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Professor Neil Badmington

BA (Exeter), MA, PhD (Wales)


School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 (0)29 2087 6255
John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision

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, and Cardiff University.

I am the author of four books, editor of over twenty volumes, and author of many essays. Please click on ‘Publications’ (above) for fuller information.

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

Research interests

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

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

Academic activities

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 and an advisor to the Critical Posthumanism Network.

From 2013 until 2018 I was co-editor (first with David Tucker, then with Emma Mason) of The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory. This journal is published by Oxford University Press for the English Association.

I have acted as undergraduate and postgraduate External Examiner at the University of Cambridge, Durham University, the University of Sussex, Goldsmiths University, Lancaster University, the University of Malta, and Middlesex University. I have assessed research grant applications externally for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) and the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Belgium). 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.


I was born and grew up in the small town of Abergavenny in the Welsh borderlands -- neither here nor there, really. (As Raymond Williams, who came from the same area, once put it: 'We talked of "The English" who were not us, and "The Welsh" who were not us'.) 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 in 1992-93 introduced me in detail for the first time to critical and cultural theory, and I went on to study for an MA (1994-95) and PhD (1995-98) in this field at Cardiff University, under the supervision of Catherine Belsey and with funding from the British Academy. After 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.

Academic positions

2015-present: Professor of English Literature, Cardiff University

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

1998-1999: Hourly paid Associate Lecturer in English Literature, Cardiff University












  • Badmington, N. 2009. Blade Runner's blade runners. Semiotica 173, pp. 471-489. (10.1515/SEMI.2009.022)
  • Badmington, N. 2009. Babelation. In: Callus, I. and Herbrechter, S. eds. Cy-Borges: Memories of the Posthuman in the Work of Jorge Luis Borges.. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, pp. 60-72.
  • Badmington, N. 2009. L'encroyable Roland Barthes. In: Badir, S. and Ducard, D. eds. Roland Barthes en cours (1977-1980): Un style de vie.. Dijon: Editions Universitaires de Dijon, pp. 145-52.
  • Badmington, N. 2009. Introduction. In: Lavers, A. ed. Roland Barthes: Mythologies.. London: Vintage, pp. ix-xiv.













I will be teaching the following modules in the 2019-20 academic year:

  • Hitchcock (Year 3)
  • Writing Mourning (Year 2)
  • Ways of Reading (Year 1).

I am currently working on the following:

  • A creative-critical project which takes the work of Roland Barthes as its guide. A preliminary version of part of this book was published as 'Guided by Barthes: Fragments of a Photo-Journal' in CounterText in 2019.
  • An essay called 'Brief Scenes: Roland Barthes and the Essay'. This will appear in a Bloomsbury collection, edited by Mario Aquilina, entitled The Essay at the Limits: Poetics, Politics and Form and is developed from my keynote lecture at The Essay: Present Histories, Present Futures conference which took place at the University of Malta in April 2019.
  • A short piece on the uncanny for the Oxford Literary Review.

Looking further ahead, I have very vague, slowly developing plans to write something on Edmund White and Roland Barthes, but this project has yet to take any kind of significant shape.

Recently completed projects include:

  • A book entitled Perpetual Movement: Alfred Hitchcock's Rope for the 'New Horizons of Cinema' series edited by Murray Pomerance for SUNY Press, New York. This is the first book-length study of Rope to be published and makes extensive original use of archival materials held in the Warner Bros. Archive in Los Angeles and at the Margaret Herrick Library, Beverly Hills.
  • A creative-critical piece for CounterText entitled 'Guided by Barthes: Fragments of a Photo-Journal'. This appeared in print in 2019.
  • The Afterlives of Roland Barthes -- a monograph on the posthumous publications of Roland Barthes. This was published by Bloomsbury in October 2016, with a paperback edition following in April 2018.
  • An edited collection entitled Deliberations: The Journals of Roland Barthes. This was published as a special issue of Textual Practice in early 2016 and subsequently reprinted in book form as Deliberations: The Journals of Roland Barthes (Routledge, 2017). A paperback edition was published in 2019.
  • An essay entitled 'An Undefined Something Else: Barthes, Culture, Neutral Life'. This will appear in 2020 in a special issue of Theory, Culture & Society on the subject of 'Neutral Life' (edited by Sunil Manghani).
  • A review of the recently published collection Foucault at the Movies for the Times Literary Supplement. This appeared in print on 23 November 2018.
  • The editing of volume 4 (2018) of Barthes Studies.

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

I welcome applications or informal queries relating to PhD supervision in research areas which overlap with my own:

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

I no longer work on posthumanism and have not kept up with recent developments in the field.

Past projects

I have been primary supervisor for the following PhD theses by students from the UK, the USA, Canada, France, and Brazil:

  • Rodolfo Piskorski Da Silva (completed 2017), Of Zoogrammatology.
  • Robert Lloyd (temporary one-year supervision to cover staff absence), Spectral Modalities of Subjectivity in the Writing of Shirley Jackson.
  • Calum Gardner (completed 2016), Roland Barthes and English-Language Poetry, 1970-1990.
  • Rhys Tranter (completed 2014), Ill Seen Ill Said: Trauma, Representation and Subjectivity in Samuel Beckett's Post-war Writing.
  • Jessica George (completed 2014), Deadly Light: Machen, Lovecraft and Evolutionary Theory.
  • Angus McBlane (completed 2013), Corporeal Ontology: Merleau-Ponty, Flesh and Posthumanism.
  • Étienne Poulard (completed 2013; co-supervision with Dr Melanie Bigold), Untimely Aesthetics: Shakespeare, Anachronism.
  • Erica Brown Moore (completed 2011), The Posthuman Science Fiction of J.G. Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut.
  • James Aubrey (completed 2010), The Literature of Replenishment: The Novels of Umberto Eco and J.M. Coetzee and John Barth's Definition of Postmodernist Fiction.
  • Jessica Mordsley (completed 2007), The Animal in Differance: Tracing the Boundaries of the Human in Post-Darwinian Culture.