Steven Connor

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Steven Connor

Steven Kevin Connor

(1955-02-11) 11 February 1955 (age 68)
Sussex, England
Academic background
EducationChrist's Hospital
Bognor Regis School
Alma materWadham College, Oxford
ThesisProse fantasy and myth-criticism 1880–1900 (1980)
Academic advisorsTerry Eagleton
Academic work

Steven Kevin Connor, FBA (born 11 February 1955) is a British literary scholar. Since 2012, he has been the Grace 2 Professor of English in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was formerly the academic director of the London Consortium and professor of modern literature and theory at Birkbeck, University of London.

Early life and education[edit]

Connor was born on 11 February 1955 in Chichester or Bognor Regis, both in Sussex, England.[1] From 1966 to 1972, he was educated at Christ's Hospital, Following his expulsion,[2] he attended Bognor Regis School, a comprehensive school in Bognor Regis.[1] In 1973, he matriculated into Wadham College, Oxford to study English; his tutor was Terry Eagleton.[2][3] He graduated with a first class Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1976.[1] He remained at Oxford to study for a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree in English.[3] He completed his doctorate in 1980 with a thesis titled "Prose fantasy and myth-criticism 1880–1900".[4]

Academic career[edit]

In 1979 or 1980, Connor joined Birkbeck College, University of London, as a lecturer in English.[1][3][5] He was promoted to senior lecturer in 1990, made Reader in Modern English Literature in 1991, and appointed Professor of Modern Literature and Theory in 1994.[5] He held two senior positions at the college: he was Pro-Vice-Master for International and Research Students between 1998 and 2001; and College Orator between 2001 and 2012.[6] From 2002 to 2012, he additionally served as Academic Director of the London Consortium, a graduate school of the University of London that specialised multidisciplinary programs.[2]

In October 2012, Connor was appointed as Grace 2 Professor of English in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge.[3][5] He was also elected a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge.[1][7]

In 2023 he became Director of Research in the Digital Futures Institute, King's College, London.

Personal life[edit]

In 1984, Connor married Lindsey Richardson. Together they had one daughter. They divorced in 1988. In 2005, Connor married Lynda Nead. Together they have two sons.[1] Nead is an art historian and academic.[8]


In 2012, Connor was elected an Honorary Fellow of Birkbeck, University of London.[9] In July 2016, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.[10]

Selected works[edit]


  • Charles Dickens (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985)
  • Samuel Beckett: Repetition, Theory and Text (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988)
  • Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary (1989) 2nd, revised and enlarged edn (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996)
  • Theory and Cultural Value (1992)
  • The English Novel in History 1950–1995 (1995)
  • James Joyce (Exeter: Northcote House, 1996)
  • Dumbstruck – A Cultural History of Ventriloquism (2000)
  • The Book of Skin (2003)
  • Fly (London: Reaktion, 2006)
  • The Matter of Air: Science and Art of the Ethereal (London: Reaktion, 2010)
  • (ed.) Samuel Beckett: The Unnamable (London: Faber, 2010)
  • Paraphernalia: The Curious Lives of Magical Things (London: Profile, 2011)
  • A Philosophy of Sport (London: Reaktion, 2011)
  • Beyond Words: Sobs, Hums, Stutters and Other Vocalizations (London: Reaktion, 2014)
  • Beckett, Modernism and the Material Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014)
  • Living By Numbers: In Defence of Quantity (London: Reaktion, 2016)
  • Dream Machines (London: Open Humanities Press, 2017)
  • The Madness of Knowledge: On Wisdom, Ignorance and Fantasies of Knowing (London: Reaktion, 2019)
  • Giving Way: Thoughts on Unappreciated Dispositions (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2019)
  • A History of Asking (London: Open Humanities Press, 2023)
  • Dreamwork: Why All Work Is Imaginary (London: Reaktion, 2023)
  • Styles of Seriousness (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2023)

Edited Books[edit]

  • Samuel Beckett’s `Waiting for Godot’ and `Endgame': A New Casebook (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1992)
  • Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, (`Everyman Dickens’, London: Dent, 1994)
  • Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (`Everyman Dickens’, London: Dent, 1996)
  • Charles Dickens (London: Longman ‘Critical Readers’, 1996).
  • (with Daniela Caselli and Laura Salisbury) Other Becketts (Tallahassee: Journal of Beckett Studies Books, 2002)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)
  • Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable (London: Faber, 2010)

Recent Articles 2014-present[edit]

  • ‘Spelling Things Out’, New Literary History, 45 (2014): 183-97.
  • ‘Guys and Dolls‘, Women: A Cultural Review, 26 (2015): 129-41.
  • ‘Blissed Out: On Hedonophobia’. in On Happiness: New Ideas For the Twenty-First Century, ed. Camilla Nelson, Deborah Pike and Georgina Ledvinka (Crawley: University of Western Australia Publishing, 2015), pp. 65-80
  • ‘The Art of Foam and Froth’ and ‘The Matter of Air’, in Choreographie des Klangs – Zwischen Abstraktion und Erzählung/Choreography of Sound: Between Abstraction and Narration, ed. Ekkehard Skoruppa, Marie-Louise Goerke, Gaby Hartel and Hans Sarkowicz (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), pp. 275-81, 313-6.
  • ‘Literature, Technology and the Senses’, in The Cambridge Companion to the Body in Literature, ed. David Hillman and Ulrika Maude (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 177-96.
  • ‘Choralities’, Twentieth-Century Music, 13 (2016): 3-23.
  • ‘Decomposing the Humanities’, New Literary History 47 (2016): 275-88. Reprinted in Latour and the Humanities, ed Rita Felski and Stephen Muecke (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020), pp. 158-74.
  • ‘The Return of Finitude’, Textual Practice, 30 (2016): 1165-6.
  • ‘Vocus Pocus’, in This Is A Voice: 64 Exercises to Train, Project and Harness the Power of Your Voice,  ed. Jeremy Fisher and Gillyanne Kayes (London: Profile, 2016).
  • ‘Numbers It Is: The Musemathematics of Modernism’, in Moving Modernisms: Motion, Technology, and Modernity, ed. David Bradshaw, Laura Marcus and Rebecca Roach (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 98-109.
  • ‘The Game of Work: Ai Weiwei and Wittgenstein’, in Ai Wewei: Cubes and Trees (Cambridge: Heong Gallery, Downing College, 2016), pp. 23-7.
  • ‘How To Do Things With Writing Machines’, Writing, Medium, Machine: Modern Technographies, ed. Sean Pryor and David Trotter (London: Open Humanities Press, 2016), pp. 18-34.
  • ‘Modernism After Postmodernism’, The Cambridge History of Modernism, ed Vincent Sherry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 820-34.
  • ‘Two-step, Nerve-tap, Tanglefoot: Tapdance Typologies in Cinema’, in Sounding Modernism: Rhythm and Sonic Mediation in Modern Literature and Film, ed. Julian Murphet, Helen Groth and Penelope Hone (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), pp. 211-27.
  • ‘Acousmanie’ [in French], trans. Marie Verry, in Max Feed: Oeuvre et héritage, ed. Daniele Balit, special issue hors-série, Revue d’ailleurs (Besançon) (2018), 67-72.
  • ‘Unwired’, Dirty Furniture. 4 (2018): 136-43.
  • ‘Telling the Future’, Cabinet, 65 (2018): 69-71.
  • ‘Parables of the Para-’, in Parasites: Exploitation and Interference in French Thought and Culture, ed. Matt Phillips and Tomas Weber (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2018), pp. 13-29.
  • ‘The Matter of Beckett’s Facts’, Journal of Beckett Studies, 28 (2019): 5-18.
  • ‘Professing’, Critical Quarterly, 61 (2019): 41-8.
  • ‘Imaginary Energies: The Arts of Perpetuity’, in Energies in the Arts, ed. Douglas Kahn (Cambridge MA and London: MIT Press, 2019), pp. 57-85.
  • ‘In Public’, in Further Reading, ed. Matthew Rubery and Leah Price (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 51-61.
  • ‘Admiring the Nothing of It: Shakespeare and the Senseless’, in Shakespeare/Sense: Contemporary Readings in Sensory Culture, ed. Simon Smith (London: Bloomsbury 2020), pp. 40-61.
  • ‘Datelines’, in The Palgrave Handbook of Mathematics and Literature, ed. Alice Jenkins, Robert Tubbs and Nina Engelhardt (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), pp. 513-28.
  • ‘Scaphander’, in Extinct: A Compendium of Obsolete Objects, ed. Barbara Penner, Adrian Forty, Olivia Horsfall Turner and Miranda Critchley (London: Reaktion, 2021), pp. 277-9.
  • ‘Terry Eagleton’s Divine Comedy‘, Theory Now, 5 (2022): 82-98.
  • ‘Consorting‘, Critical Quarterly, 64 (2022), 14-19.
  • ‘Asphyxiations’, SubStance, 52 (2023), 74-8.


  1. ^ a b c d e f 'CONNOR, Prof. Steven Kevin', Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 15 Nov 2017
  2. ^ a b c "Biography – Steven Connor". Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "People: Prof Steve Connor, Peterhouse". Faculty of English. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  4. ^ Connor, Steven (1980). Prose fantasy and myth-criticism 1880–1900. E-Thesis Online Service (Ph.D). The British Library Board. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Professor Steve Connor". Birkbeck, University of London. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  6. ^ "College oration for Professor Steven Connor" (PDF). Birkbeck, University of London. 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Professor Steven Connor". Peterhouse. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Professor Lynda Nead". Department of History of Art. Birkbeck, University of London. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Fellows of the College". Birkbeck, University of London. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  10. ^ "British Academy announces new President and elects 66 new Fellows". British Academy. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2017.

External links[edit]