Allan Johnson

Dr Allan Kilner-Johnson

Associate Dean (Doctoral College) & Senior Lecturer in English Literature
BA (Baldwin-Wallace), MA (Leeds), PhD (Leeds)
+44 (0)1483 683122
11 AD 02


Areas of specialism

Literary modernism; Modernism and mass culture; Sexuality and desire; Literary architecture; Western esotericism; Psychoanalysis

University roles and responsibilities

  • Director of Postgraduate Research for English Literature, Creative Writing, and Film Studies

    My qualifications

    PhD, English Literature
    University of Leeds
    MA, Twentieth-Century Literature
    University of Leeds
    BA, English with Art History
    Baldwin-Wallace College

    Previous roles

    2013 - 2016
    Assistant Professor of English Literature
    City University of Hong Kong
    2012 - 2012
    Associate Lecturer
    Birkbeck, University of London

    Affiliations and memberships

    Royal Society of Arts
    Associate Fellow
    Higher Education Academy


    Research interests

    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).

      Conference Papers

      • “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)

      Grant Capture:

      • 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).


      Postgraduate research supervision

      My teaching

      My publications


      (2017) Masculine Identity in Modernist Literature: Castration, Narration, and a Sense of the Beginning, 1919-1945, London: Palgrave Macmillan
      (2014) Alan Hollinghurst and the Vitality of Influence, London: Palgrave Macmillan
      (2017) ‘The Pleasure of Conspicuous Leisure in Sister Carrie and The House of Mirth’, English Studies
      (2016) ‘Architectural Space and the Failures of ‘Complete’ Houses in Heartbreak House’, SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, (2016) 36:2, 203-14.
      (2016) ‘“The doors would be taken off their hinges”: Space, Place, and Architectural Absence in Virginia Woolf’, English Studies, (2016) 97:4, 412-419.
      (2016) ‘Designing “Authenticity” in Digital Learning Environments’, Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, (2016) 9
      (2015) ‘Thresholds of Interpretation: Identifying, Producing, and Supporting with The Turn of the Screw’ CEA Critic (Journal of the College English Association) (2015) 77.2, 196-210.
      (2015) ‘The Authentic and Artificial Histories of Mechanical Reproduction in Doctorow’s Ragtime’, Orbis Litterarum, (2015) 72:2, 89-107.
      (2014) ‘It’s Vestimentary, My Dear Watson: Fashion, Disguise, and Criminality in Sherlock’, Film, Fashion and Consumption, (2014) 4:2, 115-127.
      (2013) ‘Buried Temples and Open Planes: Alethea Hayter, Alan Hollinghurst, and the Architecture of Drug-Taking’, Textual Practice, (2013), 27:7, 1177-1195.
      (2009) ‘Ambrose Silk, The Yellow Book, and The Ivory Tower: Influence and Jamesian Aesthetics in Put Out More Flags’, Evelyn Waugh Studies, (2009), 40:2.
      (2018) ‘Decadence in the Time of AIDS’, Decadence: A Literary History, ed. Alex Murray (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).
      (2018) ‘“A gay story, a history”: Gay Male Liberation and Queer Rumination’, Accelerated Times, Volume 5: British Literature in Transition, 1980-2000, eds Berthold Schoene and Eileen Pollard (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).
      (2009) ‘Voices and Language in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land’, T.S. Eliot, ed. John Paul Riquelme (Ipswich: Salem Press, 2009).
      (2009) ‘Modernity and Anxiety in Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, Dracula, ed. Jack Lynch (Ipswich: Salem Press, 2009).
      (2008) ‘”You are not, not, not to look at your Baedeker”: Renovation of Space and the Mediating Presence of Baedeker’s Northern Italy in E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View’, Origins of English Literary Modernism, 1870-1914. ed. by Gregory Tague (Palo Alto, CA.: Academica, 2008).
      (2011) Review of Gregory Currie, Narratives and Narrators: A Philosophy of Stories, in Notes and Queries, (2011), 58:3.
      (2010) Review of Madelyn Detloff, The Persistence of Modernism: Loss and Mourning in the Twentieth Century, in Notes and Queries, (2010), 57:2.
      (2009) Review of Nicholas Freeman, Conceiving the City: London, Literature, and Art 1870- 1914, in Notes and Queries, (2009), 56:1.
      Allan Kilner-Johnson (2020) 'Bernard Shaw's Gnostic Genius', SHAW: The Journal of Bernard Shaw Studies, 20:2.
      Allan Kilner-Johnson (2020) (at press) '"[God] is a flaming Hebrew letter": Esoteric Camp in Angels in America', Literature and Theology.