Staff profile

Dr Matthew Cheeseman

Associate Professor of Creative Writing


English, Creative Writing and Publishing


College of Arts, Humanities and Education



Research centre

Identity, Culture and Representation Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a writer, researcher and teacher. I work across fiction and non-fiction, often in collaboration with artists and designers in the creation and publication of books, pamphlets and other things. At the University of Derby, I am an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Programme Leader for MA Creative Writing.

Teaching responsibilities

For the MA Creative Writing, I am the Module Leader for:

I also teach on:

For the BA Creative and Professional Writing, I am the Module Leader for:

I also teach on:

For the BA Writing and Publishing, I am the Module Leader for:

Professional interests

I run Spirit Duplicator, a small press dedicated to publishing poetry, fiction and theory in attractive editions. It was founded in 2015 and named after an old copier that printed in a purple ink that (allegedly) caused intoxication when inhaled. The press owns a spirit duplicator (a Roneo Model 50) but most of the pamphlets and books are produced using digital or risograph.

I am one of the editors of the Journal of Imaginary Research. The journal publishes fictional research abstracts and imaginary researchers. They are constructed by real academic staff, research staff, and research students every November in Global Academic Writing Month. 

Research interests

I am research active in four areas. I supervise two PhD students and am accepting more. My research areas are:

Visual and material culture of writing

I am interested in the impact of design on both composition and the organisation of text. This emerged from my collaboration with the Swiss designers Go! Grafik in producing three editions of the creative writing journal Route 57. This led to founding the small press Spirit Duplicator. Our production processes often privilege design in the writing process. So far, we have published 20 books, which has led me to think about and experiment with technologies such as the Roneo Duplicators and Gestetner Mimeographs.

Co-production and interdisciplinary research

I work with and through creative and critical writing, performance and visual arts to answer interdisciplinary research questions or explore an area of research interest.

Some of my work in this area is focused in the medical humanities. As a member of Phoenix, I developed comics for use by cancer survivors in navigating their sex lives post chemotherapy. This work led me into becoming a core network member of the AHRC Videogame Network focusing on the development of games and apps in aiding the play of children in hospital.

I also led another network for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Translating Performance, which focused on understanding asylum seeker and refugee performances in Sheffield.

The cultural development of neoliberalism

Much of my creative practice in fiction is focused on exploring contemporary capitalism. I am interested in diverse things, the body, the night-time economy, digitality and notions of the past and the future. I have published on Star Trek's Spock, using the 'reboot' as a means of understanding the mind.

My public engagement work, especially with the Showroom cinema and with music culture in Sheffield, has developed my thinking and publications in this area. In so doing, I have staged two major exhibitions and many performances, some of them on the first site of Western Works, Cabaret Voltaire's studio in Sheffield.

Higher education

I am interested in radical education, youth, protest and the student experience both in fiction (campus/varsity novels) and in the higher education (HE) sector today. I have done much work via the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) on a national level organising and commenting on the experience of higher education by students.

I am particularly interested in the monetisation of education, protest and the role higher education institutions have in the widest definition of student experience. This experience encompasses the night-time economy, the business of pleasure and student culture.

Where and how can resistance and critical thinking be fostered and political engagement encouraged? How can student experience be represented in texts? I am especially interested in lad culture and masculinity, youth and banter, chants and blason populaire (the use of stereotypes) and has published in all these areas.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences


‘Dracula’s fangs’ at Folklore on Screen, 13–14 September, Sheffield Hallam University.

‘Public engagement, research impact and some awkward places I have found myself in' at East Midlands Doctoral Network Conference, Sep 2019, University of Derby.

'Graphic medicine and impact' at Queerying Graphic Medicine—Paradigms, Power and Practices, July 2019, University of Sussex.

‘Q:—? A:—. Q:—?’ at Great Writing, July 2019, Imperial College London.

‘Not the path’, part of the panel ‘When walking and writing merge—exploring the potentials and limits of ethnographic writing’ at Ethnography with a Twist, February 2019, University of Jyväskylä.


'Dictionary of neoliberal terms' at Great Writing, Imperial College London.

'Friday drinks' at Working life: belief, custom, ritual, narrative: The Folklore Society Annual Conference, Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading.

'How to win at being a student', Identity, Community and Social Solidarity: BSA Annual Conference, April 2018, Northumbria University.


'Absent pilot' at Edge Poetics, a Symposium on innovative and speculative creative writing practices in Higher Education, University of Bedford.

'Like a ghost out of nowhere' at Multi-voices in Research: Co-Interpreting Art and Architecture, East Street Arts, Leeds.

'Writing, print and the mimeograph' at Great Writing conference, Imperial College, London.

'The liminoid and the student experience of Higher Education' at Folklore from the cradle to the grave: The Folklore Society Annual Conference, Edinburgh.

'Case study' at The Experience of AHRC-funded Early Career Researchers in Themes and Programmes, AHRC, hosted by Birmingham City University.


'Spock, neoliberalism and one other alien' at The Anti-University Festival, London.

‘Reading Heidegger and watching porn’ at Workshop: Themes From Heidegger, University of Leeds.

Roundtable in Humanities and Beyond: Exploring the Frontiers of Interdisciplinarity, University of York.

The sting of intoxication at Fluid Physicalities, Birkbeck, University of London.

Experience in industry

I am a Trustee of Bloc Projects, the contemporary art gallery in Sheffield. 

My essay-based creative practice has resulted in commissions for a number of creative artists, such as Matt Stokes for a show at Site Gallery in Sheffield and Florian Roithmayr, to accompany shows in Brussels, Sheffield and London.

For three years, I was on the panel of judges for a national book award.

International experience

My press, Spirit Duplicator, operates between the USA, UK and Switzerland. I have recently produced books for Theatrum Mundi, which launched at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

I co-convened the Student Experience Network for the SRHE for five years.

I have given many papers at international conferences and seminars. I was invited to lecture at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

I am a Mentor on MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Writing at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, USA.

Additional interests and activities

I collect records and books!

Recent publications


Chapters—in Print

Refereed Journals—in Print

Non-refereed abstracts, reports & other publications

Creative publications