Diarmuid Hester is a radical cultural historian, writer, and performer based in Cambridge, England.


Diarmuid grew up in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He studied English and French at University College Dublin, before coming to the UK to study for Master’s degrees in English (University of Sussex) and philosophy (CRMEP). He received his PhD in English literature from the University of Sussex. Diarmuid has held research fellowships at New York University, the Library of Congress, the University of Oxford, and the University of Cambridge. He teaches at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge.

WRONG: A Critical Biography of Dennis Cooper is Diarmuid’s first book, published by the University of Iowa Press in 2020. It is the definitive account of a writer once called ‘the last literary outlaw in mainstream American fiction’. Diarmuid is the creator of A Great Recorded History, an audio trail of Cambridge focusing on the city’s LGBTQ+ past. He is also the organiser of TRASH!, a series of performances and symposia exploring waste and excess in queer culture. Diarmuid's second book, Nothing Ever Just Disappears: A New History of Queer Culture Through its Spaces will be published by Allen Lane/Penguin in 2023.

A confident and experienced public speaker, Diarmuid has appeared on podcasts, radio, and TV, and at summer festivals like Wilderness and Irregular Folk. In 2020 he was named a BBC New Generation Thinker.

Diarmuid is a radical cultural historian in both senses of the term. His work focuses on culture that’s underpinned by radical politics like anarchism but he is also interested in how cultural history can enact radical change: by uncovering marginalised stories; by connecting details that have previously been kept apart; by creating counter-narratives that imagine the past differently and offer new ways of understanding the present.