Allan Johnson is the author of Alan Hollinghurst and the Vitality of Influence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Masculine Identity in Modernist Literature: Castration, Narration, and a Sense of the Beginning, 1919-1945 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and numerous articles on an array of modern and contemporary writers including Stoker, Dreiser, Wharton, Shaw, Cather, Forster, Woolf, Waugh, James, Eliot, Doctorow, and Hollinghurst. Forthcoming work includes a new monograph entitled The Sacred Life of Modernist Literature: Immanence, Occultism, and the Making of the Modern World and articles on Tony Kushner and Bernard Shaw. Allan is former Marjorie G. Wynn Fellow in British Literature at the Beinecke Library, Yale University, and Associate Editor of Correspondences.
Areas of specialism
Modernism and mass culture;
Sexuality and desire;
University roles and responsibilities
- Director of Postgraduate Research for English Literature, Creative Writing, and Film Studies
Affiliations and memberships
Allan's research centres broadly around literary modernism, esotericism, sexuality, and narrative theory.
Indicators of esteem
- Reader for Peter Lang, English Studies, Papers in Language and Literature, Journal of Homosexuality, CEA Critic (Journal of the College English Association), Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and Research in Learning Technology, current
- Grant reviewer for AHRC & Freie Universität Berlin
- Associate Editor, Correspondences, 2016-current
- Director, Magic, Language, and Society Network, 2016-current
- Advisory Board, International Society of Fin-de-Siècle Studies, 2016-current
- Editorial Board, Technoculture, 2013-2015.
- University Senate, Academic Review Committee (City University of Hong Kong, 2015).
- Department Executive Committee (City University of Hong Kong, 2015).
Impact and Engagement:
- In conversation with Alan Hollinghurst, Guildford Book Festival, 9 October 2017.
- Producer, Awake and Asleep (playwright Jessica Burgess; dir. Tom Crowley; feat. Sophie Attwood, Pippa Caddick, and Peter Wicks), Treadwell’s London, 20-22 July 2016.
Invited Talks & Keynotes
- “Cantillations: Florence Farr, George Bernard Shaw, and W.B. Yeats” (A Woman’s Century: The Art, Life, and Wisdom of Florence Farr, prod. Paper Cage Theatre, London, April 2017).
- “T.S. Eliot, Magic, and Mysticism” (Treadwell’s Books, London, August 2016).
- “The ‘Complete’ Home: The Omega Workshops and Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House” (Chinese University of Hong Kong, September 2015).
- “Authenticity and Engagement in Blended Learning: ‘Authentic’ Learning Management Systems,” New Technologies and the Future of the Humanities (City University of Hong Kong, May 2014).
- “Courseware Branding and Design for a Hands-On Student Interface,” (University of Leeds, March 2011).
- “Annie Besant in Bernard Shaw’s Plays Pleasant”, Annie Besant International Conference (Theosophical Society, London, September 2017).
- “Theosophical Memorialization and Rituals of Mourning in The Waste Land’, European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (University of Erfurt, Germany, June 2017).
- ‘”Cocktail shakers rattled, gramophones discoursed jazz”: Parties, “Late” Style, and Social Acceleration in Evelyn Waugh’s Early Fiction’, Hospitable Modernisms (University of Sussex, May 2016).
- “The Improper Negotiation of Thresholds in Modern British Literature,” The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 (Institute of Advanced Studies, University of London, July 2014).
- “Embodied Narrative Absence: Living for the Present in the ‘Fisher King’ Narrative’, Modernism Now, British Association for Modernist Studies (Institute of Advanced Studies, University of London, June 2014).
- “The Westwood or the McQueen?: Fashion, Disguise, and Power in the Sherlock Holmes Mythos,” Fashion in Fiction: Style Stories and Transglobal Narratives (City University of Hong Kong, June 2014).
- “Building the Modern World: The Architectural Spaces of Shaw’s Drama” Shaw at Home (Conference of the International Shaw Society, London, June 2013).
- “The Thresholds of Interpretation: Reading Henry James at 18, at 28, and Every Decade Thence” Storyville: Exploring Narratives of Learning and Teaching (2nd Annual Higher Education Academy Arts and Humanities Conference, Brighton, May 2013).
- “The Aubrey Beardsley Meme,” Re-imagining the Victorians, (University of Leeds, September 2010).
- “Alan Hollinghurst and the Problems of Contemporary Late Style,” Contemporary Literature and Its Contexts, (University of Manchester, July 2010).
- “Misprision and Desire in Twentieth-Century Readings of Literary Influence,” Mis/Appropriation, (University of Oxford, June 2010).
- “Buried Temples and Open Planes: Alethea Hayter, Alan Hollinghurst, and the Architecture of Drug-Taking,” School of English Research Seminar, (University of Leeds, December 2009).
- “Belgian Symbolism and the Mirror of Pedagogical Influence,” Postgraduate Research Seminar, (University of Leeds, November 2009).
- “Revisiting The Yellow Book in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty,” The Idea of the New, (University College London, March 2008).
- “Restoring Space and Rescripting Baedeker in Forster’s A Room with a View,” Postgraduate Research Seminar, (University of Leeds, November 2007).
- “Hemingway’s Brett Ashley as Modernist Anti-heroine,” Sigma Tau Delta International Conference (Portland, Oregon; March 2006).
- “Social Progress and the Link Between Science and Art in Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House,” Sigma Tau Delta Ohio Conference (Ohio Northern University, November 2005).
- “Working Towards Post-Queerism: Reclamations of a Gay Heritage,” Crossing Over: Learning to Navigate the Borderlands of Intercultural Encounters (Cleveland State University, October 2005)
- Lead Academic (2016), Pump-Priming Award, University of Surrey, £1,873 (completed).
- Lead Academic (2016), Impact and Engagement Award, University of Surrey £1,965 (completed).
- Principal Investigator (2015), ‘Castration, Masculinity and Modernity: 1919-1945’, Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund, HK$219,943 (withdrawn by PI).
- Marjorie G. Wynne Fellowship in British Literature (2014), Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, US$6,000 (completed).
- Principal Investigator (2014-2015), ‘The Wounds of War: The Rise of the Fisher King in Interwar Writing’, City University of Hong Kong Strategic Research Grant, HK$99,537 (completed).
- Principal Investigator (2013-2015), ‘Silence and Absence in the Twentieth Century’, City University of Hong Kong Research Start-Up Grant, HK$183,060 (completed).
- Principal Investigator (2013-2014), ‘Development and Assessment of the Use of an “Authentic Learning Management System” (ALMS) in Undergraduate Literature Education’, City University of Hong Kong Teaching Start-Up Grant, HK$46,997 (completed).
At undergraduate level, I convene 'Modernism', 'The American Century', and 'Magic, Mysticism, and Modernity' as well as lecture on modernism in several introductory modules. At postgraduate level, I convene 'Magic, Mysticism, and Modernity' and contribute to the team-taught module 'Literary Scholarship and Creativity'.
Postgraduate research supervision
- PhD, Georgia van Raalte (AHRC funded), ‘Black Isis, Liquid Gold and Sacred Sex: The Hidden Influence of Hinduism on the Work of Dion Fortune’
- PhD, Lamia Hamidi, ‘Edward Albee and the Discursive Construction of Masculinity’
- PhD, Michelle Rushefsky, ‘The Gothic Contemporaries: Supernatural Elements in Neo- Nineteenth-Century Fiction’ (co-supervisor)
- PhD, Toby Jungius, ‘Narration, Story, and Stop-motion Animation’ (co-supervisor)
- PhD, Stewart Ferris, ‘Wodehouse and Modernist Satire’ (co-supervisor)
- PhD, Gianni Washington, ‘Contemporary Horror’ (co-supervisor)
- PhD, Katrina Marshall, ‘Five Get Into Gender Trouble: A Study of Gender Controversy in the Famous Five Revised Editions’
- PhD, Christopher Hill, ‘Music Figures, Inspiration and the Performance of Identity in the Contemporary Transnational Novel’
- PhD, Stephanie Han, ‘Writing Beyond the Nation: Globality, Aesthetics, and the Asian American Novel’ (co-supervisor)