School of English

About

(BA (Hons), Strathclyde; MLitt, PhD, Glasgow)

I joined the University of Kent in September 2013. Previously, I was a lecturer at the University of Exeter, having taught before that at the University of Glasgow.

My first monograph, Virginia Woolf and the Materiality of Theory: Sex, Animal, Life (Edinburgh UP, 2013 [reissued as a paperback 2015]), explores Woolf’s conceptualisation of the material world by focusing on relations between culture and nature, embodiment and environment, human and nonhuman, life and matter. In an effort to demonstrate affinities between Woolf's modernism and current debates concerning sexual difference, sexuality, animality and life itself, the book reads Woolf alongside Deleuzian philosophy, feminist philosophy, queer theory, animal studies, posthumanism and new materialism. My other publications include the co-edited volume Contradictory Woolf (Clemson UP, 2012) and guest edited special issues of Deleuze Studies (on ‘Deleuze, Virginia Woolf and Modernism’; Edinburgh UP, 2013), the Virginia Woolf Miscellany (on ‘Woolf and Materiality’; International Virginia Woolf Society, 2014), and Twentieth-Century Literature (on ‘Modernist Ethics and Posthumanism’; Duke UP, 2015). In addition, I have published a number of articles and book chapters that combine my interests in modernist aesthetics, philosophy, nature and animality, and I am currently co-editing the Cambridge University Press Edition of Woolf’s Flush: A Biography.

Outside the area of modernist studies my research is more broadly concerned with animals in literature and philosophy. My latest book, Animal Theory: A Critical Introduction (Edinburgh UP, 2015), offers a wide-ranging exploration of theoretical approaches to animality in modern and contemporary thought. The four main chapters on ‘Animals as Humans’, ‘Animal Ontology’, ‘Animal Life’ and ‘Animal Ethics’ include extended discussions of Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari, Singer, Regan, Nussbaum and Haraway among others, and also contain readings of contemporary literary texts by Angela Carter, J. M. Coetzee, Paul Auster and Jonathan Safran Foer. More recently, I have begun a co-edited book project titled A History of Literary Animals, which explores representations of animals from the medieval period to the contemporary.

Research supervision

I am currently supervising PhD projects on modernist ecologies and on bioethics in speculative fiction. I would be interested in supervising postgraduate research relating to any of the areas listed in my research interests.

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Publications

Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Book
Ryan, Derek. 2015. Animal Theory: A Critical Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Ryan, Derek. 2013. Virginia Woolf And The Materiality Of Theory: Sex, Animal, Life. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Scholarly edition
Ryan, Derek, and Linden Peach. 2018. "Flush: A Biography. The Cambridge Edition Of The Works Of Virginia Woolf". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Edited book
Ryan, Derek, and Stephen Ross, eds. 2018. The Handbook To The Bloomsbury Group. London: Bloomsbury.
Spencer, Jane, Derek Ryan, and Karen Edwards, eds. 2018. Reading Literary Animals: Medieval To Modern. Routledge.
Ryan, Derek, and Stella Bolaki, eds. 2012. Contradictory Woolf: Selected Papers From The Twenty-First Annual International Virginia Woolf Conference. Clemson SC: Clemson University Digital Press.
Edited journal
Ryan, Derek, and Mark West, eds. 2015. "Special Issue: Modernist Ethics And Posthumanism". Twentieth-Century Literature. Duke University Press.
Ryan, Derek, ed. 2014. "Woolf And Materiality: Special Issue". Virginia Woolf Miscellany. International Virginia Woolf Society.
Ryan, Derek, and Laci Mattison, eds. 2013. "Special Issue: Deleuze, Virginia Woolf And Modernism". Deleuze Studies. Edinburgh University Press. doi:10.3366/dls.2013.0122.
Book section
Ryan, Derek. 2018. "'was It Flush, Or Was It Pan?': Virginia Woolf, Ethel Smyth And Canine Biography". In Reading Literary Animals: Medieval To Modern, Jane Spencer, Ryan, Derek, and Edwards, Karen. Routledge.
Ryan, Derek. 2018. "Literature". In The Edinburgh Companion To Animal Studies, Lynn Turner, Broglio, Ron, and Sellbach, Undine. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Ryan, Derek. 2016. "Orlando's Queer Animals". In A Companion To Virginia Woolf, Jessica Berman, 109-121. Wiley-Blackwell.
Ryan, Derek. 2014. "Entangled In Nature: Deleuze'S Modernism, Woolf'S Philosophy, And Spinoza'S Ethology". In Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism, Paul Ardoin, Gontarski, S. E., and Mattison, Laci. Bloomsbury Academic. http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/understanding-deleuze-understanding-modernism-9781623563493/.
Ryan, Derek. 2014. "Posthumanist Interludes: Ecology And Ethology In The Waves". In Virginia Woolf: Twenty-First-Century Approaches, Jeanne Dubino, Lowe, Gill, Neverow, Vera, and Simpson, Kathryn. Edinburgh University Press. http://www.euppublishing.com/book/9780748693931.
Ryan, Derek. 2014. ""The Lawn Was The World": Uprooting Trees And Becoming Grass In Virginia Woolf'S To The Lighthouse". In Contemporary Woolf / Woolf Contemporaine, Claire Davison-Pégon and Smith-Di Biasio, Anne-Marie. Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée. http://www.pulm.fr/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/587/s/contemporary-woolf-woolf-contemporaine/category/96/.
Ryan, Derek. 2013. "Woolf And Contemporary Philosophy". In Virginia Woolf In Context, Bryony Randall and Goldman, Jane. Cambridge University Press. http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/literature/english-literature-1900-1945/virginia-woolf-context.
Ryan, Derek. 2012. "From Spaniel Club To Animalous Society: Virginia Woolf'S Flush". In Contradictory Woolf: Selected Papers From The Twenty-First Annual International Conference On Virginia Woolf, Derek Ryan and Bolaki, Stella. Clemson University Press. http://www.clemson.edu/cedp/press/pubs/vwcon/21.html.
Ryan, Derek. 2011. ""Nature, Who Has Played So Many Queer Tricks Upon Us": Digging Granite And Chasing Rainbows With Virginia Woolf". In Virginia Woolf And The Natural World: Selected Papers From The Twentieth Annual International Conference On Virginia Woolf. Clemson University Press. http://www.clemson.edu/cedp/press/pubs/vwcon/20.html.
Article
Ryan, Derek. 2018. "Katherine Mansfield's Animal Aesthetics". Modern Fiction Studies. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Ryan, Derek. 2016. "Virginia Woolf And Canterbury". Virginia Woolf Miscellany. International Virginia Woolf Society. https://virginiawoolfmiscellany.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/vwm89and90-edited-final.pdf.
Ryan, Derek. 2015. "Following Snakes And Moths: Modernist Ethics And Posthumanism". Twentieth-Century Literature. Duke University Press. doi:10.1215/0041462X-3153955.
Ryan, Derek. 2015. "Des Animaux Ordinaires Ou Étrangers? Territoires Bovins Entre Woolf Et Deleuze (Outlandish Or Ordinary Animals? Bovine Territories Between Woolf And Deleuze)". Études Britanniques Contemporaines: Revue De La Société De L'études Anglaises Contemporaines.
Ryan, Derek. 2014. "To The Readers: Woolf And Materiality". Virginia Woolf Miscellany. International Virginia Woolf Society.
Ryan, Derek, and Laci Mattison. 2013. "Introduction: Deleuze, Virginia Woolf And Modernism". Deleuze Studies. Edinburgh University Press. doi:10.3366/dls.2013.0122.
Ryan, Derek. 2013. ""The Reality Of Becoming": Deleuze, Woolf And The Territory Of Cows". Deleuze Studies. Edinburgh University Press. doi:10.3366/dls.2013.0128.
Ryan, Derek. 2012. "Woolf's Queering Of Granite". Virginia Woolf Miscellany. International Virginia Woolf Society. https://virginiawoolfmiscellany.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/vwm82fall2012.pdf.
Review
Ryan, Derek. 2012. "Review Of Eugene Thacker (2010), After Life, University Of Chicago Press". Deleuze Studies. Edinburgh University Press.
Total publications in KAR: 27 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

  • Modernist studies
  • Virginia Woolf studies
  • Animal studies
  • Critical theory
  • Literature and philosophy
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Professional activities

I am a member of the Modernist Studies Association, the British Association of Modernist Studies, the Société d'Etudes Modernistes, the International Virginia Woolf Society, the Société d’Etudes Woolfiennes, and the Katherine Mansfield Society.

I have co-organised a range of conferences and events relating to my primary research interests. These include ‘Interceptions: Modernism’s Theory and Theory’s Modernism’ (Glasgow, 2010), ‘Contradictory Woolf: The Twenty-First Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf’ (Glasgow, 2011), ‘Animal Humanities’ (Kent, 2015), ‘All Day Waves’ (Kent, 2015) and ‘Cross-Channel Modernisms’ (Kent/Paris, 2015). I am currently organising the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, which will take place at Kent in June 2018.

I have acted as a reader for various publishers and journals, including Routledge, Bloomsbury, Palgrave, Review of English Studies, Modernism/Modernity, Twentieth-Century Literature, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture and Studies in the Novel.

In 2016 I was appointed to the Editorial Board of the Woolf Studies Annual.

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School of English, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823054

Last Updated: 06/09/2017