Dr Diarmuid Hester, Faculty of English



Biographical Information

I am a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in English. Originally from Kilkenny, Ireland, I received my BA from University College Dublin before coming to the UK to study for MA degrees in English (University of Sussex) and philosophy (Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy). I hold a PhD in English from the University of Sussex, where I wrote my thesis under the supervision of Professor Daniel Kane. 

I’ve been a research fellow at New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections and the Library of Congress’ John W. Kluge Center for the Humanities. I was also a project leader of After the Archive, an AHRC-funded skills development training programme for PhDs and early career researchers. From 2015 to 2017, I was a Higher Education Innovation Fund postdoctoral research associate at the University of Sussex. I have taught American literature and American Studies at the University of Sussex, Kingston University, and Middlesex University.

At present, I’m writing a counterhistory of New York in the twentieth century that regards the city’s literary and visual cultures from the vantage point of waste, broadly conceived. I am also at work on a critical biography of American queercore writer Dennis Cooper, which, propelled by a career retrospective, offers a theoretically-informed cultural history of little-known yet increasingly relevant American literary scenes in the late-twentieth century.

Research Interests

Art and Culture of New York City in the 20th century, vis-à-vis, in particular: Downtown New York writing, art, photography, film, and performance 1950-present; New York School poetry and its legacies; literary and artistic communities; queer subcultures; urban architecture and identity; waste, politics and culture of. 

Selected Publications

Culture and Waste in New York City: Ephemera, Realia, Rejectamenta. In preparation.

Dennis Cooper: A Critical Biography. In preparation.

“A poetics of dissociability: poetry and punk in Los Angeles 1976-1983”, American Literature. (forthcoming)

“The anarcho-queer commons of Dennis Cooper’s blog, The Weaklings: a brief history”, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. (forthcoming)

“Humor, gentrification, and conserving Downtown’s past in Lynne Tillman's No Lease on Life”, The Transgressive Humor of American Women Writers. Ed. Sabrina Fuchs Abrams. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (forthcoming)

“Highway to hell? Images of the American road in Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, and Meek’s Cutoff”, Journal of American Studies. (2017) View on First Look

“Revisiting Pierre Guyotat’s Éden, Éden, Éden: splanchnology, writing, matter, and the devastation of ethics”, French Forum, 40:1. pp. 31-45 (2015) View on Project Muse

“Queer cryptograms, anarchist cyphers: decoding Dennis Cooper’s The Marbled Swarm: A Novel”, Studies in the Literary Imagination, 45:2. pp. 95-112 (2014) View on Project Muse