Philip Leonard

Professor Phil Leonard is Research Coordinator for English at NTU, where he works on globalization, technology, and contemporary literature and theory. His most recent monograph is Orbital Poetics: Literature, Theory, World (Bloomsbury, 2019). This book explores conceptions of the world through the history of writing, theory and culture from an orbital perspective. Starting with literary and theoretical writing on satellites, orbit and terrestrial ground from the ancient world to the 21st century, this book casts a revealing new light on what it means to consider literature and culture on a global scale, and explores the idea that the end of the world will come from above. Orbital Poetics considers a wide range of thinkers, writers and texts, from Dante and Goethe to contemporary electronic literature, and writing by Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett, and Haruki Murakami. It traces the relationship of world and orbit in philosophical and theoretical work by Agamben, Derrida, Heidegger, Latour, Nancy, Plato, Sloterdijk, Stengers, and Stiegler, and also considers astronaut photography, poetry sent into orbit, and popular culture texts, such as novels by Buzz Aldrin and Tess Gerritsen, and Alfonso Cuarón’s film GravityOrbital Poetics is freely available as an Open Access monograph here.

Selected Publications



Orbital Poetics: Literature, Theory, World (Bloomsbury, 2019). Available here as a Bloomsbury Collections open access book.

‘The global and the neoliberal: Indra Sinha’s Animal’s people, from human community to zones of indistinction’ in J. Ramone (ed.), Postcolonial Texts: New Contexts, New Narratives, New Debates (London: Bloomsbury, 2016)

‘A poetics of infinite resolution: literature and globalization’ in B. Schoene and E. Pollard (eds), Accelerated Times: British lLterature in Transition 1980-2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)

‘A Secret Dispersal: Derrida’s Satellites’, Parallax, 20.1 (2014), pp.98-111

‘A Revolution in Code: Hari Kunzru’s Transmission and the Cultural Politics of Hacking’, Textual Practice, 28.2 (2014), pp.267-287

Literature After Globalization: Textuality, Technology and the Nation State (London: Continuum, 2013)

Nationality Between Poststructuralism and Postcolonial Theory: A New Cosmopolitanism (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005)


For a full list of Phil’s publications, click here.