I am an author, academic and communications professional with interests in robots, AI, science fiction and war.
My achievements to date include a published novel, The Darkest Hour, alongside book chapters on 1960s science fiction and the film Blade Runner 2049. I am also an active member of several research networks including TTAC21, and academic podcast, In The Zone.
Away from academia, I have worked in a range of communications-based roles including professional ghostwriter, content writer and web editor in sectors as diverse as healthcare, video games and higher education. If you have any questions about my experience, or availability, please get in touch.
Books, book chapters, articles and reviews
- The Darkest Hour (2018) [novel]
- ‘After Fantastika – Conference Report’, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction (Winter 2018)
- ‘The Compliance Function: Microfascism and the Double Exclusion in Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon’, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction (Spring 2019)
- ‘The Trouble with Joi’, in Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy (September 2019) [book chapter]
- ‘War Stories’ and ‘The Final Frontier’, in Fuzzy Revolutions (Pending: 2019) [book chapters]
I have also edited the following for the AUA:
- ‘Good Practice Guide for Student Experience (GPG#45)’, ed. by M.J. Ryder, Association of University Administrators
Outside my academic and literary work, I am widely published as a ghostwriter in the healthcare trade press. My publications in this area are too many to list, however I did ghost-write a popular business book:
ENGL100 – English Literature
- This course introduces students to a broad range of literature from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Philip K. Dick and Jackie Kay. The course is a taster of famous and infamous texts through the Renaissance, Victorian, Romantic, Modern and Contemporary periods and the many and varied approaches to reading literature
MNGT120 – Business and Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice
- This course introduces students to a broad range of theories in areas such as management, motivation, teamwork and organisational culture, with an emphasis on linking theory and practice together, encouraging students to think critically about their own experiences and the wider world of work.
MKTG101 – Introduction to Marketing
- An introduction to Marketing for first year students at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS).
- Embodying Fantastika, Lancaster University (August 2019)
- Postgraduate Research Conference, Lancaster University (12 May 2018)
- Exploring Identity: Between Being and Belonging, University of Liverpool (25–26 October 2017)
- Embodying Fantastika, Lancaster University (8–10 August 2019)
- ‘Building your digital profile’
- ‘Conscripts from birth: war and soldiery in grim darkness of the far future’
- Current Research in Speculative Fiction, University of Liverpool (6 June 2019)
- ‘Performance, Gender and the Trouble with Joi’
- Human Technologies, Digital Humanities, University of Salford (10–11 October 2018)
- ‘The gates of our world: Vietnam and the (re)birth of biopolitics’
- After Fantastika, Lancaster University (6–7 July 2018)
- ‘Exclusions through time: Charlie Gordon and the biopolitical paradigm’
- Current Research in Speculative Fiction, University of Liverpool (29 June 2018)
- ‘The Literature of Drones: Ethics and Remote Killing in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game‘
- The Human Body and World War II, University of Oxford (23–24 March 2018)
- ‘War and the satire of the body: The Vol-Amp movement in Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo’
- Exploring Identity: Between Being and Belonging, University of Liverpool (25–26 October 2017)
- ‘Digital Marketing for Academics’
- ‘Artificial Identity: AI Subjectivity in the Far Future’
- Iredell Law Conference, Lancaster University (7 July 2017)
- ‘Beyond the Horizon: Law, Exception and Conflict in Outer Space’
- Current Research in Speculative Fiction, University of Liverpool (9 June 2017)
- ‘“Future Soldiers”: the Soldier, the Citizen and the State’
For more information on my conference activities please see my page on conferences and workshops.
- Personal portfolio website and blog sharing research, comment and insights from the world of academia.
- A research network blog on Terrorism, Technology and Armed Conflict in the 21st Century. I have been a regular contributor since the site started in 2017.
- An academic podcast covering anything and everything from law and technology to philosophy and religion.
- The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.
- My work has been republished in The Scotsman, The Metro and The Independent to name but a few. I have also provided expert comment for an article in The Daily Star, and featured in an interview on talkRADIO with Howard Jones.
For more information, see my page on academic engagement.
- Author including (but not limited to): Heinlein, Dick, Le Guin, Pohl, Asimov, Clarke, Vonnegut, Keyes, Disch, Butler, Delany, Verne, Wells
Vietnam and the Cold War
- History, social impact, cause and consequences
- Technology and social change
- Bare life, state of exception, inclusions and exclusions
- Theorists including (but not limited to): Agamben, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Badiou
- Autonomy and responsibility
- Drones and AWS
Business, Management and Marketing
- Consumer culture / consumption
- McDonaldization and de-McDonaldization
- Technology, mass production, Fordism, automation, social media
October 2016 to Present – Lancaster University, Lancaster
- AHRC-funded PhD student.
- Working thesis title: ‘Citizen Robots: Computerisation, Sovereignty and the Vietnam Imaginary‘.
- Helped organise the AHRC’s NWCDTP Postgraduate Conference 2017.
- Teaching on undergraduate modules in the English Department and the Management School (LUMS).
Sept 2012 to Sept 2014 – Brunel University, Uxbridge
- Awarded a Distinction at Masters level.
- Received an A+ for my dissertation project ‘The Compliance Function: Participation and Transgression in Flowers for Algernon and Robinson Crusoe‘. One marker commented that this project was the ‘best dissertation I have marked on an MA program at Brunel‘.
Sept 2007 to July 2010 – Brunel University, Uxbridge
- Awarded First Class Honours Degree, achieving straight A-grades in final year.
- Won the ‘Gompertz Prize for English’.
- Co-founder of the Brunel Writers’ Society and treasurer of the Brunel Rock Society.
- Candidate in the university executive elections for Media Officer 2008/09.
- Received excellence awards at the Brunel Student Volunteering Awards in both 2009 and 2010.
Sept 2004 to July 2006 – Thanet College, Broadstairs
- A-Levels in Maths (A) and Physics (A)
- AS-Levels in English (A) and Film Studies (A)
Sept 2002 to July 2004 – Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs
- A-Levels in History (A), Government and Politics (B), Business and Economics (B) and General Studies (A)
- AS-Level in Sociology (A)
- 11 GCSEs A–C (7 A*, 2 A, 2 B)
September 2018 to Present – Lancaster University
- Teaching on undergraduate modules: English 100 and Management 120.
June 2017 to Present (part-time remote working)
February 2016 to September 2016 (full-time) – Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)
- Communications Officer for the IT department at CCCU. In this role I completely overhauled the IT department’s communications, from its online presence to its print marketing materials and digital displays. I am particularly proud of my work on the department’s internal staff-facing website where I used my GA skills to improve user journeys, while also creating a series of web forms to assist the service desk with internal support requests. This work led to a significant increase in engagement, with pageviews and average time on page up >25%. IT student-facing web-pages for the month of September 2016 were up 400% year-on-year.
- Key skills: content auditing; report writing; communications plans; Google Analytics; copywriting; stakeholder engagement; blogging.
- In June 2017 I was reappointed on a part-time basis, working remotely while I continue my PhD studies at Lancaster.
November 2016 to June 2019 – Lancaster University
- Working with the Student Communications team at Lancaster University to produce a targeted weekly newsletter for students.
- Edited an co-authored a ‘good practice guide’ for the AUA.
- Voted a regional winner in the Student Employee of the Year awards 2017.
- Rebuilt a majority of the University’s college websites using the University CMS, Terminal Four.
- Created a new website for the Chaplaincy Centre launched in Q4 2018.
- Organised National Student Money Week at Lancaster University, April-May 2018.
September 2017 to September 2018 – Lancaster University
- Assistant Dean in Lancaster University’s Graduate College, helping with the smooth running of the College, assisting at events and maintaining College discipline.
- Helped organise and run the Postgraduate Research Conference 2018 including the production of a pre-conference newsletter and a post-conference report booklet shared with key University stakeholders.
March 2014 to February 2016 – Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)
- Web Editor for the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at CCCU. A multi-faceted role, I was initially taken on to oversee the launch of a full set of new web pages ready for the launch of the new Faculty website in August 2014. This project was delivered on time, and exactly to specification, ahead of any other Faculty within the University, and with two months’ less time than any other Web Editor to complete the task. I subsequently completed a comprehensive review project, working to further enhance Faculty pages, and maintain the Faculty as the benchmark for web content within the University.
- In addition to the above, I was also involved in many elements of digital marketing, sharing my expertise in areas such as social media, blogging, PPC and SEO, with the aim of raising the University’s overall digital profile. I also took on responsibility for the UK Institute for Migration Research (UK-IMR) website.
- Key skills: digital marketing; stakeholder engagement; project management; information architecture; copywriting; social media; blogs; Contensis CMS; WordPress CMS; Google Analytics; Adobe Photoshop; Adobe Premiere Pro; YouTube; Microsoft OneNote.
August 2011 to March 2014 – EK Communications Ltd (EKC)
- Senior Writer / Journalist for a PR and marketing agency that specialises in the dental sector. Tasks included ghostwriting feature articles for the national trade press, interviewing clients, completing call-sheets, attending trade shows and events, and supervising / managing the work of junior writers and freelancers. I also worked with one of our clients to ghost-write a book.
- Key skills: management; detailed market knowledge; verbal and written communication; writing to deadlines; interviewing; reporting; copywriting.
Oct 2010 to May 2011 – ChangYou.com
- Content Writer for free-to-play MMO publisher ChangYou.com. Work included writing news posts, compiling newsletters, blogging, proof-reading, dealing with content requests, creating a staff style guide, and working to re-write and enhance website content. My role also quickly expanded to include significant work in PR, Marketing, QA, Community Management, and Localisation.
- Key skills: detailed and comprehensive product knowledge; WordPress CMS; project management; organisation; inter-departmental communication; writing for specific audiences; community awareness; copy-writing.
November 2008 to Present
- I started this website way back in November 2008 as a way of enhancing my ‘digital footprint’, while also teaching myself valuable skills. Over the years this website has been through several different iterations, originally starting out as a custom-built site on MODx CMS, and more recently, moving on to WordPress.
- Key skills: MODx CMS; WordPress CMS; working knowledge of HTML/XHTML (all self-taught); copy-writing; blogging; web editing; and social networking skills including Facebook and Twitter.
For a brief history of MJRyder.net, see the blog I wrote to celebrate the site’s 10-year anniversary.
December 2007 to June 2010
- Most published writer in the magazine for three years running.
- Entered into the Guardian Student Media Awards 2009 in the ‘Columnist of the Year’ category, and 2010 in the ‘Writer of the Year’ category.
- Work included liaising with writers and union officials, and organising features.
- Official Game Admin: Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun.
- Forum Administrator: www.strike-team.net.
- Forum Administrator / Community Manager: www.cncevo.info.
- Forum Administrator: www.gamerwarzone.com.
- Global Moderator: www.cncwarzone.com
For more information please see my gaming C.V.
- Volunteer Admin Assistant: St Mark’s Church, Ramsgate [approx one year].
- Volunteer: Pilgrims Hospice ‘Old Bank Book Shop’, Margate [one month].
- Sales Assistant (Book Department): WHSmiths Ramsgate [approx three years].