Picture of Richard Vytniorgu

Richard Vytniorgu

Thank you for visiting my homepage. 


I am a literary scholar and specialist in writing, visual media, and culture from 1890 to the present, with a focus on the intersections of Gender & Sexuality studies and the medical / health humanities. I teach literature and culture from the nineteenth century to the present.


I am currently writing a book for Emerald on effeminacy, bottom identities, and the experience of belonging in contemporary writing, film, and visual culture. The book focuses on the intersections of gay bottom identities, gender nonconformity, and marginalisation across Western and non-Western settings.


In contrast to many humanities-based approaches to gender & sexuality, my work does not rely primarily on queer theory to do the interpretive or explanatory work of analysing cultural and literary representations of gender and sexuality. Instead, it seeks to triangulate work in the humanities, social and human sciences (anthropology, psychology, medicine, biology) in order to analyse 'deep structures' of gender and sexuality across cultures and historical periods.


My research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Wellcome Trust, and has been published in academic publications such as Modern Language Review, Journal of Homosexuality, and Masculinities.


I continue to work with LGBTQ professionals and organisations around the intersections of sexual identity and health, with a current focus on bottoms and bottoming. I am interested in using the arts, and particularly creative writing and media, to explore personal and shared experiences of (homo)sexuality, health, and culture. In 2020 I was shortlisted for the Molly Salisbury Cup for memoir writing, and since 2013 I have modelled for gay artists and photographers.


I also have research interests in pedagogy, Higher Education, and student experience.


In 2019 I published my first monograph with Sussex - The Butterfly Hatch - on the late-modernist writing of bisexual writer, Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), examining her interests in aesthetics, wisdom, and personal and cultural transformation. This work informs my ongoing approach to teaching and researching literature, media, and culture, engaging with texts to explore life questions from multiple disciplinary perspectives.


This approach is distinctive for the way it allows students and researchers to prioritise personal and experiential engagement with texts, placing historical and broader contextual issues in a more subsidiary role than is commonly the case in contemporary English studies. 


Outside work I enjoy swimming, cooking, needlework, and going to charity shops / antique places to find nice things for my home. I am also an Anglican, and worship regularly at my local parish church. 


If you are interested in finding out more about my work and / or wish to collaborate somehow, please email me using the address at the bottom of the page. I would love to hear from you!