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Staff Profile

Dr Robert Edgar

Professor of Writing and Popular Culture

Robert Edgar

I am Professor of Writing and Popular Culture based in the York Centre for Writing in the School of Humanities.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor and am School of Humanities Postgraduate Research Lead.

I specialise in scriptwriting, adaptation, music memoir and genre fiction. Current research interests include folk horror, hauntology, music memoir, science-fiction and satire. In addition to teaching Creative Writing I have contributed to English Literature, American Studies, Media, Theatre and Film and Television Production. I supervise PhD students and currently supervising in the areas of comedy, film archiving, documentary and practice-led work in screenwriting. I am a founder member of the York Centre for Writing, the Music Memoir Research Group, the Hauntology and Spectrality Research Group and the York Unit for the Study of Satire.

I received a doctorate for my work on the character of the Schlemiel in Jewish-American literature and cinema and was awarded by the University of Hull. My thesis focused on a range of theories of comedy and contemporary culture with particular emphasis on narratology and postmodernity.

I served as a staff governor for 6 years and have worked on a number of University committees, including Academic Board and Research Ethics committee. I have served as an external examiner at the University of Leeds, the University of Leicester, Salford University and Leeds Beckett University.

Teaching

I teach on the following courses:

BA Creative Writing

BA Literature

MA Creative Writing

MA Publishing

MFA Creative Writing

PhD Supervision

I currently teach modules on genre fiction, scriptwriting, adaptation and principles of creative writing. In addition to teaching on the Creative Writing programme I have contributed to English Literature, American Studies, Media, Theatre and Film and Television Production. I have acted as a Course Leader and as Postgraduate Coordinator. I also supervise MA dissertations and MFA projects.

I have supervised a number of PhD students in literature, cinema, scriptwriting and adaptation. I am currently supervising a number of critical and practice-based PGRs covering music memoir, music documentary and nostalgia, noir screenwriting, historical fiction, stream of conscious literature, and literary and comedy writing. I am always interested in discussing ideas for postgraduate research.

I have examined research MA programmes and PhDs at Universities in the UK and internationally.

Research

As a member of the York Centre for Writing I have published a number of text books on practical and theoretical praxis, including books on screenwriting, directing fiction, film language and adaptation.

I am a founder member of the Music Memoir Research Group and have published extensively on popular music, including on music documentary, arena concerts and music and memory. The co-edited collection Music, Memory and Memoir (2019) was the first collection published on the subject and has led to other publications and a conference. I am collaborating on a collection, Venue Stories, celebrating small music venues. I am leading on a Music Network project and the York Music Stories project. I supervise a number of PhD students in this area.

Developing from my interest in adaptation and genre fiction I established the Hauntology and Spectrality Research Group. The first project to develop from this group was 'Horrifying Children', examining weird and eerie children's fiction and television. The first part of this project was the publication of Horrifying Tales (2021) in collaboration with Greenteeth Press and was followed by a conference held in York in 2022. An edited collection, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury . I have further co-written and co-edited books including The Routledge Companion to Folk Horror and Thomas Hardy and the Folk Horror Tradition (Bloomsbury 2023). In collaboration with colleagues we are presenting at the annual Thomas Hardy Society conference. I supervised MFA and PhD students in working in this area.

I am a member of the York Research Unit for the Study of Satire and have presented on this aspect of my work at the English Shared Futures conference. I work with my colleague Dr Liesl King on her Terra Two project, and we collaborated on a publication with Valley Press in 2019.

I regularly peer review for publishers and academic journals and am happy to be contacted about further peer reviewing work. I regularly speak on popular television and literature on local media and have featured on international podcasts and television and am available for further media work.

Publications

Books 

  • Edgar, R, Stephenson, L, & Marland, J (eds). (forthcoming) Horrifying Children: Hauntology and the Legacy of Children’s Television Bloomsbury: New York
  • Edgar, R & Johnson, W, (eds.) (forthcoming) The Routledge Companion to Folk Horror, Routledge: London
  • Edgar, R Marland, J & Smith, A, (2023) Thomas Hardy and the Folk Horror Tradition Bloomsbury: New York
  • Mann, F, Edgar, R, & Pleasance, H, (eds.) (2022) Venue Stories, Equinox Books: Sheffield (in press)
  • Edgar, R & Peniston, I. (eds.) (2020) Horrifying Tales, Greenteeth Press: Oxford
  • Edgar, R & Marland, J (2019) Adaptation for Screenwriters, Bloomsbury: New York (Nominated for best monograph, Screenwriters Research Network Awards 2021)
  • Edgar, R, Mann, F, Pleasance, H. (eds.) (2019) Music, Memory and Memoir, Bloomsbury: New York
  • King, L. & Edgar, R. (eds.) (2019) Science Fiction for Survival: An Archive for Mars, Valley Press: Scarborough
  • Edgar, R, Fairclough, K, Halligan, B, Spelman, N. (eds.) (2015) The Arena Concert, Bloomsbury: New York
  • Edgar, R, Marland, J, Rawle, S (2015) The Language of Film 2nd edition (2015), Bloomsbury: London, September
  • Edgar, R, Fairclough, K, Halligan, B, (eds.) (2013) Music Documentary: From Acid Rock to Electro-Pop, Routledge: New York, March
  • Edgar, R, Marland, J, Rawle, S, (2010) The Language of Film (2010) (with John Marland and Steven Rawle), Fairchild Press: London
  • Edgar, R (2009) Directing Fiction, (2009) AVA Publishing: Switzerland
  • Edgar, R & Marland, J, (2009) Screenwriting, AVA Publishing: Switzerland

Book chapters 

  • Chatting with Jarvis in Mann, F, Edgar, R, & Pleasance, H, (eds.) (2022) Venue Stories, Equinox Books: Sheffield
  • Hiatus: Music, Memory and Liminal Authenticity in Edgar, R, Mann, F, Pleasance, H. (2019) Music, Memory and Memoir, Bloomsbury: New York
  • The Aesthetics of the Arena: Live and Recorded in Monteiro, S. (2017) The Screen Media Reader: Culture, Theory and Practice, Bloomsbury, New York, 421-434
  • The Aesthetics of the Arena: Live and Recorded in Edgar, R. Fairclough, K. Halligan, B. Spelman, N. (2016) The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment, Bloomsbury, New York, 195-206
  • Rocking around Watford: Trying to Find What I Was Looking For. (with Julia and Evan Shelton) (2016) in Edgar, R. Fairclough, K. Halligan, B. Spelman, N. (2016) The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment, Bloomsbury, New York, 181-192
  • Mel Brooks in Allon, Y. & Patterson, H. (2001) The Wallflower Critical Guide to Contemporary North American Directors (1st edition), Columbia University Press: New York

Journals

Conferences

  • Thomas Hardy and the Folk Horror Tradition, Hardy and Gothic Wessex: Thomas Hardy Society Conference, Dorchester, 28th-30th October 2022
  • Venue Stories – a developing archive, Telling Stories: An International Conference on Music Archives and Heritage Narratives, Manchester Metropolitan University, 17th-19th November 2022
  • Teaching Satire: Death of Stalin (Research Unit for Satire Panel), English Shared Futures Conference, Manchester 7-8th July 2022
  • Venue Stories/Music Memoir Research Group Paper, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, University of Michigan, Detroit, 26-28 May 2022
  • Co-Convener. Horrifying Children: Hauntology and Children’s Fiction, York St John University, 21st May 2022
  • Chatting to Jarvis - Venue Stories – International Conference of Autoethnography, July 2021
  • Music, Memory and Memoir – an emerging genre, Writing the noise, the politics and history of subcultural music, Subculture Network, Reading University, September 2018
  • Co-Convener. ‘You’re Twisting My Memory Man’: Music, Memory and Memoir, York St John University, July 2018
  • The Convent During Conflict: Stories from the Home Front in WW1 – with Dr Christopher Price and Joanna Starzynski, the Bar Covent, York, May 2018
  • Woody Allen Schlemiel: Programmed for Subjugation, Men Writing Women: Women in the Work of Woody Allen and Beyond, York St John University, January 2018
  • Hiatus: Music, Memory and Liminal Authenticity, Storying the Self, Brighton University, June 2017
  • Chair, Speculative Futures, Creative Writing Conference, York St John University, June 2017
  • Creativity, Practice and Praxis, IASPM Conference, BIMM and the University of Brighton, September 2016
  • The Arena Concert, Live and Recorded, Invited Talk, Salford University, June 2016
  • ‘Creative Writing in the World’: conference to promote Creative Writing at York St John, June 2015
  • Theorising Practice and Writing for Education, Salford University, April 2014
  • Narrative Tropes in Hitchcock, Partners in Suspense: Hitchcock and Hermann, York St John University March 2011
  • Co-Convener. ‘Partners in Suspense, Hitchcock and Herrman’, York St John University March 2011.  Paper presented, ‘Narrative Tropes in Hitchcock.’
  • Will Hay – Ealing Originator’, Ealing Conference, Hull University, November 2006

Professional activities

I am a member of the Society of Authors, the Screenwriters Research Network, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and the Research Supervisors Network. I

have published a number of short stories and am currently working on a middle grade novel and a folk horror novella.

I have worked with writers to help develop story concepts and series ideas and am available for further professional consultancy.

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