Staff profile

Dr Andrew Fergus Wilson

Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology

Andrew Fergus Wilson


Social Sciences


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Research centre

Better Society, Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre




One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



Hi, I'm a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology with research interests in environment, extremism, and nationalism particularly where these overlap with different kinds of belief. These research interests inform my teaching across the programmes I work on, especially in the undergraduate modules Green Criminologies and Global Communities and Populism, Extremism, and Violence.

I'm Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology and I teach BSc (Hons) Criminology and BA (Hons) Sociology as well as giving guest lectures on a range of programmes across the University. In all instances my aim is simple: to enrich students' understanding of local and global societies and to appreciate the diverse approaches that they can take in understanding these as social scientists. In so doing I seek to empower students to become adaptive and skilled thinkers and problem solvers who are prepared to meet and respond to the challenges of our complex social worlds.

Teaching responsibilities

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

Professional interests

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority


Recent conferences

Invited Papers

'The Bitter End: Apocalyptic Imagery in belligerent nationalist groups' conspiracist responses to globalised cultures' (invited paper) delivered to The Ethics and Politics of Apocalyptic Imaginaries workshop at the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, 27th November 2015

Other Papers

‘Strata of Enchantment: undoing harmful narratives of place’. European Association for the Study of Religion. Vilnius, Lithuania. 5th September 2023

‘At war with the future: The role of dystopias in terrorist manifestos’. Dark Economies. Falmouth University. 21st July 2021

Organiser of 'Conspiracy theory, politics and representation'. University of Derby and QUAD arts centre, Derby, UK. 3rd July 2019

‘The presence of religio-spiritual collectivism in the discourse of current alt-right and neo-fascist formations’. British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, 10-12 April 2018

'#whitegenocide and the neo-fascist millennium'. CENSAMM "Violence & Millenarian Movements" Conference, 7th April 2017

'The thematic preoccupations governing meaning construction on a White Nationalist web forum'. International Sociological Association Global Forum, Vienna, 10-14 July 2016

'Measuring fear and hate: Developing a scale to quantify components of spiritual nationalism'. Exploring the Extraordinary, York, 4-6 December 2015

'Space is the Place: Outer Space and Extraterrestrial Spiritualities' Cosmographies Conference, Falmouth University, 24-25 July 2014

Co-organiser of 'Nationalism, Identity and Belief'. One day symposium at the University of Derby. 25th March 2013

'The Invisible Empire: Political extremity and myths of origin in the cultic milieu' Mysticism, Myth, Nationalism Conference, University of Exeter, 23 & 24 July 2010.

In the media

BBC World Service, BBC Radio 2, Derby Evening Telegraph, BBC Radio Derby, NewsTalk Radio (Ireland), Straits Times (Singapore)


Recent publications

Journal Articles

(2018) ‘#whitegenocide, the Alt-right and Conspiracy Theory: How Secrecy and Suspicion Contributed to the Mainstreaming of Hate.’ Secrecy and Society 1(2).

(2017) ‘The Bitter End: Apocalypse and conspiracy in white nationalist responses to the ISIL Paris Attacks’. Patterns of Prejudice 51(5), 412-431

(2017) ‘Postcards from the Cosmos: Cosmic Spaces in Alternative Religion and Conspiracy Theories’. The Journal of Astrosociology Volume 2.

(2011) 'Beyond reason: The exotic millennium in English culture' Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. Vol. 23(2). Summer 2011

Book Chapters
(2024 in print) 'Another way to do ethics: Uses of the landscape in the far-right cultural milieu and the ethics of researching them' in Antonia Vaughan, Joan Braune, Meghan Tinsley, Aurelien Mondon (eds.) The Ethics of Researching the Far Right. Manchester: Manchester University Press

(2022) 'Retreat to the Future: The Role of Apocalyptic Thought in Current Ethno-Nationalist Extremism' in Giacomo Loperfido (ed.) Extremism, Society, and the State. Brooklyn: Berghahn Books

(2021) '‘Our Community Could Start Our Own Traditions’: The Commingling of Religion, Politics and the Folkloresque in a Far-Right Groupuscule' in Matthew Cheeseman & Carina Hart (eds.) Folklore and Nation in Britain and Ireland. London: Routledge

(2019) 'The Prism of Lyra: UFO Consciousness and Portals to Cosmic Awareness’ in Jake Poller (ed.) Altered Consciousness in the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge

(2013) 'From Mushrooms to the stars: 2012 and the apocalyptic milieu' in S.Harvey & S.Newcombe (eds.) Prophecy in the New Millennium - When Prophecies Persist. Farnham: Ashgate

(2013) 'See you tomorrow: Apocalyptic Refusal in English Culture' in J.Aston & J.Walliss (eds.) Small Screen Revelations: Apocalypse in Contemporary Television. Sheffield: Phoenix

(2012) 'The Invisible Empire: Political extremity and myths of origin in the networked cultic milieu' in Marion Gibson, Garry Tregidga and Shelley Trower (eds.) Myth, Mysticism, and 'Celtic' Nationalism. London: Routledge

(2011) 'On the outskirts of the new global village: computer-mediated visions of the end.' In Rob G. Howard (ed.) Network Apocalypse: Visions of the End in an Age of Internet Media Sheffield: Phoenix Press