Dr Honor Gavin

Lecturer in Creative Writing

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Research interests

My first novel, Midland: A Novel Out of Time (Penned in the Margins, 2014), explored the twentieth-century transformations of the city of Birmingham, UK, and was shortlisted for the 2015 Gordon Burn Prize, which rewards writing that "demonstrates innovative literary methods" and challenges percieved notions of genre. Research for Midland was supported by a grant from the Canadian Centre for Architecture; the wider project also incorporated sound. I continue to be interested in the relationship between writing and space: co-edited with Adam Kaasa, Tutor in Architecture at the Royal College of Art, Uncommon Building (Spirit Duplicator, 2017) documents a collaborative exercise in speculative fiction as a methodology for thinking critically and across disciplines about site, setting, architecture and the urban. 

My creative work both informs and is informed by my critical and theoretical writing, which includes a monograph on the encounter between silent literature and film in the early twentieth century titled Literature and Film, Dispositioned: Thought, Location, World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). The latter is also a reflection on the trajectory of free indirect style, or represented thought, across modernism. The project began as my PhD and was re-worked during a Fellowship at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry between 2012 and 2014. I am often interested in work that moves between creativity and criticism; a recent essay on femininity and transmasculinity, 'The Girl I Left Behind Me', takes a ghost story by Muriel Spark as its title and subject. My creative re-writing of Ursula Le Guin's 'Paradises Lost' was published in the Archiectural Review as 'A Word Without A World'. 

Collaboration is a key element of my cross-disciplinary work; I often write with and for artists. I  contributed a short text on masculinity and conspirary theories ('The Image Has Now Started') to Richard Whitby's The Jump Room project, an essay on referentiality and the 2011 UK riots or uprisings to Judy Radul's This Is Television, and worked with Stuart Whipps on a  commission in response and accompaniment to a film about British New Towns. 



Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display