Keith Williams

+44 (01382) 384906
Senior Lecturer in English

Research Interests

Research Interests

Dr Williams' research interests include:

  • literature and culture of the pre-1945 period;
  • special emphasis on H.G. Wells and James Joyce;
  • interdisciplinary interests, especially in writing and cinematicity, documentary and reportage.

AHRC funded studentships are available in these research areas - more details.

He is currently supervising an AHRC-funded doctoral research project on 'The Gendering of the Visual: Katherine Mansfield and Visual Culture'.

Dr Williams is Chair of the Scottish Word and Image Group (SWIG) which researches aspects of the relationship between verbal and visual representation and holds its annual conferences in early summer. He is also a member of the Executive Board of IAWIS/AIERTI and of the editorial board of the Wellsian: the Journal of the H.G. Wells Society.

SWIG hosted the major international conference, ‘Riddles of Form: Exploration and Discovery in Word and Image’, the 10th Triennial Conference of the International Association for Word and Image Studies / Association Internationale pour Étude des Rapports entre Texte et Image (IAWIS/AIERTI) at the University of Dundee (11-15 August 2014). See:

2015’s conference (SWIG’s 22nd) will be on ‘Afterlives: Reviving and Remediating in Word and Image’.

He is currently researching for another monograph: James Joyce and Cinematicity.




James Joyce and Cinematicity: Before and After Film (Edinburgh UP, forthcoming 2017)

Riddles of Form: Exploration and Discovery in Word and Image, co-edited and introduced with Chris Murray, Jan Baetens and Sophie Stokes-Aymes (Amsterdam: Rodopi, forthcoming 2017)

Critical introduction to Caroline Brown and Matthew Jarron (eds.) Joseph Lee, Poems from the Great War (Dundee: Discovery Press, 2014).

H.G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007), vii + 279 pp.

Rewriting the Thirties: Modernism & After , ed. with Steven Matthews (London: Longman, 1997), vii + 221 pp.

British Writers and the Media 1930-45 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996), x + 285 pp.

Online Collection

Edited Online Scottish Word and Image Group/WCS Collection, with Christopher Murray, Rachel Jones and Hamid van Koten, Debating the Difference: Essays on Gender, Representation and Self-Representation (June 2010).


‘Scientific Romance and the “Emergence of cinematic time”’, in Modern Time (ed.) Trish Ferguson (London: Palgrave, forthcoming 2016).

‘Time and Motion Studies: Joycean Cinematicity in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’, in Cinematicity: 1895 Before and After, ed. by Jeffrey Geiger and Karin Littau (Edinburgh: EUP, 2013).

‘“The Magic Lantern Business”? Dubliners and Pre-Cinema’, in James Joyce in the Nineteenth Century, ed. by John Nash(Cambridge: CUP, 2013).

Multiple entries on versions of The Time Machine, The Food of the Gods, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The First Men in the Moon, Le Voyage dans la Lune, in When Worlds Collide: The Critical Companion to Science Fiction Film Adaptations, ed. by Peter Wright (Liverpool: LUP, in press).

‘Auden and the Cinema’, in W.H. Auden in Context, ed. by Tony Sharpe(Cambridge: CUP, Autumn 2013).

'Odysseys of Sound and Image: "Cinematicity" and the Ulysses Adaptations', in Roll Away the Reel World: Joyce and the Cinema, ed. by John McCourt (Cork: Cork UP, October 2010), pp. 156-71.

'The War of the Worlds', in The Literary Encyclopaedia, ed. by Robert Clark et al (published June 2009) <>

'Alien Gaze: Postcolonial Vision in The War of the Worlds', in H.G. Wells: New Directions, ed. by Steve McLean (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008).

‘Seeing the Future: Visual Technology and Dystopia in Wells and Lang’, in Urban Mindscapes of Europe, ed. by Godela Weiss-Sussex and Franco Bianchini, European Studies: An Interdisciplinary Series in European Culture, History and Politics (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006), pp. 127-45.

‘Post-War Broadcast Drama,’, in The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Literature, ed. by Laura Marcus and Peter Nicholls (Cambridge: CUP, 2005), pp. 474-93.

Entries on Graham Greene, Humphrey Jennings and J. B. Priestley, in The Encyclopaedia of Documentary Film, ed. by Ian Aitken (London: Taylor and Francis, 2005), vol 1, pp. 520-22, vol 2, pp. 679-85 and vol 3, pp. 1073-75.

'Short Cuts of the Hibernian Metropolis: Cinematic Strategies in Dubliners', in A New and Complex Sensation: Essays on Joyce’s Dubliners, ed. by Oona King (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2004), pp. 154-67.

‘Symphonies of the Big City: Modernism, Cinema and Urban Modernity’, in The Great London Vortex: Modernist Literature and Art, ed. by Paul Edwards (Bath: Sulis Press, 2003), pp. 31-50.

‘Ulysses in Toontown: “Vision Animated to Bursting Point” in Joyce’s “Circe”’, in Literature and Visual Technologies: Writing After Cinema , ed. by Julian Murphet and Lydia Rainford (Houndmills: Palgrave Mcmillan, 2003), pp. 96-121.

'Back from the Future: Katherine Burdekin and Science Fiction in the 1930s', in Women Writers of the 1930s: Gender, Politics, History, ed. by Maroula Joannou (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), pp. 151-64.

'Post/Modern Documentary: Orwell, Agee and the New Reportage', in Rewriting the Thirties: Modernism and After, ed. with Steven Matthews (Longman, 1997), pp. 163-181.

'Joyce's 'Chinese Alphabet': Ulysses and the Proletarians', in Irish Writing: Exile and Subversion, ed. by N Sammells and P Hyland (Macmillan, 1991), pp. 173-87.

Articles and Lectures


Interviewed by Sarah Dellmann on my research on James Joyce and the Magic Lantern (in Epub Newsletter of the Magic Lantern Society of the United States and Canada, pp.7-8.)

'"Sperrits in the Furniture": Wells, Joyce and Animation' (5,000 words), in Matthew Creasy and Bryony Randall (eds.) Alternative 1910s, a special number of Literature and History, 22/1 (Spring 2013), pp.95-110.

‘Ghosts from the Machine: H.G. Wells and Technologisation of the Uncanny’ (6000 words), in The Wellsian, 33(2010), pp.20-41.

‘Victorian Cinematicity and H.G. Wells’s Early Scientific Romances’ (4000 words), in ‘Cinematicity: 1895 Before and After’, ed. Jeffrey Geiger and Karin Littau, a special number of Comparative Critical Studies, 6, 3 (2009), pp.347-60.

Review article (2000 words), onJohn Rieder, Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2008), in The Wellsian, 32 (2009), pp.63-68.

‘“Seeing the Future”: Urban Dystopia in Wells and Lang’, in Urban Mindscapes of Europe, a special number of European Studies: An Interdisciplinary Series in European Culture, History and Politics, ed. Godela Weiss-Sussex and Franco Bianchini, 23 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006), pp.127-45 (5000 words).

‘The Dis/Appearance of the Subject: Wells, Whale and The Invisible Man’ in The Undying Fire (Annual of the H.G. Wells Society of the Americas) (2003), pp.37-64 (6,000 words).

‘James Joyce and Early Cinema’, leading article in James Joyce Broadsheet, no.58, (February 2000) (3,000 words.).

‘“The Unpaid Agitator”: Joyce’s influence on George Orwell and James Agee’, James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 36, no. 4 (Summer 1999), pp.729-64 (double-length article, i.e. 12,000 words).

‘Portraits of a Portrait: The Style is the Man’, leading article in the James Joyce Broadsheet (Summer 1994) (3,500 words).

‘“History as I Saw It”: Inter-War New Reportage’, in Literature and History (Autumn 1992), pp.39-54 (5000 words).

‘“The Will to Objectivity”: Egon Erwin Kisch’s Der rasende Reporter’, in Modern Language Review (January 1990), pp.94-106 (5000 words).


‘Seeing the Future: H.G. Wells and the Moving’, film talk and special screening at Dundee Contemporary Arts (4/12/16).

‘Robert Duncan Milne: Rediscovering Scotland’s H. G. Wells’: public seminar at University of Dundee co-led with Barry Sullivan, PG student and D.C. Thomson Archivist (21/11/16).

‘H.G. Wells: Discoverer of the Future’, Lunchbox Talk on that year’s Dundee Literary Festival book, The Time Machine, for H.G. Wells 150th anniversary (20 October 2016).

‘H.G. Wells and the Cinema as Time Machine’ and 'The Camera of the Heat Ray: Prophetic Vision in The War of the Worlds’, public lectures for programme of screenings at ‘Wells in Woking: 150th Anniversary, 1866-2016’ (22-23 September 2016).

‘Dissolving Moments’: Magic Lanternism and the Fiction of James Joyce, Invited lecture at International Summer Experience, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (14 July 2016).

‘Now you see him, now you don’t: Electronic (Absent) Presence and H.G. Wells’s The Invisible Man, invited lecture to Master’s in Engineering students at the University of Lausanne, as part of their module on the cultural history of technology (14 October 2015).

‘H.G. Wells and Cinematicity’, invited international keynote at two day bi-lingual research  seminar for Swiss doctoral students in Art History hosted at Lausanne (Journées CUSO 1-2-juin 2015, ‘Les relations entre textes et images’).

‘Seeing the Future: Urban Dystopia in H.G. Wells and Fritz Lang‘, invited keynote at ‘Brave New Worlds: The Dystopia in Modern and Contemporary Fiction’ at the University of Newcastle (29 – 30 April 2015).

Public talk on ‘Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion Studies, Early Film and Scientific Romance’ as part of the University’s ‘Bodies in Motion’ season, at the D’Arcy Thompson Zoological Museum (24 March, 2015).

Public talk on Joseph Lee’s poetry at ‘Winter Words’ Literary Festival in Pitlochry (15/2/15).

Public talk on Joseph Lee’s poetry at launch of Caroline Brown and Matthew Jarron (eds.) Joseph Lee, Poems from the Great War (Dundee: Discovery Press, 2014) at Dundee Literary Festival, University of Dundee  (22 October 2014).

Talk on War Poetry and co-organiser of JOOT Theatre dramatised poetry readings, at BBC Great War at Home event (Dundee Caird Hall, 1 August 2014) and at the StAnza poetry festival in St Andrews (8 March 2014).

‘Time and Motion Studies: Joycean Cinematicity in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’, invited lecture at School of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex (4 March, 2014).

'"Homo Cinematographicus": H.G. Wells, James Joyce and Modern Visual Culture', invited lecture and PG seminar at the School for English and Translation Studies, Universidad de Vigo (18 April, 2013). On-line version at:

‘Time and Motion Studies: Joycean Cinematicity in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’, invited lecture at the School of English, University of Edinburgh (1 February, 2013).

‘James Joyce and Cinematicity’, invited lecture to the MDRN Research Group, Faculty of Arts, University of Leuven, Belgium (28 Nov., 2012). On-line version at:

‘Little Green Man’s Burden: Postcolonial satire in H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds and Kurd Lasswitz’s Auf Zwei Planeten’, guest lecture to the faculties of English and Education at Universität von Würzburg (23 October, 2012).

‘The I/Eye of the Camera: Documentary and the Cinematic Gaze in Goodbye to Berlin’, invited lecture at Scottish Universities International Summer School (21 July, 2011).

‘H.G.Wells and Cinema – Turning Science fiction into science fact’, Arts Café talk as part of Dundee Science Festival  (MacManus Gallery, 1 November, 2011) on-line version:

‘Odysseys of Sound and Image: “Cinematicity” and the Ulysses Adaptations’, invited lecture at ‘Roll Away the Reel World: James Joyce e il Cinema’ conference celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Volta (part of Alpe Adria Film Festival, Trieste, January 2009).

Invited keynote speaker at the AGM of the H.G. Wells Society, on the subject of my new monograph on H.G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies (London, 14 June, 2008).

‘Joyce and Cinematicity’, guest lecture to Modern and Contemporary Research Group, University of Leeds (7 May, 2009).

‘Ghosts in the Machine: Cinema as Technology of the Uncanny in H.G. Wells’, keynote speech at ‘Paranormal Film Festival’, Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre, (October 2004).

‘Ulysses in Toontown: Visual Magic in Joyce’s ‘Circe’, keynote lecture at ‘Enchantment, Fancy and the Creative Imagination’, Scottish Word and Image Group annual conference, University of Aberdeen (May 2003).

‘Short Cuts of the Hibernian Metropolis: Cinematic Strategies in Dubliners’, invited paper at inaugural Northern Modernism Seminar, Sheffield Hallam University (May 2003).

‘Hearts and Mines: Documentary and Utopianism in George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier’, lecture at Scottish Universities International Summer School (July 2002).

‘Bêtes Noires and Best Fables: Orwell, Modernism and Animal Farm’, lecture at Scottish Universities International Summer School (in both July 2000 and 2001).

‘Film-Maker Manqué: James Joyce, Ulysses and the Cinema’, guest lecture at Oxford Brookes University (May 2000).

‘Modernism and the Movies: Wells as Precursor’, guest lecture at University of St. Andrews (February 2000).

‘Modernism and the Movies: Wells as Precursor’, guest lecture at Sheffield Hallam University (November 1999).

‘“What Did Mae West Think of Molly Bloom?” Writing and Film in the 1930s’, guest lecture at University of Glasgow (December 1997).

‘Modernism, Film and the City’, guest lecture at University of Northumbria at Newcastle (April 1995).