Dr Liesl King

Deputy Head of School

School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

E: l.king@yorksj.ac.uk

T: 87 6945

A picture of Liesl King

PhD in English Literature, Queen Mary, University of London. MA in Literature Studies; Certificate in Teaching Composition and Literature, San Francisco State University. BA Honours, with Special Distinction in the Major, in English Literature, University of California, Santa Barbara.

I am Deputy Head of Humanities, Philosophy and Religion. I am additionally Module Director for two modules on the Literature programme – Imaginary Worlds, Researching Science Fiction and Literature at Work, the programme’s employability module.

Prior to completing my PhD, I completed my BA in English at the University of California in Santa Barbara in 1988 with Honours and Special Distinction in the Major, and I attained an MA in English and a Certificate in Teaching Composition and Literature from San Francisco State University in 1995. Following my marriage to a British citizen I worked as a Visiting Lecturer in the English department of the University of North London and in the Women’s Studies department of the University of East London.  I have lived permanently in the UK since 1995, and I joined York St John in 2002.

I am particularly interested in science fiction. My PhD in English from the University of London, Queen Mary focuses on the representations of gender and progressive spirituality in women’s science fiction and fantasy in the late twentieth century. I am currently interested in exploring the way science fiction enables readers and viewers to access secular spiritual perspectives, drawing influence from Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the rhizome in A Thousand Plateaus (1987). In September 2017 I officially launched an online magazine and umbrella project which focuses on sustainability, spirituality and science fiction entitled Terra Two: An Ark for Off-World Survival.

Further Information


Book chapters

Forthcoming Spring 2018: King, Liesl, 'Woman to Woman, Sister to Sister - Feminine Connections in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni'. Feminism and Diaspora: Critical Perspectives on Chitra Divakaruni.  Lexington Books, USA.

Forthcoming Autumn 2018:  King, Liesl, ‘Terra Two: An Ark for Off World Survival – A York St John University Project on spirituality, sustainability, and science fiction’ in Sustainability and Humanities: linking social values, theology and spirituality towards sustainability. Springer, USA


King, Liesl (2017) ‘On Secular Spirituality in the Duffer Brother’s Stranger Things, Series 1. 'Rupathaka Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities', 9 (3).


‘Stranger Things? Religious Symbols in Apocalyptic SF Narratives’ presented at the Speculative Futures Conference at YSJU, May 2017

‘Stranger Things? Religious Symbols in Apocalyptic SF Narratives’, presented at the Popular Culture Association’s conference in San Diego, April 2017.

‘Terra Two: Let’s Get it Right this Time OR My Plan to Save our Species’, presented at York St John’s Research Reflections conference, York, September 2016.

‘Soul-sick in the Sprawl: Corruption in the Big City Spaces of Piercy, Mieville and Atwood’, presented at York St John’s Cityscapes: Media Textualities and Urban Visions conference, York, April 2016

‘Reflections on the Yin-Centered Spirituality of Ursula K. Le Guin’, presented at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, Portland, Oregon November 2015

‘Reflections of the Yin-Centered Spirituality of Ursula K. Le Guin’, presented for ‘Research Snapshots’, York St John University October 2015

‘Something Bigger than Ourselves’ , presented for the York St John series ‘Narrative and Alternative Futures’, York Theatre Royal, York March 2014

 'Writing in the Mother Tongue - the yin-centred feminism of Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness' – presented at the Cambridge University Centre for Gender Studies February 2013

‘The Return of the Embodied Voice?: Inspired by French Feminism’ – presented at the Annual Conference of The Society for European Philosophy and The Forum for European Philosophy, York St John University, August 2011

‘Mystical Liaisons, Spiritual Pleasures’ – presented for the RADAR series, York St John University, May 2009

‘Embedding Creative Assessment’ – presented at the York St John University Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, January 2009

‘Cross-Arts Assessment and the Virtual Gallery: Extending the Creative Project’ (with Dr Keith McDonald) – presented at the conference ‘Beyond the Essay: Assessment Issues in English Studies’ at  Northumbria University in partnership with the English Subject Centre, Higher Education Authority, December 2008

‘Inspiring Critical Connections’ – presented at the Faculty of Arts Learning and Teaching Day, York St John University in partnership with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, September 2007

‘Introducing the Female as Human’ – presented at the Faculty of Arts Research Series, York St John University, 2005

A Journey on Coyote’s Tail: Spiritual Vision in Gail Anderson Dargatz’s A Cure for Death by Lightning’ - presented at the BACS conference, University of York, April 2000

Is there a god in our future?: Alternative Faces of Divinity in Late Century Women’s SF/Fantasy fiction -  presented at the Millennium conference, University of Liverpool, September 1999

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