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Dr Mark Blacklock

  • Overview



    Dr Mark Blacklock is a novelist and cultural historian and teaches on the MA Creative and Critical Writing. He is the author of I'm Jack (London: Granta, 2015) and The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). You can read reviews of I'm Jack here and here and a scholarly analysis of its use of textual redaction hereThe Emergence of the Fourth Dimension is usefully summarised in this review. His second novel Hinton is forthcoming from Granta in early 2020.

    Mark is currently working on a new edition of the non-fiction of the British author J.G. Ballard and writing his third novel.

    Mark welcomes proposals for PhD projects on genre fiction, particularly SF, crime and espionage fiction; the use of documentary modes in modern and contemporary literature; and theoretically-informed research projects considering contemporary cultural phenomena.

    He was the course convenor of the MA in Cultural and Critical Studies for three years. 

  • Research


    Research overview

    My research is clustered around genre fictions, exchanges between literature and science, and cultural history and theory. I am also a novelist and my fiction tends towards genre experimentation, formal variation and the exploration of aberrant reasoning.

    I am currently working on an edition of the non-fiction of the British author J.G. Ballard, drawing together his journalism, essays, commentaries and criticism, while writing my third novel.

    My first monograph, The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension: Higher Spatial Thinking in the Fin de Siecle, published by Oxford University Press in 2018, considers the development and popularisation of radically new geometries in the late-nineteenth century and the implications of these for the understanding of abstract space in the early twentieth century. Reading the registration of these ideas across the cultural sphere – with particular focus on literature, occult texts and popular science – it considers how newly imagined spaces were registered in cultural productions at the levels of both form and content.

    I have recently published essays and chapters on Spatial Form and Weird Fiction, Dracula and the New Horror Theories, the work of the contemporary novelist Tom McCarthy, Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High Rise, and the philosophy of John le Carré. I am making an essay film that considers the pater noster lift.

    My first novel, I’m Jack, was published by Granta in June 2015. I was fortunate enough to be reviewed kindly but my favourite thing anyone said about it was a blurb from Iain Sinclair:

    ‘Here are dark telegrams from an expertly realised otherness that is Sunderland. Spare. Swift. Smart. And dangerous. Carrying us through maps of shame to rescue a convincing fiction of the past from its sullen entropy’

    My second novel will come out with the same publisher in Spring 2020. Here's hoping I can persuade someone to hymn that so beautifully. I write for the national press on literature and culture and maintain a related research interest in new directions for contemporary fiction.

    From 2014-15 I worked on a collaborative research project with the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction Literature. Aspects of that research can be read at the tumblr site

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    Teaching modules

    • Narrative Methods (AREN005S5)
    • Writing Workshop (ENHU039S7)
  • Publications




    Book Section

    Conference Item

    • Eve, Martin Paul and Blacklock, Mark and Carville, Daragh and Hankinson, Andrew (2016) Crime Writers in Conversation. True Crime Fictions, 2016, Birkbeck, University of London, UK