Fantasy at Glasgow

Fantasy at Glasgow

Fantasy at Glasgow brings together world-leading experts and a vibrant community of taught and research postgraduate students working on Fantasy and the Fantastic in all its manifestations.

We boast the world's first ever MLitt in Fantasy Literature, established by Dr Rob Maslen in 2015, and we host regular visiting speakers and research events, including the Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations (GIFCon), now in its 3rd year.

Current areas of research include:

  • The Fantastic History of the Twentieth Century
  • Myth, Legend, Folklore and Fairy Tales
  • Theorizing the Fantastic
  • Imaginary Languages
  • Children’s Fantasy
  • Energy Imaginaries, Past, Present and Future
  • Fantasy in the Anthropocene
  • Evaporated Genres (Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, the Weird)
  • Fantasy Across Media (Film, Comics, Games, Fan Cultures, Illustration)
  • Science Fiction and Medical Humanities
  • Gothic and Supernatural Fiction

Associated Staff:

Dimitra Fimi

Dr Dimitra Fimi

Lecturer in Fantasy and Children's Literature (English Literature)

Research interests: Fantasy Literature, Children's Literature, Children's Fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien, Medievalism, Myth and Folklore, Invented Languages, Children's Literature, Science

Robert Maslen

Dr Robert Maslen

Senior Lecturer in English Literature (English Literature)

Research interests: Fantasy and the Fantastic, Early Modern Literature and Theatre

Gavin Miller

Dr Gavin Miller

Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities (English Literature)

Research interests: Science Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Literature And Medicine, History Of Psychiatry, History Of Psychoanalysis, History Of Psychotherapy, History Of Psychology

Dahlia Porter

Dr Dahlia Porter

Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth and Nineteenth - Century Literature and Material Culture (English Literature)

Research interests: Eighteenth-century and British Romantic literature, Material Culture, Book History, History of Science, Medical Humanities, Poetry & Poetics, 18th & 19th-century Gothic literature and Science Fiction

Andrew Radford

Dr Andrew Radford

Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature (English Literature)

Research interests: European Modernism, John Calder and Postwar Independent Publishing, Film adaptation, Creative Writing, Poetry and Politics of the 1930s, Ann Quin and the British Experimental Novel, Mystical and Cultural Geographies, Contemporary Literature

Matthew Sangster

Dr Matthew Sangster

Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Material Culture (English Literature)

Research interests: Eighteenth-Century literature, Romantic-period literature, Authorship, Archives; Manuscripts, Book History, Publishing, Library History, Institutions, Representations of London, Digital Humanities, Genre Writing, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Contemporary Narrative Media

Douglas Small

Dr Douglas Small

Welcome Trust Research Fellow (English Literature)

Research interests: Victorian Literature, Early 20th Century Literature, Literature & Medicine (19th Century), Cultural History of Drugs & Drug-use, Crime & Detective Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Weird Fiction

Rhys Williams

Dr Rhys Williams

Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in Fantasy Literature (English Literature)

Research interests: Science Fiction, Fantasy, the Weird, Genre Theory, Utopianism, Radical Politics, Energy Humanities, Environmental Humanities, Radical Pedagogy,


Past Events

  • ‘Reimagining Fantasy’: a Public Conversation in Glasgow University Chapel with Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman and Terri Windling, May 2018.
  • ‘Scotland in the Transition: renewable Energy in Scotland’, in the Charles Wilson Theatre, with Patrick Harvie MSP, August 2018.
  • ‘Petrocultures 2018: Transition’, a 4-day international conference (over 230 delegates from 15 countries) for the Energy Humanities, at Glasgow University. https://petrocultures2018.wixsite.com/transition
  • GIFCon 2018, Keynote Speakers: Dimitra Fimi (Cardiff Met University), Alice Jenkins (University of Glasgow), Will Slocombe (University of Liverpool), Arianne ‘Tex’ Thompson, April 2018.
  • ‘Night at the Museum: Fantasy Scotland’, Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, November 2017.
  • GIFCon 2017, Keynote Speakers: Julie Bertagna, Stefan Ekman, Phil Harris (Senior Narrative Designer at Videogame company Bigpoint), March 2017.
  • Public Workshop with Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, November 2016.
  • Mini-Conference: ‘Other Worlds and Story Worlds: New Perspectives on Fiction for Adults and Children’ (co-organised with Evelyn Arizpe and Maureen Farrell, School of Education), Keynote: Julie Bertagna, June 2016.
  • Adam Roberts, ‘Science Fiction’s Greatest Question: Are We Alone in the Universe?’, Aye Write! Book Festival, Mitchell Library, Glasgow, March 2016.
  • ‘From Page to Opera Stage: The Devil Inside. Reimagining Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Bottle Imp” as a contemporary opera’, January 2016, with Stuart MacRae, Alex Rijdeek and Louise Welsh.
  • Visiting Speakers have included the authors Hal Duncan, Kij Johnson, Kirsty Logan, Mark Millar, Claire North/Cat Webb, Christopher Priest, Arianne ‘Tex’ Thompson and Neil Williamson; the editors Jon Oliver (Commissioning Editor, Rebellion Publishing) and Ben Smith (Head of Books, Rebellion Publishing); and the scholars Andrew M. Butler (Canterbury Christ Church University), Edward James (Anglia Ruskin University) and Anna Vaninskaya (University of Edinburgh)
  • Fantasy Public Lecture series by Leverhulme Visiting Professor in Fantasy, Brian Attebery (Idaho State University):
    • 21 January 2019: Burning Harry Potter and Other Ways of Misreading Fantasy
    • 28 January 2019: Young Adult Dystopias and Utopias
    • 4 February 2019: Fairy Tales and Masculinity
    • 11 February 2019: Science Fictional Parabolas: Collaborative Imagination
    • 4 March 2019: Fantasy and the Anthropocene: From Gilgamesh to the Ruins of Ymr
  • GIFCon 2019, 24 and 25 May 2019

Forthcoming Events

  • TBC

Doctoral students

Students who have graduated from Glasgow with Fantasy-related PhDs have worked on topics that include:

  • The fantastic in Victorian literature, art and architecture
  • Fantasy and modernism
  • Lord Dunsany and Ireland
  • ‘Phantasmagoric’ literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
  • Tolkien’s monsters
  • C. S. Lewis, Ursula K. Le Guin and the language of fantasy
  • Monsters and disease in late Victorian fiction
  • Creative writing (DFA)

Current doctoral students are working on:

  • Creative writing (DFA)
  • Prophecy in SF
  • The history of charm
  • Terry Pratchett and Neo-Victorianism
  • Invented religions in SF
  • The novels of Madeleine L’Engle
  • Tolkien’s poetry and folklore
  • Receptions of The Lord of the Rings by young readers
  • The pursuit of perfection in Tolkien’s legendarium
  • Responses to Climate crises in contemporary Fantastic Fiction
  • Female Arabic Science Fiction & Dystopias

GifCon Conference

Symposium On Fantasy & the Fantastic Kelvin Hall 10 05 2019

Fantasy Symposium - Schedule (FINAL)