Mr Julien Clin

Research project: Of Roots & Concrete: Homemaking in the Cosmopolitan City


My research builds on the German notion of Heimat, the place that anchors community and shapes a person's being. My work asks whether that kind of place attachment still exists in the city and, if so, what the changing nature of the urban means for rootedness in place.

My approach is based on "storylistening", which takes narratives as part of a pluralistic evidence base. Through literary texts, place explorations and personal experiences, this creative non-fiction book uses multiple points of view to analyse the collective voice. It pursues Olga Tokarczuk's dream of the "fourth-person narrator" that encompasses the perspectives of several characters while remaining detached. This puts the focus on communal rather than individual experience of place.

Contributing the notion of 'Heimat' as a process of home-making, rather than home-coming, the thesis offers new perspectives on identity and belonging in the globalised, dynamic, post-Brexit city of London.


My first degree was a Magister Artium in American and Hispanic Philology from the University of Tübingen (Germany). After several years in broadcast journalism, during which I worked as a producer and foreign correspondent, I obtained a Master's in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford (Somerville College). A constant focus of my work is on unreliability of narration, on reader-response and critical reading, and on the politicisation narrative situations. At the core of it all sit power and authorship, which I am now applying to place.

Alongside my doctoral research, I am part of Arup University's Foresight faculty (since 2022). Arup University is a corporate university that seeks to turn research into policy and practical action. I am particularly interested in the role of narratives, speculative fiction and "storylistening" in futures thinking.

I continue to be interested in long-form and radio journalism as well as place writing.

Areas of research interest

  • Creative Writing
  • Contemporary London Writing
  • Narrative, Place & Imagination
  • Urbanism
  • Heimat & Home
  • English Literature


  • Magister Artium, American & Romance Philology, University of Tübingen (Germany)
  • Master's in Creative Writing, Somerville College, University of Oxford

Funding or awards received

  • AHRC/Techne