David Hartley

Previous education

  • BA(hons) Film Studies, Literary Studies and Drama, University of Manchester
  • Screen Studies MA, University of Manchester

Thesis title

Own World: A Novel & The Fantastic Autistic: Identity and Enablement of ASD in Fantastical Film and Television


Dr Geoffrey Ryman & Dr David Butler

Research summary

For the creative element of my PhD I am writing a contemporary fantasy novel about autism and ghosts. Partially based on my own childhood with my autistic sister, the novel aims to tackle the clichés and stereotypes of autism in popular culture through the use of an experimental narrative structure and the subversive attitude of portal fantasy. My critical research examines the manifestation of autism in works of science fiction and fantasy on both the big and small screen. It asks how autistic identification with the fantastical Other can offer a radical rupture to both autism stereotypes and the foundations of narrative and genre.

Research interests

Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, disability studies, science fiction studies, film theory, television theory, creative writing


Spiderseed (Sleepy House Press, 2016) – an illustrated collection of strange and dark flash fictions, available from my website or on Kindle.

Student profiles

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