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Matthew Beaumont

Matthew Beaumont is a Senior Lecturer in the English department at UCL. He is the author of Utopia Ltd.: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England, 1870-1900 (2005; reissued in paperback 2009) and The Spectre of Utopia: Utopian and Science Fictions at the Fin de Siecle (2012), as well as the co-author, with Terry Eagleton, of The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue (2009). In addition, he is the editor of Adventures in Realism (2007), and the co-editor of As Radical as Reality Itself: Essays on Marxism and Art for the 21st Century (2007) and The Railway and Modernity: Time, Space and the Machine Ensemble (2007).

Along with Greg Dart, Matthew has recently co-edited Restless Cities, a collection of essays both analytical and autobiographical on the cultural history of the metropolitan city. Matthew's edition of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward 2000-1887 (Oxford World's Classics, 2007) considers this utopian fiction's representation of urban space in some detail; and his edition of G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday (Penguin Classics, 2011) discusses its metropolitan setting extensively. A recent article, 'Ford Madox Ford: Autobiography, Urban Space, Agoraphobia,' published in the Journal of Literature and Science, can be accessed here.

At present, Matthew is in the early stages of writing a book about nightwalking in cities, which has been commissioned by Verso Books. This will reconstruct a cultural history of the urban subject that presents an alternative to the modernist myth of the flâneur. The bohemian in the nocturnal city, from the eighteenth century to the present, is a social renegade who, voluntarily or involuntarily, refuses the logic of the diurnal city, the ceaseless rhythms of its human traffic and its commodities, and finds himself at home only in the state of homelessness afforded by empty, darkened streets. This book will discuss Dickens, Poe, Chesterton, Hamilton, and Petit, among other authors.

Matthew contributes to the London in Literature course, and teaches several seminars on city-related themes for the MA in Issues in Modern Culture. He also leads a seminar in the UCL Geography Department's 'Urban Imaginations' course.

He is also a co-director of the UCL Urban Laboratory.

Matthew is, with Lawrence Phillips, series editor of Continuum Studies in the City. He welcomes books proposals for this series. 

For 'Terrains Vagues', an article commissioned by Artangel, which discusses 1395 Days of Red, two films about the siege of Sarajevo, click here.

For Matthew's interview with Eric Hazan, author of The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps (London: Verso, 2010), click here.


Page last modified on 11 jan 12 09:26