Dr Matthew Geary BA, PhD

Photograph of Dr Matthew Geary

Department of English Literature
Teaching Associate

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I teach across periods and genres of literature with specialism in Twentieth-Century and Contemporary literature (esp. Modernism), psychoanalysis (across all schools), feminist philosophy, and literary and critical theory.


  • PhD In English Literature and Psychoanalysis, University of Birmingham, 2016
  • BA in English Literature and Language, University of Birmingham, 2010


I grew up in Birmingham and completed both my BA and PhD at the University of Birmingham. My doctoral studies were supported by AHRC and College Scholarships. I now teach at Birmingham and I am also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton.


  • Plays and Performance (level 1)
  • English Literature 1790 to the Present MOMD (convener)


My research has a maternal bias and focuses on the role of the mother as central to the development of not only the child but also art, text, and culture. Noting that for the last thirty-five years the critical search for the mother has been almost entirely 'daughter-centric', I am especially concerned with the mother-son relationship as a continuing 'taboo topic'. My work reconsiders literary representations of mother-son relationships, mother-son ambivalence, the maternal and the maternal body, mothering and motherhood, and the elaboration of a maternal poetics in the works of male modernist and postmodernist writers in light of recent advancements in maternal theory, gender theory, psychoanalytic theory and feminist theory. Further, it proposes a new theory of allegory brought closer to the maternal body than previously stated. I am interested in new perceptions of modernist masculinities, particularly in the works of T. S. Eliot, Marcel Proust, D. H. Lawrence and W. H. Auden. Currently, I am researching ideas of transcendence and immanence in relation to the body in the work of T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Robert Lowell and John Ashbery.

Other activities


  • BAMS (British Association of Modernist Studies)
  • MAMSIE (Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics)
  • T. S. Eliot Society (UK).

Groups and Seminars

  • Founder and Chair of PSYLIT based at the University of Birmingham
  • Co-organiser of ‘Psychoanalysis, Culture and Practice’ based at King’s College, London. Organised in association with the University of Warwick and King’s College, London.

Conferences organised

  • Other Eliots: Contemporary Trends in T. S. Eliot Studies, held at the University of Birmingham, April 2014.

I am also on the editorial board for The Journal of the T. S. Eliot Society and reader for international journal Studies in the Maternal.



  • Eliot and the Mother (in preparation for Routledge)
  • Eliot's Agonistes with Milton (with Dr Islam Issa - in preparation for Palgrave Pivot)

Book Chapters

  • ‘Maternal Allegory: Death and the Mother, Faith and Revelation in “Ash-Wednesday”’, in Religion and Myth in T. S. Eliot's Poetry. Eds. Scott Freer and Michael Bell (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2016).

Journal Articles

  • ‘“Oh how often you toy with me, crafting illusions!”: Mother-Son Love in T. S. Eliot’s “La Figlia Che Piange”’ Studies in the Maternal 7.1 (2015): 1-22. (peer reviewed journal)
  • ‘T. S. Eliot’s “If time and space as sages say” in Charlotte Eliot’s Hand’ Notes and Queries 64.1 (March 2017). (peer reviewed journal)
  • ‘Eliot’s Coriolanus: “Mandarins” to “The Blameless Sister of Publicola”’  The Journal of the T. S. Eliot Society (June 2017). (peer reviewed journal)
  • ‘Eliot’s Agonistes with Milton I: Religion’ (in preparation for Milton Quarterly with Dr Islam Issa) (peer reviewed journal)
  • 'Eliot's Agonistes with Milton II: Sweeney and Samson' (in preparation for Milton Quarterly with Dr Islam Issa) (peer reviewed journal)

Book Reviews

  • Book Review: Freudian Passions: Psychoanalysis, Form and Literature by Jan Campbell’ Studies in the Maternal, 5.2 (2013): 1-7.