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Professor Neil Badmington

BA (Exeter), MA, PhD (Wales)


+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. My pronouns are he/him.

I am Director of Studies for English Literature and Creative Writing.

I am the author of four books, editor of over twenty volumes, and author of many essays. I write regularly for the Times Literary Supplement. My most recent book, Perpetual Movement: Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, was published by State University of New York Press in July 2021 as part of the Horizons of Cinema series edited by Murray Pomerance; a paperback edition was published in January 2022. Please click on ‘Publications’ (above) for more detailed information about my work.

I do not use any kind of personal social media, and my Cardiff University email address is the only one that I have.

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.
  • Creative criticism.
  • 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 online academic journal Barthes Studies.

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, Middlesex University, and the University of Warwick.

As part of the Welsh Government's Knowledge Transfer Scheme, I have worked with St. David's Sixth-form College, Cardiff, on the teaching of film studies.



I was born and grew up in the small town of Abergavenny in the Welsh borderlands at a time when it was often said that the county of Monmouthshire was somehow in neither Wales nor England. 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.' It ought to have been clear to everyone that a sporting life did not lie ahead of me, but I was nonetheless often told that I 'could go either way' or 'play for either team'. When, many years later, I first encountered poststructuralism's suspicion of binaries, certainties, and fixed categories, I felt that I had found theoretical confirmation of something that I had always taken for granted.

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, with funding from the British Academy and under the supervision of Catherine Belsey. (My obituaries for Catherine Belsey, co-authored with Julia Thomas, are available on the Cardiff University website and in the Guardian, and a more personal piece about what she meant to me is available here.)

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.

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

2009-2015: Reader in English Literature, Cardiff University

2005-2009: Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Cardiff University

2001-2005: 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

Speaking engagements

I have given talks at the following institutions and organisations over the years: University of Malta; St. David’s Sixth-form College, Cardiff; University of Chicago; University of Ghent; University of Cambridge; Newport and Gwent Literary Society; University of Leeds; University of Kent; King’s College London; York St. John University; Concordia University, Montreal; British Animal Studies Network; Lancaster University; Snowcat Cinema, Penarth; University of Oxford; University of Manchester; Queen Mary, University of London; Rugby School, Warwickshire; Imperial College London; University of Paris X; University of Paris VII; Marc Bloch University of Strasbourg; Kingston University; Ruskin School of Fine Art; University of Warwick; University of Birmingham; University of Exeter.

Committees and reviewing

I am the founding editor of the journal Barthes Studies and 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.

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.
















  • 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.













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.
  • Creative criticism.
  • Postmodern culture.

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

I spent the first decade or so of my career working extensively in the then-emerging field of posthumanism, but I haven't written a word about the subject since 2010 and won't be doing so between now and the end of my career.

Research projects (present and past)

I am currently working on the following:

  • Guided by Barthes -- a book-length creative-critical project that 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 on Mervyn LeRoy's Anthony Adverse.
  • Volume 9 of Barthes Studies. This will be published on 12 November 2023.
  • An essay on the reception history of Hitchcock's Rope.

Recently completed projects include:


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.

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.