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. I draw on critical theory and cultural studies, 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.

Research interests

I am research active in four areas. I supervise four 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 alongside printers such as Erwin Blok.

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. I was the principal investigator for No Picnic. This resulted in an edited collection and included the work of three research assistants and five researchers.

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 neoliberalism in culture. In my creative non-fiction, I am particularly interested in understanding British culture, class and notions of Britishness, Englishness and America in UK popular culture across the long 20th century, but especially 1930s–1990s.

I am interested in the introduction of youth consumerism in Britain, growth in media, nightclubs, the internet and archives and notions of the past and the future. I have published on Star Trek's Spock, using the 'reboot' as a means of understanding neoliberal subjectivity.

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. Alongside the artist Paul Bareham, I have published a series of creative interventions into the haunted archive, The British Esperantist.

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? How can teaching and learning be made more relevant to student experience? 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. Some recent work aims to critique the impact agenda and public engagement.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences


‘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 Director 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 2017 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 in 2015.

Additional interests and activities

I collect records and books!

Recent publications


Cheeseman, M. (editor) (2017) On the water, Southampton: Solent Press, 128 pages.

Cheeseman, M. (editor) (2017) Route 57 Issue 13: Don’t add up, London: Spirit Duplicator, 234 pages.

Cheeseman, M. (editor) (2016) Atlantis, London: Spirit Duplicator, 45 page risograph print.

Cheeseman, M. (editor) (2016) Route 57 Issue 12: If Anything Younger, London: Spirit Duplicator, 234 pages.

Cheeseman, M. and Piette, A. (volume eds.) (2015) Route 57 Issue 11: The Feisty Font Review, London: NATCECT, 234 pages.

Cheeseman, M. (ed.) (2014) NO PICNIC: Explorations in art and research, London: NATCECT & AND Publishing, 108 pages.

Chapters—in Print

Cheeseman, M (2019) 'Dracula’s fangs' in The Derby Critical Edition of Dracula Derby: Peregrine.

Cheeseman, M (2018) 'Bruno Schulz' in Wretched strangers: transnational poetries edited by Ágnes Lehóczky and JT Welsch, Norwich: Boiler House Press.

Cheeseman, M (2018) 'Like a ghost out of nowhere' in Multivoices in research: a script by researchers, London: Sprit Duplicator.

Cheeseman, M and Forrest, D. (2018) ‘The narrative nightclub: British cinema and the dance floor’ in Bentley, N, Johnson, B and Zieleniec, A (eds) Youth subcultures in fiction, film and other media: teenage dreams, Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and
Popular Music, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cheeseman, M (2018) ‘How to win at being a student’ in Higher education and social inequalities: university admissions, experiences and outcomes edited by Waller, R, Ingram, N and Ward, MRM, London: Routledge.

Cheeseman, M (2018) 'On going out and the experience of students' in Students in Britain and Ireland, edited by Burkett, J, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cheeseman, M. (2017) ‘Techniques to encourage early and frequent writing’ in Daley, R., Guccione, K., Hutchinson, S. and Wilkinson, J. (eds.) 53 Ways to Enhance Researcher Development, Newmarket: Frontinus.

Cheeseman, M. (2015) ‘Who groks Spock? Emotion in the neoliberal market’ in Resist! Against a precarious future, edited by Ray Filar, London: Lawrence and Wishart, p. 134–141.

Cheeseman, M. (2014) 'Popular music and the breast' in Cultural Encyclopaedia of the Breast, edited by Smith, M., New York: Rowman & Littlefield, p. 174–176.

Cheeseman, M. (2012) 'In the Dead of the Night' in Radical Futures 2, edited by Coatman, C. and Shrubsole, G., London: Lawrence and Wishart (in association with Soundings Journal).

Refereed Journals—in Print

Hammond, N., Cheeseman, M., Chantry, A. and Peng, A. (2015) ‘Visual methods, surviving cancer and sexuality: a reflection on negotiating ethical issues and developing academic/artistic partnerships’ in Journal of Families, Relationships and Societies 4 (3), p. 483–492.

Cheeseman, M. (2014) '360° Answers in (Re)Presenting the Archive,' edited by Faulkner, M., Regis, A., Rhatigan, E. and Williams, G., Archive Journal Issue 4: Publishing The Archive. Available at: [Last accessed 14/07/14].

Cheeseman, M. (2011) 'We will not disrupt your education' in Roundhouse Journal, No. 2, 'Reimagining the University', p. 10–11.

Cheeseman, M. (2008) 'The impact of a 24 hour library on the student experience at the University of Sheffield' in Anthropopages, No. 7–8, Groupe de Recherches et d'Actions en Ethnologie et en Anthropologie, p. 125–137.

Non-refereed abstracts, reports & other publications

Cheeseman, M (2019) ‘Foreword’ in Lesser Spotted Folk Devils, Doncaster: Miracle Pond.

Cheeseman, M (2017) Rachel Heller: pastels and other works, Cork: Doswell Gallery.

Cheeseman, M. (2016) ‘Introduction’ in The Art of Rachel Heller, London: Flowers.

Cheeseman, M. (2015) ‘Eggheads’, article on Open Democracy, published on 14/12/2015. URL: [Accessed on 20/03/2016].

Cheeseman, M. (2015) Florian Roithmayr, the authority of other scientists, Brussels: MOTINTERNATIONAL and Sheffield: Site.

Cheeseman, M. (2014) In Absence Of The Smoky God, Sheffield: Site.

Cheeseman, M., Hammond, N., Chantry, A. and Peng, A. (eds.) (2014) Phoenix Project: Surviving Cancer, Sheffield: NATCECT.

Cheeseman, M. (2013) 'Testing Ground' in Furnace Park, edited by Amanda Crawley Jackson, Sheffield: PlastiCities.

Cheeseman, M. (2013) Noise And Dissonance, Tract Issue 2, published by Article and PlastiCities.

Cheeseman, M. (2003) 'Introduction' in Rachel Heller—New Work, London: Angela Flowers Gallery.

Cheeseman, M. (2003) 'Introduction to John Gibbons' in The Post Industrial Landscape, Prague: Czech Museum of Fine Art.

Creative publications

Cheeseman, M, Collignon, F and Miller, J (eds.) (2019) The Dictionary of Neoliberal Terms volumes 1, 2 and 3, London: Spirit Duplicator.

Cheeseman, M. (ed.) (2016–19), Journal of Imaginary Research volumes 1–3, Sheffield: NATCECT.

Cheeseman, M (2017) 'Recalling the structure' in Uncommon building by Honor Gavin and Adam Kaasa, London: Spirit Duplicator.

Cheeseman, M (2016) ‘On rigidity, Reus and Reich’ in BVB, edited by Fabienne Collignon, Sheffield: privately published.

Cheeseman, M (2016) Why use mimeograph?, mimeographed sheet

Bareham, P. and Cheeseman, M. (2014–2017), The British Esperantist, 1–10, Sheffield: Spirit Duplicator.

Cheeseman, M. (2013) 'The Heart, The Centre' in Route 57, Issue 9.

Cheeseman, M. (2013) 'Five Pounds' in Wordwards, edited by Lehóczky, Á. and Piette, A., Sheffield: School of English.

Cheeseman, M. (2008) 'Notes from the Alliteration Conference' in Route 57, Issue 4.

Cheeseman, M. (2007) 'Everything on an envelope' in Route 57, Issue 2.


Cheeseman, M. (dir.) (2014) Swaying for the Lens: The Haxey Hood, narrated by Fournier, L., edited by Lepiorz, J. 40 mins.

Cheeseman, M. (dir.) (2008) Night after night: costume and performance amongst Sheffield Students, 15 mins.

Cheeseman, M. (dir.) (2008) White T-Shirt, Black Marker: Mapping the Undergraduate Body, 15 mins.