the University of Cambridge, the University of Sussex, Lancaster University, the University of Malta, and Middlesex University. In 2008, I was appointed expert étranger for a panel of the Agence d'évaluation de la recherche de l'enseignement supérieur (AERES) assessing the quality of research at University of Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle, University of Paris XIII-Villetaneuse, and University of Paris-Dauphine.

PhD supervision

I am supervising or have supervised the following PhD theses:

  • Spectral-Scopics: Gazing at Ghosts in Women’s Supernatural Fiction, 1950-Present.
  • Of Zoogrammatology: Animality, Meaning, and Signifying Practices.
  • Roland Barthes and English-Language Poetry, 1970-1990.
  • Corporeal Ontology: Merleau-Ponty, Flesh and Posthumanism.
  • Ill Seen Ill Said: Trauma, Representation and Subjectivity in Samuel Beckett's Post-war Writing.
  • Deadly Light: Machen, Lovecraft and Evolutionary Theory.
  • Untimely Aesthetics: Shakespeare, Anachronism and Presence (co-supervision with Melanie Bigold).
  • The Literature of Replenishment: The Novels of Umberto Eco and J.M. Coetzee and John Barth's Definition of Postmodernist Fiction.
  • The Posthuman Science Fiction of J.G. Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut.
  • The Animal in Differance: Tracing the Boundaries of the Human in Post-Darwinian Culture.


I was born and grew up in the small town of Abergavenny in the Welsh borderlands. After attending my  local comprehensive school, I became the first person in my family to attend university when I went to Exeter to study American and Commonwealth Arts (1990-94). A year abroad at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1992-93 introduced me for the first time to critical and cultural theory, and I went on to study for an MA and PhD in this field at Cardiff University (1995-98), under the supervision  of Catherine Belsey. On completing my PhD in late 1998, I was appointed to the department.

Education and qualifications

1995-98: PhD, Cardiff University. (British Academy Studentship.) Supervisor: Catherine Belsey.

1994-95: MA in Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University. (British Academy Studentship.)

1992-93: University of  California, Santa Cruz. (Junior Year Abroad scheme.)

1990-94: BA in  American and Commonwealth Arts, University of Exeter. Class I. Winner, Exeter  Literary Society Prize, 1994. Winner, David Henderson Award, 1994.

1982-89: King Henry VIII Comprehensive School, Abergavenny.

Previous academic positions

2009-15: Reader in English Literature, Cardiff University
2005-9: Senior  Lecturer in English Literature, Cardiff University
2001-5: Lecturer (B)  in English Literature, Cardiff University
1999-2001: Lecturer  (A) in English Literature, Cardiff University

Speaking engagements

Since 1994, I have given 40 papers at:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Paris X
  • University of Paris VII
  • University of Cambridge
  • Concordia University
  • Ghent University
  • University of Strasbourg
  • University of Malta
  • University of Birmingham
  • Kingston University
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Manchester University
  • York St. John University
  • Lancaster University
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Kent
  • Birkbeck, University of London
  • King's College, London
  • University of Exeter
  • Warwick University
  • Newport and Gwent Literary Club
  • Rugby School

I will be teaching the following English Literature modules in the 2016-17 academic year:

  • Ways of Reading: An Introduction to Critical Theory (Year 2)
  • Hitchcock (Year 3)
  • Reading/Theory (MA).

I will also be contributing lectures on Thoreau’s Walden to the team-taught Authoring the Self module (Year 1).

I am currently working on the following research projects:

  • A book entitled Rope: Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Elsewhere. This is under contract to appear in the 'New Horizons of Cinema' series published by SUNY Press.
  • The editing of volume 25 (2017) of The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory with my new co-editor, Emma Mason.
  • The editing of volume 3 (2017) of Barthes Studies.
  • The republication in book form of my 2016 special issue of the journal Textual Practice on Roland Barthes's journals. This will appear as Deliberations: The Journals of Roland Barthes (Routledge, 2017).
  • An essay entitled 'An Undefined Something Else: Barthes, Culture, Neutral Life'. This will appear in a special issue of Theory, Culture & Society on the subject of 'Neutral Life' and edited by Sunil Manghani.

Recently completed research projects include:

  • The Afterlives of Roland Barthes -- a monograph on the posthumous publications of Roland Barthes. This was published by Bloomsbury in October 2016.
  • An edited collection entitled Deliberations: The Journals of Roland Barthes. This was published as a special issue of Textual Practice in early 2016.
  • The launch of the inaugural volume of Barthes Studies, an online, open-access journal for scholarship in English on the writings of Roland Barthes. This was published on 12 November 2015 (the day on which Barthes would have been 100 years of age).
  • The editing, with David Tucker, of volume 24 (2016) of The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory.

For a list of my research interests, please click on ‘Overview’ (above).