Efram Sera-Shriar

Efram Sera-Shriar

Teaching Associate Professor

I have worked in higher education and the museum sector for nearly twenty years. I earned a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Leeds, specialising in historical anthropology. In addition to my role in English Studies at the University of Copenhagen, I am also Associate Director of Research for the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies International at Durham University. Prior to taking on this role, I was Senior Researcher and Research Grants Manager (permanent contract) for the Science Museum Group in the UK, and Lecturer of Modern History (permanent contract) at Leeds Trinity University. I have also held faculty positions at the University of Cambridge, York University, Canada, and Brock University, Canada.

My research explores the context of Victorian science broadly, and my current work looks at the history and contemporary study of the occult and its intersection with the sciences. I have written two academic monographs titled The Making of British Anthropology, 1813 to 1871 (2013), and Psychic Investigators: Anthropology, Modern Spiritualism, and Credible Witnessing in the Late Victorian Age (2022). Both books are part of the Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century series at the University of Pittsburgh Press. I have also edited several collections, and published multiple articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed publications. In addition to my academic work, I have co-produced a series of creative performances, films, podcasts, non-specialist articles, and historical recreations as part of my role on the AHRC-funded Media of Mediumship. Since January 2023, I have been coordinating the activities of the new research group: The Dark Arts Research Group: Studies in Gothic, Horror and the Occult, 1750-Present at ENGEROM.


In recent years, I have developed a strong interest in game studies and my current project Otherworld Entertainment, which is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, is a cultural study of horror, magic and occult-themed videogames during the era of 1980s American Satanic Panic. In addition to this research, I am also co-curating a special exhibition and objects and stories series at Enigma Museum in Copenhagen on the history of videogames from the 1970s to the present. In 2024 I co-established the videogame lab at ENGEROM and pioneered game studies within the English programme’s curriculum.  


I teach across the core modules in the English studies program at the University of Copenhagen, as well as the elective modules on digital humanities and fantasy literature. I am keen to supervisor any topic related to the history of science, technology, environment and medicine during the modern period (1750-Present); occultism, folklore and magic; horror and gothic studies; game studies; and Victorian society and nineteenth-century British imperialism. I’m especially keen to support projects that mix disciplinary approaches from literature, cultural studies, anthropology, and history.

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