Ben Carver teaches academic writing at the European University Institute in Florence. He writes about speculative fiction, and his recent book (Palgrave) on alternate history in nineteenth-century thought and writing has been described by Fredric Jameson as a “stimulating history of plural virtualities that demonstrates how poetic our prosaic 19th century was in fact, and how productively it confronted its own unrealized possibilities.” He is now co-editing a volume on Literary Form and Conspiracy Culture and working on various related projects.


2013: Doctor of Philosophy in English (University of Exeter) Thesis title: Arranging the Past, Reconsidering the Present: The Emergence of Alternate History in the Nineteenth Century

2009: Master of Arts, English Studies (University of Exeter, Distinction with Dean’s commendation)

2004: Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Plymouth University)

1996: MA (Hons) English Literature and Language (University of St Andrews)

Other Publications



Alternate Histories and Nineteenth-Century Literature: Untimely Meditations in Britain, France, and America (Palgrave 2017: Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture series, 300pp) [link]. Reviewed in Science Fiction Studies (46.2) and Victorian Studies (forthcoming).

Forthcoming / in press

‘“Strangely Inorganic Patriotism”: Serializing Invasion Fiction at the Turn of the Century’ forthcoming (contract signed), in English Literary History (ELH) (c.8,000 words), 2021

‘“The Cash-Nexus”: Realism and Conspiracy in Balzac and Dickens’ (forthcoming), in Plots: Literary Form and Cultures of Conspiracy (Routledge, eds. Dana Crăciun, Todor Hristov, and Ben Carver), forthcoming 2021, contract signd (c.8,000 words)

Published essays, articles, & chapters

Genres of conspiracy in nineteenth-century British writing’, in Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories, Ed. Michael Butter, 2020 (c.6,500 words)

An Entangled Forest: Evolutionary Theory and Speculative Fiction’, Urbanomic online, May 2018

‘“All good earthly things are in Utopia also”: Familiarity and Irony in News from Nowhere and A Modern Utopia’. In Utopias and Dystopias in the Fiction of H. G. Wells and William Morris: Landscape and Space, ed. Emelyne Godfrey (Palgrave, 2016)

‘“A Gleaming and Glorious Star”: Rethinking History in the Plurality-of-Worlds Debate’, Journal of Victorian Culture 18.4 (December 2013) [open access link]


Maps of Utopia: H. G. Wells, Modernity, and the End of Culture (Simon James, 2012) for Victoriographies 4.1 (2014)

The Spectre of Utopia (Matthew Beaumont, 2012) for Literature & History: 21.2

Another Earth (dir. Mike Cahill, 2011) for the New York Review of Science Fiction: May 2012



I am a member of the “Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories” network (COMPACT), an action funded by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST). This is an intedisciplinary research group, and my work for this project includes co-editing a volume on literary form and conspiracy culture, among other dissemination and collaborative research activities.



British Association for Victorian Studies

Higher Education Academy (Fellow)

Ben Carver

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