Disordering Disease: Re-historicising the art and literature of Roy Fisher and Jeff Nuttall, 1960’s-1980’s

Award Number
Award Type
Status / Stage
29 September 2019 -
29 September 2023
Duration (calculated)
04 years 00 months
Funding Amount
Funder/Grant study page
Contracted Centre
 Keele University
Principal Investigator
Gurkiranpreet Kaur
PI Contact
WHO Catergories
Methodologies and approaches for risk reduction research
Disease Type
Dementia (Unspecified)

CPEC Review Info
Reference ID784
ResearcherReside Team


Award Number2273629
Status / StageActive
Start Date20190929
End Date20230929
Duration (calculated) 04 years 00 months
Funder/Grant study pageAHRC
Contracted Centre Keele University
Funding Amount£0.00


Active in the 1960’s-80’s, Roy Fisher (1930-2017) and Jeff Nuttall (1933-2004) were British writers, jazz musicians and artists whose works have either been dismissively categorised as “experimental” or largely forgotten. My research identifies the inadequacies of the term “experimental.” I aim to redefine this “experimentalism” in their poetry, prose and visual art (including paintings, drawings, figurines and pop-out booklets). In its place I will be building on the critical paradigms established by Sass, Jameson, Deleuze and Guattari who relate experimental Modernist and Postmodernist art to madness. Their models make it possible to identify diseases and disorders such as schizophrenia, trauma, delusion, dementia and depression as symptoms of cultural anxieties that affect the body both mentally and physically in Fisher’s and Nuttall’s work. This fresh, interdisciplinary thesis contributes to and connects diverging fields to re-historicise both writers.
The project will reorient the current state of criticism on Fisher and Nuttall as it remains limited in volume and scope. Critics such as Robert Sheppard situate Fisher and Nuttall within the British Poetry Revival 1960’s-70’s


1. Re-historicise Fisher, Nuttall and their art practices including poetry, prose and visual art in relation to diseases and disorders.
2. Locate the relationship between “experimental” art practices and their correlation to mental diseases and disorders and how they affect the body.
3. Advance the conceptualisation of “experimental” texts, viewing them in terms of cultural anxiety and resituating the work of both practitioners in relation to “madness” in Modernism (e.g. Sass) and Postmodernism (e.g. Jameson).