Prof Steve Connor, Peterhouse



Biographical Information

I am currently Chair of the Faculty of English. Before moving in 2012 to the Faculty of English in Cambridge, I taught at Birkbeck College London,  where I was Professor of Modern Literature and Theory from 1994. From 2003 to 2012, I was Academic Director of the London Consortium Graduate Programme in Humanities and Cultural Studies, a collaboration between academic and cultural institutions in the capital that fostered and supported students in projects of cross-disciplinary enquiry.

Research Interests

My research interests are focussed in the literature and culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, though many of my projects have a longer historical contour. I still write regularly on Dickens and Beckett, and my areas of interest include magical thinking; the history of medicine; the cultural life of objects and the material imagination; the relations between culture and science; the philosophy of animals; literature and mathematics; literature and technology; and the history of sound, voice and auditory media. I have also written extensively on contemporary art for Cabinet, Tate Etc, Modern Painters and others, and broadcast regularly for radio. My next book, Dream Machines, which I am writing for Open Humanities Press, will be about the history of imaginary machines and mechanisms.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and its contexts; Dickens, Joyce, Beckett; literary and cultural theory; visual culture; literature, culture and science

Selected Publications

These are my publications since 2014. The links given are mostly to the versions on my website,, which provides a full list of publications, along with the texts of unpublished essays, broadcasts and lectures.


Beyond Words: Sobs, Hums, Stutters and Other Vocalizarions (London: Reaktion 2014)

Beckett, Modernism and the Material Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Living By Numbers: In Defence of Quantity (London: Reaktion/Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2016)


'Rustications: Animals in the Urban Mix', in The Acoustic City, ed. Matthew Gandy and B.J. Nilsen (Berlin: Jovis, 2014), pp. 16-22.

‘Spellings Things Out’, New Literary History, 45 (2014): 183-97.

'Scilicet: Kittler, Media and Madness', in Kittler Now: Critical Perspectives in Kittler Studies, ed. Stephen Sale and Laura Salisbury (Cambridge and Malden MA: Polity, 2015), pp. 115-31.

'Guys and Dolls'Women: A Cultural Review, 26 (2015): 129-41.

‘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.

'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), pp. 6-16.

'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', Ai Wewei: Cubes and Trees (Cambridge: Heong Gallery, Downing College, 2016), pp. 23-7.

'Decomposing the Humanities', New Literary History 47 (2016): 275-88.


‘Modernism After Postmodernism’, The Cambridge History of Modernism, ed Vincent Sherry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

‘How To Do Things With Writing Machines’, Writing, Medium, Machine: Modernist Technographies, ed. Sean Pryor and David Trotter (London: Open Humanities Press, 2016).

‘The Chronopher’, Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies, ed. Kathy Meizel and Nina Sun Eidsheim (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

'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)