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Durham University

Research & business

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Mr Conrad Aquilina

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I am a visiting senior lecturer at the University of Malta, where I deliver courses on the Academic English programme as well as the literary Gothic and horror. I am also subject coordinator and senior lecturer in English at the Malta College for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. When not teaching, reading or writing I try to balance my personal life in between parenting and finding some time to attend to more leisurely and pleasurable pursuits…

My research interests have turned interdisciplinary in the past years, probably starting with my decision to re-assess modes of the fantastic through comparative fiction and film when writing my Masters dissertation. In 2012, I enrolled as a part-time overseas candidate on the English Literature and Theory PhD programme at Durham with the intention to pursue doctoral research within the interstices of literature, theory, science, art and philosophy (my problem is that my interests are many). My PhD project, currently in my fifth year of studies (I have actually lost count, but I can hear ‘time’s wing’d chariot hurrying near’) consists in re-assessing theories and principles of simulation which I am extending to previously unconsidered domains like aesthetics and poetics. This reconsideration of simulation as a predictive and replicative model to a system which is actually generative and poietic (productive) is therefore the main thesis.

Specifically, one of the aims of my project is to demonstrate how simulation as a concept is far more commensurate with world-building rather than mere world-representation and as such can be perceived as a reconstructive and reality-authenticating strategy and not a duplicative and counterfeiting one. Other objectives include dislocating simulation from its maligned semiotic non-equivalent – the simulacrum – as well as creating and discussing ways in which simulation differs from, and goes beyond, conventional mimesis and realism. My research is supervised by the ever patient and gracious Prof. Timothy Clark and Prof. Patricia Waugh.

If you are interested in reading some of my published work, you may access my page on

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