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Academic | Writer | Performer


recent activities



June 2021

Against Our Vanishing, an immersive queer history set in the English coastal town of Rye is now available to download.

Commissioned by Climate Art and created by Diarmuid Hester, this free audio trail focuses on Rye's famous queer residents like writers Henry James, Radclyffe Hall, and E.F. Benson, and the painter, Edward Burra. It weaves the stories of their lives through the cobbled streets of this ancient town and calls for a new history of queer culture—one attuned to its spaces. 


Against Our Vanishing is supported by Bridgepoint Rye and developed in partnership with the National Trust.

Scan the QR code or click below.



December 2020

Allen Lane/Penguin will publish Diarmuid Hester's new book, Nothing Ever Just Disappears: A New History of Queer Culture Through its Spaces in 2023. 

The book considers the impact of place on some of the twentieth-century's most fascinating queer artists like E.M. Forster, James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, and Claude Cahun.


At a time when queer spaces are increasingly under threat, Nothing Ever Just Disappears argues passionately and persuasively for their centrality to queer culture, then and now.

Image: Claude Cahun, I Extend My Arms (1931)



June 2020

The University of Iowa Press has published Diarmuid Hester's WRONG: A Critical Biography of Dennis Cooper, the definitive account of one of America's most acclaimed and controversial writers. 


WRONG is a lively retrospective of Cooper's 50-year career, from his early poetry to his shocking novels of the '90s to his recent turn to filmmaking. Using archival research, close readings, and new interviews, it weaves a complex and often thrilling biographical narrative that cements Cooper’s status as a leading figure of the post-War avant-garde. 

‘A riveting chronicle of Dennis Cooper’s intertwined life and work’

—Wayne Koestenbaum, author, Camp Marmalade



March 2020

Dr Diarmuid Hester has been named a New Generation Thinker by a joint committee of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the BBC.


Defined as an academic who ‘brings the best of university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience through the media and public engagement’, New Generation Thinkers work closely with producers at the BBC, contributing to radio broadcasts and developing research projects into programmes for a general public.


Diarmuid Hester is a radical cultural historian of the United States after 1950, and an authority on sexually dissident literature, art, film, and performance. He is  based at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, and represented by Matthew Marland at RCW.

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