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Our People

Dr Alistair Brown



I am currently Teaching Fellow within the Department of English Studies, My research and scholarship interests cover the digital humanities, video game studies, digital pedagogy and learning technology, creativity, and playful learning.

If you're interested in what I do, please email or chat with me on Twitter as @alibrown18.


I teach on various modules within English Studies at Durham, such as Literary Theory, American Fiction, Literature of the Modern Period and the MA dissertation.

I am currently working on various scholarship projects looking at topics such as how we build strong learning communities, Digital Storytelling, the use of playful learning within the curriculum, and social media ethics in teaching and learning.

Alongside Durham, I teach as an Associate Lecturer in Arts at the Open University, where I have innovated new methods for distance learning such as video telepresence in online teaching and the application of social media marketing techniques to online forums.

I have previously taught Theory at the University of Sunderland, and developed distance learning modules on Modernism, American Fiction, and Contemporary Fiction at Singapore University of Social Sciences.


I research broadly in the fields of contemporary fiction, science fiction, and the digital humanities. More recently I have been (through Creative Fuse North East) exploring the intersection between digital skills and creativity, and the role of universities in the creative industries. I have recent publications in this area, as well as in the narratology of video games. I am preparing a monograph on Demons of the Digital Age: Artificial Intelligence and Simulation in Literature, Cinema and Video Games and am drafting a second on Reading Games: Video Games and the Limits of Literature.

From November 2017 to March 2019 I was post-doctoral research associate on the project Creative Fuse North East, which seeks to enhance the innovative work of creative, digital and IT businesses by engaging them with universities. I maintain an interest in creativity, the crossover of skills between the arts and humanities and digital, and cultural metrics; this research informs current scholarship projects on equipping English graduates with the digital skills required by the creative industries.

Impact and Engagement

Alongside teaching within the Department I edit and maintain the award-winning research and dissemination blog, Research in English At Durham (READ), and associated social media feeds; this has one of the widest reaches of any English department on social media in the UK.

I have been involved in digital projects in the cultural and education sector since 2003. Most recently I have built websites including Records of Early English Drama North East and the James Shirley Project, developing custom databases and methods for the visualisation of textual and archival data. I have competencies in HTML, CSS, PHP/SQL, Javascript/Ajax. I also serve as technical advisor to the Postgraduate English and Kaleidoscope journals, having led their transition to Open Journal Systems publishing.

Research Interests

  • Digital humanities
  • Video game narratives
  • Narratology
  • Postmodernism
  • Cyberfiction


    Chapter in book

  • Brown, Alistair (2018). Is posthuman incest possible? Science fiction and the futures of the body. In Incest in contemporary literature. Leeson, Miles Manchester University Press.
  • Brown, Alistair (2014). The Sense of an Ending: The Computer Game Fallout 3 as a Serial Fiction. In Serialization in Popular Culture. Allen, Rob & van den Berg, Thijs Routledge.
  • Brown, Alistair (2014). Renaissance Demons and Posthuman Cyborgs: Ambroise Paré’s On Monsters and Marvels and Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto”. In Unnatural Reproductions and Monstrosity: The Birth of the Monster in Literature, Film, and Media. Wood, Andrea & Shillace, Brandy Cambria.
  • Brown, Alistair (2011). E-Volutionary Fictions: The Darwinian Algorithm in Literature and Computer Games. In The Evolution of Literature in European Cultures. Saul, Nicholas & James, Simon Rodopi.
  • Journal Article

  • (2016). What Game Worlds Can Teach Us About Literary Worlds. Alluvium 5(2).
  • Brown, Alistair (2015). Communication Technology and Narrative: Letters, Instant Messaging, and Mobile Phones in Three Romantic Novels. Poetics Today 36(1-2): 33.
  • (2013). Are Videogame Narratives Postmodern? Alluvium 2(3).
  • (2012). Ulysses as a Role Playing Game. Alluvium 1(5).
  • (2012). Grand Theft Auto as a Cognitive Map of the Postmodern Condition. Writing Technologies 4.
  • (2008). Pitchforks at the Library Doors: Literary Studies in the Digital Age. Kaleidoscope 2(1).
  • (2008). Rereading Posthumanism in The War of the Worlds and Independence Day. e-Sharp 12.
  • (2008). Uniting the Two Cultures of Body and Mind in A.S. Byatt’s A Whistling Woman. Journal of Literature and Science 1(1).
  • Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Brown, Alistair (2014). What Makes a Videogame Great? Problems of Videogame Aesthetics. Art Pulse 20(6): 46-49.
  • Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Brown, Alistair (2019). Creative cities and the future of higher education. Blog.
  • Brown, Alistair (2018). Making Pictures Speak. Website.

Contact Details

+44 191 3340471