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Philip Leonard


School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Professor Leonard is Research Coordinator for English, and chairs NTU's English Research Advisory Group. He is also NTU Site Director for the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.

Prof. Leonard teaches undergraduate modules on literary and critical theory, and on North American Literature. He also teaches on the MRes in English Literary Research.

Research areas

Professor Leonard's research focuses on globalization, technology, and contemporary literature and theory. He is currently completing a monograph titled A World without Ground: On Being and Writing in Orbit. This book considers the relationship between orbital space and perceptions of the world as a planetary body that can be viewed, mapped, and measured as a unitary - global - entity. It focuses on literary and theoretical writing on satellites, orbit, and terrestrial ground, with particular reference to work by Giorgio Agamben, Buzz Aldrin, Erich Auerbach, Dante, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Tess Gerritson, Martin Heidegger, Tom McCarthy, Haruki Murakami, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Bernard Steigler. This book also considers locative developments in electronic literature, debates about the relationship between the satellite and networked computing, and poetry that has been launched into space.

He is also writing The Great Globe Itself: Literature and Theory against the World, a book exploring recent debates in literary studies and philosophy about the limits of ‘globalization’ as a concept for understanding contemporary transnationalisms.

Prof. Leonard co-leads (with Dr Eleanor Byrne at Manchester Metropolitan University) the British Academy/Leverhulme-funded network Troubling Globalization.

Current and previous Doctoral projects supervised include:

  • Ahmad Bilal, Technology, New Media and Film Production in Pakistan (completed 2016)
  • Richard Bromhall, Neoliberalism, Class and Resistance in writing in Britain since 2008
  • Lynda Clark, That's not how it should end: the effect of reader/player responses on the development of narrative
  • Thomas Mantzaris, Visuality in Contemporary American Fiction
  • Souvik Mukherjee, From Reading Games to Playing Books (completed 2010)
  • Jenna Pitchford, Writing US Identities in the Wars without Frontlines: Literary Perspectives on the Persian Gulf and Iraq Wars (completed 2011)
  • Melissa Roddis, Amalgamated Subjects: Posthumanism in Theory, Practice and Literature (completed 2013)

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist and Professor Leonard would welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD students in any area that relates to his research. Further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School; or download information about AHRC Midlands3Cities funding PDF icon for NTU English Doctoral students.

External activity

Professor Leonard is a member of the management committee for the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. Further details about the research funding opportunities provided by this partnership can be found on the M3C website.

He has acted as a referee for a large number of journals, including Theory, Culture & Society, Angelaki, Interventions, Body & Society, and Space and Culture. He has reviewed manuscripts and proposals for Palgrave Macmillan, Routledge, Blackwell, Bloomsbury, and Liverpool University Press.

Professor Leonard is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and former research partnerships include:

  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece,
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Professor Leonard's research has been supported by the AHRC, the British Academy, and Leverhulme.


A Secret Dispersal: Derrida's Satellites. Leonard P, Parallax, 2014, 20 (1), 98-111

A Revolution in Code: Hari Kunzru's Transmission and the Cultural Politics of Hacking. Leonard P, Textual Practice, 2014, 28  (2), 267-287

Connecting Humanitas. Leonard P, Writing Technologies, 2013, 5, 55-64

Literature after Globalization: Textuality, Technology and the Nation-State. Leonard P, 2013, Bloomsbury

Open Networks, Distributed Identities: Cory Doctorow and the Literature of Free Culture. Leonard P, Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue, 2012, 15, 9-18

Geopoiesis, or the Responsibility of Literature. Leonard P, Oxford Literary Review, 2011, 33 (2), 189-205

Virtually Postcolonial?. Leonard P in (eds) Bignall S and Patton P, Deleuze and the Postcolonial, 2010, 251-271, Edinburgh University Press

See all of Phil Leonard's publications...

Press expertise

Professor Leonard is an expert in the field of contemporary literature, literary and cultural theory, and contemporary continental philosophy. His work focuses on debates about nationality and globalization, technology and digital culture, and orbital culture.