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Grace Halden

  • Overview


    Extended absence from the college

    I am away on ISSF funded research leave. I am still responding to emails and I am accepting PhD applications.


    I completed by PhD at Birkbeck in 2014 and became a permanent lecturer in 2018. My favourite book as a child was The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) by Margery Williams. I think that book and its questions about what is real and genuine inspired my interest in the posthuman and ideas of what humanness means. My enjoyment of Jean Baudrillard's work certainly finds its genesis with The Velveteen Rabbit.


    Between 2019-2020 I was on maternity leave following the birth of twins. My experience with assisted reproduction provided the inspiration for my current funded research proect 'Cyborg Conception'.


    I also love science fiction and horror and will eat a whole pack of biscuits in one sitting.


    • 2020-2021: ISSF Wellcome full funding for 12 months. Project: 'Cyborg Conception: technologized reproduction and posthuman families in literary and cultural imagination'. This project will intervene in the interdisciplinary field of the medical humanities by understanding the cultural mediation of assisted reproduction through literature since 1978. Across three key genres, ‘Cyborg Conception’ analyses how literature forms part of the reimagined ‘entangled’ medical humanities (as articulated by Fitzgerald and Callard), interrogating and even ‘reanimating’ medical understandings of, and discourses around, assisted reproduction.

    • 2021: Winner: Best Dissertation/Project Supervisor for Birkbeck Heroes (Birkbeck Students' Union)

    Office hours

    Mondays and Wednesdays


    • PGCHE, 2017
    • PhD, 2014
    • QTS, 2009
    • MA by Research, 2007
    • BA Hons, 2005

    Web profiles

    Administrative responsibilities

    • Departmental representative for Digital Education Sub-Committee
    • Member of the Open Access Research Group

    Professional memberships

    • Professional member of the Donor Conception Nework

    • Member of the SFRA

    • HEA Fellow

    • Member Open Access Sub-Committee at Birkbeck

    • Member of the Atomic Photographer’s Guild

    Honours and awards

    • Research Grant, ISSF, November 2020
    • 2021: Winner: Best Dissertation/Project Supervisor for Birkbeck Heroes), Birkbeck Students' Union, June 2021
    • High commendation, Public Engagement Awards, November 2018
    • Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award (BETA), Birkbeck, November 2017
  • Research


    Research interests

    • Modern and contemporary literature
    • Global literature
    • American literature
    • World War Two
    • Cold War
    • Technological Development
    • Ruination
    • Posthumanism
    • Transhumanism
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • bio-objects
    • Techological singularity
    • Nuclear power / nuclear technology
    • Assisted reproduction
    • Human condition and human rights
    • Hannah Arendt
    • Primo Levi
    • Marshall McLuhan
    • Jean Baudrillard
    • Martin Heidegger
    • Jacques Derrida
    • Cybernetics
    • Apocalypse theory/prediction/narratives/religious/secular apocalypse,
    • urban exploration

    Research clusters and groups

    • Member, First Contact Research Group.

    Research projects

    Institutional Strategic Support Fund, ISSF (1)

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I am currently welcoming proposals for PhD study. In the first instance please submit an informal letter of interest to me at I will work with successful applicants on relevant funding applications including CHASE and Wellcome.

    I welcome proposals on the following topics (click here)

    Current doctoral researchers



    Teaching modules

    • Science Fiction (AREN193S6)
    • Reading and Writing the Contemporary (AREN223S7)
    • Being Human: Posthumanism and the 21st Century (AREN231S7)
    • Reading Literature (ENHU006S4)
    • The Novel: Writing the Modern World (ENHU009S5)
  • Publications




    Book Section

    • Halden, Grace (2020) British Science Fiction 1990-2017: technology themed fiction in the light of the new millennium and speculative ‘Singularity’. In: Bradford, Richard and Gonzalez, M. and Butler, S. and Ward, J. and De Ornellas, K. (eds.) The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature. Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature Series. Wiley Blackwell. pp. 643-654. ISBN 9781119099796.
    • Halden, Grace (2019) Photography and digital art. In: McFarlane, A. and Murphy, G.J. and Schmeink, L. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture. Routledge Companions. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9780815351931.
    • Halden, Grace (2016) Growing up in the 21st Century: pretty little liars and their pretty little devices. In: D'Amico, L. (ed.) Girl Talk: The Influence of Girls’ Series Fiction on American Popular Culture. Children and Youth in Popular Culture. New York, U.S.: Lexington. pp. 269-292. ISBN 9781498517645.
    • Halden, Grace (2015) Lighting. In: Smith, M. (ed.) The World of the American Revolution: A Daily Life Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Daily Life Encyclopedia. ABC-Clio Greenwood. ISBN 9781440830273.
    • Halden, Grace (2015) Mills. In: Smith, M. (ed.) The World of the American Revolution: A Daily Life Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Daily Life Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, U.S.: ABC-Clio Greenwood. ISBN 9781440830273.

    Conference Item


  • Business and community

    Business and community


    I am happy to receive enquiries from the media on the following topics:

    • Assisted reproduction
    • Donor conception
    • Posthumanism



      As a qualified teacher of over ten years, I have a background in teaching English pre further education. I currently do (very limited) outreach work in local schools. I also do workshops for staff - mainly on technology for teaching and learning.


      Contact me for full teaching history.

      Qualifications: Certificate of Governance (2010), QTS (GTP) 2008, PGCHE (2017), Fellow HEA (2017).

      I am a professional member of the Donor Conception Network (DCN) and a volunteer for the DCN.