School of English

This page shows the staff for the University of Nottingham's School of English in the UK. Please see here for the School of Education and English in China and the School of English in Malaysia.

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Richard Fallon

Postdoctoral KE Fellow, Faculty of Arts



BA, MA, and PhD: University of Leicester

Teaching Summary

I am not currently teaching, but I have recently taught modules on Gothic literature, Victorian literature, Decadence and Modernism, Romanticism, and poetry.

Research Summary

My research explores interactions and overlaps between literature and science, focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, I am interested in literary culture's… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My research explores interactions and overlaps between literature and science, focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, I am interested in literary culture's relationship with geology and palaeontology, often with reference to the topics of popularisation, belief, and fringe science. In addition to studying famous novelists like Arthur Conan Doyle, H. G. Wells, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, I have examined texts by significant figures in the field of science and religion, including the psychometer Elizabeth Denton, the Theosophist H. P. Blavatsky, and the young-earth creationist George McCready Price.

My current project is undertaken in partnership with the Natural History Museum (NHM), where I am working in the Collections and Culture research theme to help unlock the Museum's potential for Arts and Humanities research. This institution has been a recurring theme in my previous work: Conan Doyle, for example, communicated with the NHM not only about the discovery of dinosaur footprints near his house but also about his purported sighting of a living Ichthyosaurus, while an eccentric model of Diplodocus, constructed during WW1 by the science writer H. N Hutchinson and now held by the NHM, led to an intriguing but little-known literary controversy.

Past Research

I recently completed the project 'Borderline Geoscience and Transatlantic Literature in the Age of Lost Worlds', the focus of my Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship at the University of Birmingham. This project, focused on the period 1860-1930, examined how creationists, hollow-earthers, occultists, and theorists of Atlantis challenged elite science in the name of religion, humanism, and democracy. As I demonstrated, these thinkers crafted precarious textual spaces where differences in scientific expertise could be levelled away - from Cuthbert Collingwood's epic poem A Vision of Creation (1872) and John Uri Lloyd's eccentric novel Etidorhpa (1895) to George McCready Price's young-earth textbook The New Geology (1923). My project also examined how maverick writings like these were appropriated by science fiction authors such as H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Previously, my research focused on British and American literature's role in making 'dinosaur' a household word during the fin de siècle and the early twentieth century. My work showed how popular authors skillfully related dinosaurs - then being unearthed in significant numbers in the American West - to wider concerns about empire, progress, and faith; some of the most prominent, like Arthur Conan Doyle and H. N. Hutchinson, also disparaged elite scientists, undermining distinctions between scientific and imaginative writing. This research led to my first monograph, Reimagining Dinosaurs in Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature: How the 'Terrible Lizard' Became a Transatlantic Cultural Icon (2021).

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900