Fellow 2023/2024Adam Stock

Fellowship Term: 03/2024 – 07/2024

Adam Stock is senior lecturer in English Literature at York St John University. His research seeks to better understand the intersection between political thought and representations of temporality and space in modern and contemporary culture, especially speculative fictions. His first monograph, Modern Dystopian Fiction and Political Thought: Narratives of World Politics (Routledge, 2019) draws on critical theory, history, cultural and literary studies to address dystopian fiction as a mode of socio-political critique. More recently, he has published chapters and articles on temporalities in alternate history SF and on dystopia and contemporary migration. He has additional interests in literary modernisms, and co-edited a Modernism/Modernity Print+ cluster on “Modernism and SF” in 2022.


Adam has an interdisciplinary background. He holds a BA(Hons) in History and Politics from University of Birmingham (1st class), an MA in Cultural and Intellectual History (merit) QMUL, and a PhD in literary studies from Durham University. After completing his doctorate in 2012, he worked at Newcastle University as Research Associate. While in post he became Co-I on the AHRC funded project “Re-Configuring Ruins” and Network Facilitator on the Leverhulme International Network "Imaginaries of the Future". In 2015 he moved as lecturer to YSJU.

Adam is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and his teaching and supervision at YSJU has included literary and critical theory, experimental writing, the post-human turn and employability modules, in addition to several with a period or genre-based focus, including SF.

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Deserts and drylands in (post)apocalyptic speculative imaginaries

Deserts are associated with apocalyptic and eschatological myths, prophecies and legends in many cultures and faiths, from Aboriginal Dreaming to Islam, Judaism and Christianity. In the context of the contemporary climate crisis, the image of an arid landscape has become a dominant cliché. My project locates modern uses of desert settings in speculative genres within a longer history of deserts as a common trope in (post) apocalyptic imaginaries. I aim to uncover what cultural representations of such spaces can teach us about the apocalyptic, and what in turn this tells us about how we hope to adapt to a warming planet. While western speculative fictions have associated apocalyptic scenarios with deserts, inhabitants of such landscapes often experienced the arrival of western colonial powers as themselves apocalyptic events. At CAPAS I will work on a monograph exploring what often appears as merely a backdrop for apocalyptic scenarios, contributing to debate on the production of space in the apocalyptic and the nature of setting in narrative cultural forms. I aim to re-direct attention in the environmental humanities toward deserts, and to better understand some of the cultural anxieties and fears to which apocalyptic imaginaries in speculative genres respond.