Prof Matthew Beaumont
Education and Experience
Matthew Beaumont studied English at LMH, Oxford, before doing an MSt and DPhil at Linacre College, Oxford. He was a Research Fellow at Keble College, Oxford, and a Teaching Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, before becoming moving to UCL as a Lecturer in 2005. He became a Senior Lecturer in 2008 and a Professor of English Literature in 2016. He is also a Co-Director of UCL's Urban Lab, where he is responsible for the Cities Imaginaries strand.
His teaching interests include nineteenth-century literature; the fin de siècle; early modernism; C20 avant-gardes; film; crime fiction; utopian and dystopian literature; and Marxist and other literary and cultural theories.
Matthew's research interests currently centre on various aspects of the metropolitan city, especially at nighttime. He is currently working on the role of insomnia in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and philosophy. His most recent book is Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London, Chaucer to Dickens (Verso, 2015), the first installment of an attempt to reconstruct a cultural history of the urban subject at night, from the Middle Ages to the present, in order to present an alternative to the modernist myth of the flâneur. This project, for which he was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2012-13, is linked both to Restless Cities, the collection of essays Matthew edited with Gregory Dart in 2010, and to his activities in the UCL Urban Laboratory. He has recently edited two editions of H.G. Wells's science fiction, one for Oxford World's Classics, the other for Penguin.
Nocturnal History of London, Chaucer to Dickens (Verso, 2015)
The Spectre of Utopia: Utopian and Science Fictions at the Fin de Siècle (Peter Lang, 2012)
Utopia Ltd.: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England, 1870-1900, 2nd edition (Haymarket, 2009)
with Terry Eagleton, The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue (Verso, 2009)
co-ed. with Matthew Ingleby, G.K. Chesterton, London and
Modernity (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013)
co-ed. with Gregory Dart, Restless Cities (Verso, 2010)
ed., A Concise Companion to Realism, second edition (Blackwell,
co-ed. with Andrew Hemingway, Esther Leslie and John Roberts, As Radical as Reality Itself: Essays on Marxism and Art for the 21st Century (Peter Lang, 2007)
co-ed., with Michael Freeman, The Railway and Modernity: Time, Space, and the Machine Ensemble (Peter Lang, 2007)
ed. with Introduction, H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man (Oxford
World’s Classics, 2017)
ed. with Introduction, G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (Penguin Classics, 2011)
ed. with Introduction, Walter Pater, Studies in the History of the Renaissance (Oxford World’s Classics, 2010)
ed. with Introduction, Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward (Oxford World’s Classics, 2007)
Selected Articles and Chapters in Books and Journals
‘R. S. Thomas’s Poetics of Insomnia,’ Essays in Criticism, 68: 1 (2018), pp. 74–107
‘The Politics of the Visor: Looking at Buildings Looking at Us, CITY: Analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 22:1 (2018), pp. 1-15.
‘Modernism and the Urban Imaginary: Spectacle and Introspection,’ in The Cambridge History of Modernism, ed. Vincent Sherry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 220-34.
‘Stumbling in the Dark: Ray Bradbury’s Pedestrian and the Politics of the Night,’ Critical Quarterly 57: 4 (December, 2015), pp. 71-88.
‘In the Beginning was the Big Toe: Bataille,
Base Materialism, Bipedalism,’ Textual Practice (2014), pp. 869-83.
‘The Mystery of Master Humphrey: Dickens, Nightwalking and The Old Curiosity Shop,’ Review of English Studies (forthcoming, 2013)
'Beginnings, Endings, Births, Deaths: Sterne, Dickens and Bleak House', Textual Practice (2012), pp. 1-21
'Pater as Psychagogue: Psychology, Aesthetics, Rhetoric,' 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 12 (2011), pp. 15
'Aleatory Realism: Reflections on the Parable of the Pier-Glass,' Synthesis 3 (Winter 2011), pp. 11-12 http://www.uoa.gr/synthesis/issue3_Beaumont.htm
'Ford Madox Ford: Autobiography, Urban Space, Agoraphobia', Journal of Literature and Science 2:1 (2010)
‘The Anamorphic Estrangements of Science Fiction,’ in Red Planets, ed. Mark Bould and China Miéville (London: Pluto Press / Wesleyan University Press, 2009), pp. 29-46.
‘Cutting Up the Corpse: Agatha Christie, Max Ernst, and Neo-Victorianism in the 1930s’, Literature Interpretation Theory 20 (2009), pp. 12-26.
‘The Railway and Literature: Realism and Phantasmagoria,’ in The Railway:
Art in the Age of Steam, exhibition catalogue, ed. Ian Kennedy and Julian Treuherz (Yale: Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 35-43.
‘Shopping in Utopia: Looking Backward, the Department Store, and the Dreamscape of Consumption’, Nineteenth-Century Contexts 28 (2006), pp.
‘Influential Force: Shafts and the Diffusion of Knowledge at the Fin de Siècle’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 3
‘Cacotopianism, the Paris Commune and England’s Anti-Communist Imaginary, 1870-1900’, English Literary History 73 (2006), pp. 465-87.
‘Red Sphinx: Mechanics of the Uncanny in The Time Machine’, Science-Fiction Studies 33 (2006), pp. 230-50.
'News from Nowhere and the Here and Now: Reification and the Representation of the Present in Utopian Fiction', Victorian Studies 47 (2004), pp. 33-54
‘Heathcliff’s Great Hunger: The Cannibal Other in Wuthering Heights’, Journal of Victorian Culture 9 (2004), pp. 137-63.
‘Reinterpreting Oscar Wilde’s Concept of Utopia: “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”’, Utopian Studies 15 (2004), pp. 13-29.
‘William Reeves and Radical Publishing in the 1890s: Unpacking the Bellamy Library,’ History Workshop Journal 55 (2003), pp. 91-110.