Dr Dominic O'Key

School of English

Leverhulme Fellow

Dominic O'Key
Profile picture of Dominic O'Key

Full contact details

Dr Dominic O'Key
School of English
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

I am a literary scholar and cultural critic. I joined the School of English in 2021 as Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. Before this I was based at the University of Leeds. I completed a PhD in English and Comparative Literature in 2019, and then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the AHRC-funded project 'Thinking Through Extinction'.

Research interests
My research spans literary studies, critical theory and the environmental humanities. I have published on a range of topics, including postcolonial literature, book prizes and publishing cultures, documentary film, posthumanist theory and museums. I sit on the Editorial Board of Humanimalia, the human-animal studies journal; I was previously Associate Editor at parallax.
Above all else I am interested in how writers write about animals. And it is this primary concern that animates my first book, Creaturely Forms in Contemporary Literature: Narrating the War Against Animals (Bloomsbury, 2022). The book theorizes how literary forms can unsettle the fiction of human supremacy. It argues that writers like W. G. Sebald, J. M. Coetzee, Mahasweta Devi, Arundhati Roy and Richard Powers use literature to craft alternative, "creaturely" forms of relation between humans and our animal neighbours.
At Sheffield I am working on a new project about literature, postcolonial thought, human-animal relations and the "native–invasive" paradigm. Provisionally titled Postcolonial Pests, the project explores literary works which help us make sense of the links between colonial history, human-wildlife conflict, conservation and extinction.
Alongside this I am a co-organiser of Serious Play, a research project based at the University of Leeds which explores how role-playing games might inspire new methods of research and teaching practice.
Teaching activities

I have experience delivering lectures, seminars, and one-to-one tuition across a range of modules on poetry, prose, literary theory, cultural studies and the philosophy of science. I hold an Associate Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).