Researcher biography

BA (Victoria University, Wellington), MA (Auckland), PhD (Cambridge)

Simon During is a New Zealander who studied for his PhD in Victorian literature at Cambridge. For many years he taught at the University of Melbourne, where, as Robert Wallace Chair and Head of Department, he helped establish the Media and Communications, Cultural Studies and Publishing programs. Between 2002 and 2010 was a Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University, where he also served as Director of the Film and Media Programme. He has held fellowships and visiting positions at Berkeley and Princeton and elsewhere. He currently holds an APF at the centre.

His books include Foucault and Literature (Routledge, 1991), Patrick White (OUP, 1994), Modern Enchantments: the cultural power of secular magic (Harvard, 2002), Exit Capitalism: Literary Culture, Theory and Post-Secular Modernity (Routledge, 2009), and Against democracy: literary experience in the era of emancipations (Fordham University Press, 2012). He is currently mainly working on a history of the relationship between Anglicanism and literature in Britain from 1600 to 1945.


Recent articles and book chapters

  • "Is Absolute Secularity Conceivable?", Intellectual History Review, 27.1 (2017): 151-69.
  • "The Historical Status of Postmodernism under Neoliberalism," Electronic Book Review (4 December 2016).
  • "Canons: Indispensable and Disposable--A Response to Adam Kotsko," Australian Humanities Review 60 (November 2016): 176-78.
  • "Samuel Butler's Influence," in A History of New Zealand Literature, ed. Mark Williams (Cambridge University Press, 2016): pp. 44-55.
  • "When literary criticisim mattered," in The Values of Literary Studies, ed. Ronan McDonald (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 120-136.
  • "Precariousness, literature and the humanities," Australian Humanities Review, 58 (May 2015): 51-56.
  • "Katherine Mansfield's World," Journal of New Zealand Literature, 33 (2015): 33-66.
  • "Choosing precarity," South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 38/1 (2015): 19-38.
  • "From the subaltern to the precariat," Boundary 2, 42/2 (2015): 57-84.
  • "Patrick White, Saul Bellow and the problem of literary value,” Australian Literary Studies, 27/2 (2013): 1-18.
  • "Empire’s Present,” New Literary History, 43/2 (2012): 331-340.
  • “From the subaltern to the precariat,”  Wenyi lilun yanjiu/Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art, 32/1 (2012): 72-80. Published in English and Chinese translation.
  • Religion and State secularization,” Secularism: its context and content project, Immanent Frame, Social Science Research Council, web publication. Feb 2012.
  • “The Mundane against the Secular,” in Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, ed. Craig Calhoun, Jonathan van Antwerpen and Michael Warner (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010), 105-226.
  • “Charlatanism and resentment in London’s mid-eighteenth-century literary marketplace,” in Bookish Histories, Books, Literature and Commercial Modernity, ed. Paul Keen and Ina Ferris (London: Palgrave 2009), 314-326.
  • "The Limits of Culture," in "Culturalisms" a special issue of New Literatures Review, 45-46 (2009): 23-40.
  • “Regency London,” in The New Cambridge History of English Literature: the Romantic Period, ed. James Chandler and Marilyn Butler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 335-356.
  • “Church, state and modernization: English Literature as Gentlemanly Knowledge after 1688,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 37/8 (2008): 167-196.
  • “Tricks, traps and magic,” in The Great Transformation: art and tactical magic/A grande Tansformacion: Arte e Maxia Táctica, ed. Chus Martinez (Frankfurt and Madrid: Frankfurter Kunstverein and Museo de Arte Eontemporanea de Vigo, 2008), 12-19. Published in English and  German, Spanish and Galician translations.
  • “William Beckford in Hell: an episode in the history of secular enchantment,”  Huntington Library Quarterly: a special issue on Technologies of Illusion: the art of special effects in eighteenth-century Britain, 70/2 (2007): 269-289. German translation of a version of this essay published as “Beckford und der Teufel,” in Rare Künste: zur Kultur-und mediengeschichte der Zauberkunst, ed. Brigitte Federer and Ernst Strouhal (Vienna and New York: Springer 2006), 339-365.
  • “Mimic toil: eighteenth-century preconditions for the modern historical re-enactment,” Rethinking History: a special issue on Re-enactment 11/3 (2007): 313-333.  Rprt in Historical Re-enactment: From Realism to the Affective Turn, ed. Iain McCalman and Paul Pickering (London: Palgrave, 2010), 180-200.
  • ““Socialist ends: the British New Left, cultural studies and the emergence of academic theory,” Postcolonial Studies 10/1 (2007): 23-38.
  • “Australaji ir Naujoji Nelandija/Aotearoa: skirtumu kulturos,” in Potvyhnis: naujos sroves Australijos ir Naufosios Zelandifos mene, ed. Magda Kardasz and Simon Rees (Vilinius: Siuolaikinio meno centras 2006), 124-127. [Published only in Lithuanian translation.]
  • ““Is cultural studies a discipline? Does it matter?’” Cultural Politics 2/2 (2006): 265-281. French translation published in Littérature, special issue “Et la critique américaine?’ 144 (2006): 101-118.

A list of Simon During's engagement activities can be found here.

Simon During's publications can be found in UQ eSpace.