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 (Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy). 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, and the University of Oxford. He is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in English at the University of Cambridge.
WRONG: A Critical Biography of Dennis Cooper is Diarmuid’s first book, published by the University of Iowa Press in June 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 queer past. He is also the organiser of TRASH!, a performance programme and academic symposium exploring waste and excess in queer cultures that ran from 2019-2020.
A confident and experienced public speaker, Diarmuid has appeared on podcasts, radio, and TV, and at summer festivals like Wilderness and Irregular Folk. In March 2020 he was named a New Generation Thinker by a joint committee of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the BBC.
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.