Dr Harry Whitehead

Harry Whitehead

BA (Sussex), MSc (London), MA (London), PhD (Lancaster), FHEA

Lecturer in Creative Writing

E: hdw5@le.ac.uk

Research interests

Harry Whitehead is a novelist who teaches creative writing and the history of the novel. He is Deputy Director of The Centre for New Writing, Chair of the Literary Leicester Committee, and chairs the School of English Student Staff Committtee. He sits as an elected member on the Higher Education Committee of Creative Writing's subject association, the National Association of Writers in Education. He is a panel member of the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA A Level English Forum, and has been REF External Advisor at Bath Spa University. He is external examiner of the BA in Creative Writing at Roehampton University.

His first novel, The Cannibal Spirit, is a work of literary historical fiction set among the First Peoples of Canada at the turn of the twentieth century, and is published by Penguin Canada. It has been described as 'powerful, brave, ambitious' (The Globe and Mail), 'a thriller with a Joseph Conradian plot' (The Walrus), 'a unique work, compelling, complex, thought-provoking and impressive' (Quill and Quire). His second novel, titled Nowhere, is about the film business, sex, madness and Psychogeography, and is forthcoming next year.

Otherwise, he has published short fiction in a variety of contemporary genres, and papers in the fields of creative writing pedagogy, anthropology and history; memory, nostalgia and identity; Native North American & Canadian history and ethnography; and psychoanalysis.

Before moving into academia, he worked for many years in film and TV production, and has degrees in social and medical anthropology as well as creative writing.

Current research

Currently, Harry is conducting research into Psychogeography, 'non-places' and liminality.

He is also conducting research into creative writing pedagogical theory, the global spread of the subject, and its implications for creative innovation.

More generally, he is interested in all forms of creative writing practice and theory, especially in its application to wider pedagogic practices in higher education.

Postgraduate supervision

Harry supervises creative writing PhDs. He welcomes experienced writers interested in pushing the limits of their writing in imaginative genres including prose fiction, narrative non-fiction, writing for the screen and graphic novels.

With an academic background in both creative writing and anthropology, he is interested particularly (but not exclusively) in colonial, postcolonial and transcultural writing. He also welcomes writers of contemporary innovative fiction that pushes the boundaries of publishing norms.



  • Chair, Literary Leicester Festival Committee
  • Deputy Director, the Centre for New Writing
  • School of English Learning and Teaching Committee
  • School of English Library Representative
  • Chair, School of English Student Staff Committee
  • Convenor, EN1025/1035 An Introduction to Writing Creatively

Recent publications


The Cannibal Spirit (Toronto: Penguin, 2011)

Recent Short Fiction

'Ringtone', in London Lies, edited by Cherry Potts (London: Arachne Press, 2012)

‘Dust’, in The Storyteller Magazine Vol 14, Issue 2, 2008.

‘Black Amex and Chop’, at Whimperbang Vol. 10, 2007.

Recent Articles

'Nomadic Emergence: Creative Writing Theory and Practice-Led Research,' in New Ideas in the Writing Arts: Practice, Culture Literature, edited by Graeme Harper. Cambridge: CSP 2013.

‘Yearning for Authenticity on the Northwest Coast of Canada’, in Memory Studies, July 2010.

‘Quest for Quesalid: Myth-Making and Rationality in the Initiation of a Shaman’, in The Apothecary’s Chest: Magic, Art and Medication, edited by Georganta et.al. Cambridge: CSP, 2009.

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