Dr Harry Whitehead
BA (Sussex), MSc (London), MA (London), PhD (Lancaster), FHEA
Associate Professor of Creative Writing
Harry Whitehead is a novelist and Senior Tutor for Creative Writing. He is Deputy Director of The Centre for New Writing and Chair of the Literary Leicester Committee. He sits as an elected member on the Higher Education Committee of Creative Writing's subject association, the National Association of Writers in Education, is a member of the editorial board of NAWE's peer reviewed journal, Writing in Practice, and co-guest journal editor for the inaugural edition. 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 for the BA in Creative Writing at Roehampton University. In 2014, Harry was awarded a University of Leicester Teaching Fellowship for 'excellent leadership of the development of creative writing teaching in the School of English.' He is a 2015 Eccles Centre Fellow in North American Studies at the British Library.
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.
Currently, Harry is conducting research on the history of the oil business and the future of the Arctic for his third novel.
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.
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.
- MA Modern Lit. & Creative Writing Module: Writing Fiction
- MA English Studies Module: Cities of Words
- 1st Yr U/G Module: An Introduction to Writing Creatively
- 1st Yr U/G Module: A Literary Genre: the Novel
- 2nd Yr U/G Module: Using Stories
- 2nd Yr U/G Module: Advanced Creative Writing Skills
- 3rd Yr U/G Special Subject Module: Writing Prose Fiction
- 3rd Yr U/G Special Subject Module: Understanding Screenplays
- 3rd Yr U/G Core Subject: Dissertation
- Senior Tutor for Creative Writing
- Chair, Literary Leicester Festival Committee
- Deputy Director, the Centre for New Writing
- School of English Learning & Teaching Committee
- Chair, School of English Student Staff Committee
- Convenor, EN1025/1035 An Introduction to Writing Creatively
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.
‘To Shed What Still Attempts to Cling as if Attached by Thorns,’ (co-authored with Jane Haynes) in From Broken Attachments to Earned Security: The Role of Empathy in Therapeutic Change (The John Bowlby Memorial Lecture Series 2011) ed. Andrew Odgers (London: Karnac Books 2014)
'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.