Dr Oliver Belas

Senior Lecturer

Oliver Belas

I have been an educator – working in HE, secondary education (as a classroom assistant and teacher), and HE again – since 2005. I joined the University of Bedfordshire’s School of Education and English (SEE), where I teach on the Education and English Literature degrees, in January 2018.

I am Course Coordinator for both the School’s Foundation Year (Level 3 equivalent) and BA(Hons) Education degree. Please feel free to contact me directly about either course at oliver.belas@beds.ac.uk

My research interests are in philosophy, education, and English, and I am keen to hear from potential PhD candidates interested in working in these areas. I have published a number of academic and more generalist pieces (see below), and I am currently writing a monograph – to be published by Routledge as part of its Literature and Education series – on English, Creative Writing, and disciplinary identities.

My article, “Subject English as Citizenship Education,” written with my colleague Dr Neil Hopkins, was awarded the BERJ 2020 Editors’ Choice Award. (I am also a keen hobbyist strength athlete, and that interest is gradually finding its way into my research…)

I am a member of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB), and I support Dr Neil Hopkins with the coordination of the Bedford branch. I am the editor of the Society’s Blog (please feel free to contact me with submission ideas; submission guidelines can found on the Blog’s landing page).

Qualifications

  • PhD: Royal Holloway , University of London (2008)
  • MA: Royal Holloway , University of London (2004)
  • BA Hons, English Literature: Royal Holloway , University of London (2003)
  • PGCert, Secondary English: Middlesex University/London North Consortium (2011)
  • Graduate Teacher Programme: Middlesex University/London North Consortium (2011)
  • Certificate in Skills of Teaching to Inspire Learning: Royal Holloway, University of London (2006)

Research Interests/Projects

  • Philosophy of Education (especially literature and language, knowledge, moral education, embodiment)
  • The work of Ernst of Cassirer
  • Secondary English studies
  • Creative Writing (practice, philosophy, and pedagogy)

Publications

Forthcoming/Under Review

  • "Aesthetic Education: Some Recent Thoughts on Some Old Problems." Forthcoming Nov./Dec. 2019, BERA Blog (BERA blog home page here)
  • "Experiment and Tradition in the Creative Writing Classroom."

Published

  • "Knowledge, the Curriculum, and Democratic Education: The Curious Case of School English." 2019. Research in Education 103(1). 49-67. DOI: Access here
  • [with Dr Neil Hopkins] "Subject English as Citizenship Education." 2019. BERJ 45(2). 320-339. DOI: Access here
  • "The Educational Implications of Lionel Shriver's Attack on Diversity 'Quotas'." 2018. BERA Blog. 12 July. Access here.
  • "Education, Knowledge, and Symbolic Form." 2017. Oxford Review of Education. DOI: Access here
  • "On Tacit Knowledge for Philosophy of Education," Studies in Philosophy of Education. 2017. DOI: Access here
  • "Creative Writing: Mapping the Subject." 2017. The Use of English 69(9).
  • "The Perfectionist Call of Intelligibility: Secondary English, Creative Writing, and Moral Education." 2016. Philosophical Inquiry in Education 24(1). Access here
  • "Practically Speaking: Doing English in a Knowledge Economy." 2016. The Use of English 68(1). 56-63.
  • "Popular Science, Pragmatism, and Conceptual Clarity." 2014. European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 6(1). Access here
  • "Genre." The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, vol. II, ed. Michael Ryan (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011)
  • "Performativity." Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, vol. II, ed. Ryan (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011)
  • "Chester Himes’s The End of a Primitive: Exile, Exhaustion, Dissolution." 2010. Journal of American Studies 44(2). 377-390.

I have also published academic and literary reviews (here, here, and here), journalistic pieces, short fiction and literary non-fiction.

Conferences/Seminars/Presentations

  • "A Response to Hopkins's Democratic Socialism and Education," PESGB London, 30 October 2019
  • "Soma-Semiotics, Physical Literacy, and Education," Postgraduate Research Conference in Education and Applied Linguistics," University of Bedfordshire, 18 June 2019
  • [with Lewis Stockwell] "Bodies of Work," PESGB Bedford, 21 May 2019
  • "Looking for Buddy" [ficto-critical presentation], Tales of Terror, University of Warwick, 21 March 2019
  • [with Dr Neil Hopkins] "Subject English as Citizenship Education," Researching for Social Justice and Educational Improvement, BERA/IREd, University of Bedfordshire, 21 June 2018
  • "Experiment and Tradition in the Creative Writing Classroom," PESGB Annual Conference 2018
  • “A Writing to Come? Innovation between the Classroom and the Workshop,” Edge Poetics: A Symposium on Innovative and Speculative Creative Writing Practices in Higher Education, University of Bedfordshire, 4 November 2017
  • “Creative Writing, Knowledge, and Emancipatory Pedagogics,”English: Shared Futures, Newcastle, 6 July 2017 (panel: “What Kind of Knowledge is Creative Writing?”)
  • “The Bow and the Lyre: An Introduction to the Work of Ernst Cassirer.” Invited speaker, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, University of Bedfordshire, 9 March 2017
  • “On Tacit Knowledge for Philosophy of Education,” Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain Annual Conference, 3 April 2016
  • “Secondary English, Creative Writing, and Knowledge.” Invited speaker, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (Bedford), 20 January 2016
  • “Truth, Knowledge, and Secondary English,” British Education Research Association Annual Conference (Belfast), 17 September 2015
  • “Secondary English, Creative Writing, and Moral Education,” Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain Annual Conference, 29 March 2015
  • Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain Research and Writing Retreat, September 2014, July 2015
  • “If This Is Protest...: The End of a Primitive and Chester Himes’s Turn to Genre Fiction,” Rethinking Genre, Royal Holloway, 27 June 2008
  • “Octavia Butler’s Fledgling: Vampires, Race, and Writing in the Era of the ‘War on Terror,’” BAAS Annual Conference, University of Leicester, 21 April 2007
  • Respondent, Dramas and Trauma: Writers Responding to War, video conference, British Council Conversations programme, 3 October 2007
  • “Politics, Ambivalence, and Tolerance in the Work of Octavia Butler,” Cultural Fictions II, Goldsmiths College (University of London), 16 June 2006
  • “Science Fiction as Metaphor, and Metonymy in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis,” Forensic Futures: Interrogating the Posthuman Subject, Birkbeck College (University of London), 18 March 2006
  • Coordinator, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain Research and Writing Retreat, 26-28 June 2016
  • Mentor, PESGB Summer School (Roehampton, July 2015)
  • Co-Organizer, with Professor Tim Armstrong (Royal Holloway) and Dr. Elizabeth English (Cardiff Met.), of Rethinking Genre: The Politics of Cultural Form, 26-27 June 2008

Contact Details

T: +44 (0)1234 793403
E: oliver.belas@beds.ac.uk

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Photo credit: David Holbrook

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University of Bedfordshire
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Bedford
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