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Dr David Alderson - research

Research interests

Though my PhD focused on 19th century literature and culture, and specifically on Protestant-Catholic debates as these related to both gender and national identity, I am now working on contemporary material. In particular, I am interested in the relations between neoliberalism, gender and sexuality, and am working on a book that focuses on 'post-gay culture.' That term is not mine, nor am I keen to promote it. It has, moreover, been used in directly contradictory ways: on the one hand, to refer to the possibilities for gay assimilation; and, on the other, to refer to the need to rediscover a politics of sexuality now that 'gay' has apparently become the mark of assimilation. I am interested in these positions and the tensions between them, but also in the complex ways they relate to the marketization of sexuality.

I write from a Marxist/cultural materialist perspective, and, in the book I am writing now, am interested in the critical recovery of Marcusean ideas. Alan Sinfield, our most sophisticated theorist of subculture (a term whose meaning is mostly taken for granted) is also important to the project. More generally, I am interested in the cultural implications of David Harvey's work, and am developing ideas for a new project on 'market authoriarianism.'

Most recent work:

'Postgay Drama: Sexuality, Narration and History in the Plays of Mark Ravenhill', Textual Practice, 24(5), 2010, 863-83

'Making Electricity: Narrating Gender, Sexuality and the Neoliberal Transition in Billy Elliot', Camera Obscura 75, 25(3), 2011, 1-27

'Saturday's Enlightenment', in Rachael Gilmour and Bill Schwarz (eds), The End of Empire and the English Novel Since 1945, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011, pp. 218-37