UCL Urban Laboratory

Prof Matthew Beaumont

Prof Matthew Beaumont

Professor in English Literature

Dept of English Lang & Literature

Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2005

Research summary

My research interests currently centre on various aspects of the metropolitan city, especially at nighttime. My most recent book is Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London, Chaucer to Dickens (Verso, 2015), the first instalment 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. I was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2012-13 to pursue this research. The book is indirectly linked both to Restless Cities, the collection of essays I edited with Gregory Dart in 2010, and to the City Centre I set up in the English Department at UCL in 2010, which has now become the Cities Imaginaries strand of the UCL Urban Laboratory, of which I am a Co-Director. In addition to working on London and other metropolitan cities at night, this time in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, I am working on a scholarly edition of Walter Pater's The Renaissance for OUP's Collected Works of Walter Pater.

Teaching summary

My teaching interests include nineteenth-century literature; the fin de siècle; early modernism; twentieth-century avant-gardes; film; crime fiction; utopian and dystopian literature; and Marxist and other literary and cultural theories.


University of Oxford
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2000
University of Oxford
Other higher degree, Master of Studies | 1996
University of Oxford
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1994


I studied English at LMH, Oxford, before doing an MSt and DPhil at Linacre College, Oxford. I was a Research Fellow at Keble College, Oxford, and a Teaching Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, before becoming a lecturer in the English Departmernt at UCL in 2005 and a Senior Lecturer in 2008. I became a Co-Director of UCL's Urban Lab, where I am responsible for the Cities Imaginaries strand, in 2013. In 2012-13 I held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. I am currently the Department Tutor.