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Dr Alistair Brown

Assistant Professor (Teaching), Digital Humanities and Modern Literature

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor (Teaching), Digital Humanities and Modern Literature in the Department of English StudiesRoom ERA68, Elvet Riverside I+44 (0) 191 33 42564
PDRA in the Business SchoolA124+44 (0) 191 33 40471


I am Assistant Professor (Teaching) in Digital Humanities and Modern Literature, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My research and scholarship interests cover the digital humanities, video game studies, digital pedagogy and learning technology, and the creative industries.

If you're interested in what I do or want to work together, please email or chat with me on Twitter as @alibrown18.


I teach on various modules within English Studies at Durham, including a Level 3 special topic on video games and literary adaptation. Other modules include Literary Theory and the MA dissertation, as well as digital humanities for the Liberal Arts programme.

I am Principal Investigator for 'Theatre in the Round', a scholarship project funded by Durham Centre for Academic Development that examines whether the use of 360 video and virtual reality headsets might enhance students' ability to perceive critical issues in dramatic performance. 

I also collaborate with Dr Teti Dragas on Durham's Digital Storytelling programme, where we pioneered the use of DS in English Studies.

Alongside Durham, I teach as an Associate Lecturer in Arts at the Open University. I previously taught Theory at the University of Sunderland and Singapore University of Social Sciences.


I research broadly in the fields of contemporary fiction, science fiction, and the digital humanities. I am preparing a monograph on Demons of the Digital Age: Artificial Intelligence and Simulation in Literature, Cinema and Video Games and am drafting a second on Video Games and Literary Adaptation.

From November 2017 to March 2019 I was post-doctoral research associate on the project Creative Fuse North East, which seeks to enhance the innovative work of creative, digital and IT businesses by engaging them with universities. I maintain an interest in creativity, the crossover of skills between the arts and humanities and digital, and cultural metrics; this research informs current scholarship projects on equipping English graduates with the digital skills required by the creative industries.

Impact and Engagement

Alongside teaching within the Department I edit and maintain the award-winning research and dissemination blog, Research in English At Durham (READ), and associated social media feeds; this has one of the widest reaches of any English department on social media in the UK.

I have been involved in digital projects in the cultural and education sector since 2003. Recent web developments include Records of Early English Drama North East and the James Shirley Project, which included custom databases and GIS methods for the visualisation of textual and archival data. I have competencies in HTML, CSS, PHP/SQL, Javascript/Ajax. I also serve as technical advisor to the Postgraduate English and Kaleidoscope journals, having led their transition to Open Journal Systems publishing.

Office Hours

Thursdays, 15.30-16.30 (term time). No need to book, just drop in via Zoom.

Research interests

  • Digital humanities
  • Video game narratives
  • Narratology
  • Postmodernism
  • Cyberfiction

Esteem Indicators

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • English Literature & Drama: How video games tell stories, the status of video games as a form of art


Chapter in book

  • Brown, Alistair (2018). Is posthuman incest possible? Science fiction and the futures of the body. In Incest in contemporary literature. Leeson, Miles Manchester University Press.
  • Brown, Alistair (2014). The Sense of an Ending: The Computer Game Fallout 3 as a Serial Fiction. In Serialization in Popular Culture. Allen, Rob & van den Berg, Thijs Routledge.
  • Brown, Alistair (2014). Renaissance Demons and Posthuman Cyborgs: Ambroise Paré’s On Monsters and Marvels and Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto”. In Unnatural Reproductions and Monstrosity: The Birth of the Monster in Literature, Film, and Media. Wood, Andrea & Shillace, Brandy Cambria.
  • Brown, Alistair (2011). E-Volutionary Fictions: The Darwinian Algorithm in Literature and Computer Games. In The Evolution of Literature in European Cultures. Saul, Nicholas & James, Simon Rodopi.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Brown, Alistair (2014). What Makes a Videogame Great? Problems of Videogame Aesthetics. Art Pulse 20(6): 46-49.

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Brown, Alistair (2019). Creative cities and the future of higher education. Blog.
  • Brown, Alistair (2018). Making Pictures Speak. Website.