Researcher profiles

Alison-Donnell - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationAlison Donnell (English)

BA, PhD (Warwick) - Reader, Department of English Language and Literature

Alison Donnell researches and teaches contemporary post-colonial literatures, with a special interest in Caribbean, black British and women's writings. She has published widely, including a book-length revision of Caribbean literary history: Twentieth Century Caribbean Literature: Critical Moments in Anglophone Literary History (Routledge, 2006). She is currently completing a monograph on the work of Una Marson and Louise Bennett and has co-edited, with Michael Bucknor, The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature to be published in 2011. She is a Founding and Joint Editor of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies and on the editorial boards of The Journal of West Indian Literature and MaComere. She is currently working on a British Academy / Associated Commonwealth Universities sponsored project,'Breaking Sexual Silences', with Professor Evelyn O'Callaghan of the University of the West indies, Barbados, and a monograph study in the same field of enquiry, Caribbean Queer: desire, dissidence and the limits of literary subjectivity.

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Jonathan Bell  - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationJon Bell (History)

MA (Oxford) PhD (Cambridge)

Jonathan Bell researches and teaches twentieth-century US political history, and in particular the relationship between political ideology and social change. His first book, The Liberal State on Trial: The Cold War and American Politics in the Truman Years (Columbia University Press, 2004), explored the ways in which Cold War tropes helped to close down opportunities for the United States to participate in the social reform politics that characterized much of the industrialized world after World War Two. His new book, California Crucible: The Forging of Modern American Liberalism (University of Pennsylvania Press, in press), examines how social democratic ideas drove the massive political upheavals in California between the 1940s and late 1970s, arguing that racial and sexual rights discourses work most effectively when married to questions of economic citizenship. He has also co-edited a collection of essays entitled Making Sense of American Liberalism (University of Illinois Press, 2012), and is now embarking on a new project on the relationship between group identity and access to privatized health services in the late twentieth century, an era of retrenchment in both public and private provision of economic security.

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Bryan Cheyette - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationBryan Cheyette (English)

Bryan Cheyette is Chair in Modern Literature

Bryan is the editor of seven books and author of Constructions of 'the Jew' in English Literature and Society (Cambridge University Press, 1993 & 1995) and Muriel Spark (Northcote House, 2000) and is completing Diasporas of the Mind: Literature and 'Race' after the Holocaust (Yale University Press). His research interests include racial representations in nineteenth- and twentieth-century English Literature, postcolonial literature, diasporic literature and British-Jewish Literature. He is has recently guest edited the journal Wasifiri on Jewish/Postcolonial Diasporas and is co-editor of volume VII of the Oxford History of the Novel in English on the British and Irish novel, 1940-2000. He reviews contemporary fiction for the TLS, the Independent and the Guardian. He has supervised eight PhD students to completion and is willing to consider any PhD proposal that fits with his research interests.

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min-l-taylorLib Taylor (Film, Theatre and Television)

I have a background as a theatre practitioner and some of my research takes the form of practice, recently expressed in developing performance modes appropriate to the modernist drama of Marguerite Duras and Gertrude Stein. More broadly my work has focused on the ways in which gender and the body are constructed in performance, and I have researched this using mixed media performances, as well as through more traditional forms of published scholarship. I am also interested in modern British drama and its developments since the 1950s into the twenty-first century. I am currently supervising research on performer-audience relationships in contemporary devised theatre (practice as research), Chinese opera and gender, and story telling. I have supervised work on Caryl Churchill and Dario Fo; multimedia theatre and memory (practice as research); intermediality and theatre; multimedia practices in modern Greek theatre and a collaborative project on intersubjectivity in collaborative art practice (practice as research).

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Julia Waters - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationJulia Waters (Modern Languages)

B.A., M.A., DPhil (Oxon.) - Lecturer in French Studies, Department of Modern Languages and European Studies

Julia Waters researches and teaches modern and contemporary French and francophone literature, with a particular interest in women's writing in French, francophone literatures of the Indian Ocean, feminist theory and postcolonial theory. She is currently working on a book-length study of the francophone Mauritian novel, entitled Contemporary Mauritian Literature: (De)Colonisation, Globalisation, Multiculturalism. Recent publications include: Duras and Indochina: Postcolonial Perspectives (SFPS Critical Studies, 2006); Women's Writing in Western Europe: Gender, Generation and Legacy (co-edited with Adalgisa Giorgio, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007); and 'L'ici et l'ailleurs': Postcolonial Literatures of the Francophone Indian Ocean, special issue of e-france: a Journal of French Studies (2008).

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David Brauner - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationDavid Brauner

David Brauner, BA, MA (Cantab.), PhD (UCL). Reader, Department of English Language and Literature

David Brauner teaches and researches in the fields of American and Jewish literature, particularly contemporary American fiction and post-war Jewish fiction. He is the author of three monographs - Post-War Jewish Fiction: Ambivalence, Self-Explanation and Transatlantic Connections (Palgrave, 2001), Philip Roth (Manchester University Press, 2007) and Contemporary American Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) - and has published widely on twentieth-century Jewish literature, fiction by modern 'minority' American authors, and Holocaust fiction. He is currently co-editing a special issue of the Journal of American Studies devoted to Lorrie Moore and working on articles on the transgendered body in Rose Tremain and Jeffrey Eugenides, and on the connections between the late fiction of Henry Green and early fiction of John Updike. He is a founding member and Program Chair of the Philip Roth Society and serves on the editorial board of Philip Roth Studies and the European Journal of American Culture.

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Mary Bryden - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationMary Bryden

Mary Bryden is Professor of French Literature in the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies. She is particularly interested in the Deleuzian notion of 'devenir-minoritaire', as applied to literary texts, and has explored aspects of this in two books: Mary Bryden, Gilles Deleuze: Travels in Literature (Palgrave, 2007), and Mary Bryden (ed.), Deleuze and Religion (Routledge, 2001). She has also co-edited Beckett's Proust/Deleuze's Proust (Palgrave, 2009).

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Barbara Goff - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationBarbara Goff

Barbara Goff researches and teaches Greek drama and its reception in subsequent cultures. She is particularly interested in African adaptations of Greek drama, and is the co-author of Crossroads in the Black Aegean: Oedipus, Antigone, and dramas of the Africa diaspora (Oxford 2007). She is also the editor of Classics and Colonialism (London 2005) and is currently working on a book titled Your Secret Language, from which you derive your power: classics in the British colonies of West Africa 1827-1957. She is also interested in the role of classics more generally in the formation of modernity, and in this connection is the co-editor of Thinking the Olympics:the classical tradition and the modern Games (London 2011) and is working with her co-author and co-editor, Dr Michael Simpson of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London, on a study of classics and the British Left.

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Daniela La Penna - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationDaniela La Penna

Daniela La Penna specialises in modern Italian culture, translation studies, and Italian publishing history. She has published widely on the connection between multilingualism, experimentalism and avant-garde and has a keen interest in the 'minoritizing' strategies adopted by writers working in different and across languages, and how these strategies impact on translation practice. Her longstanding research interest in diasporic and multilingual poet Amelia Rosselli has led to the publication of several articles and to the forthcoming monograph La dinamica delle fonti nella poesia trilingue di Amelia Rosselli (Carocci, 2012). Daniela has co-edited with Daniela Caselli Twentieth-Century Poetic Translation: Literary Cultures in Italian and English (Continuum, 2008) and edited Meneghello: Fiction, Scholarship, Passione civile (Special issue of The Italianist, 2011). Her current research explores the connection between literary journals and publishing houses and their role in disseminating foreign culture in translation in post-war Italy. She is co-editor of the international journal The Italianist.

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Catherine Leglu - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationCatherine Léglu

Catherine Léglu researches and teaches in Occitan literature, with an interest in the language's long implication in issues of cultural resistance, and resistance to dominant ('national') linguistic discourses, with reference to French and Catalan literature. She is the author of Multilingualism and Mother Tongue in Medieval French, Occitan and Catalan Narratives (Penn State UP, 2010), and Between Sequence and Sirventes: Aspects of Parody in the Troubadour Lyric (Oxford: MHRA-Legenda, 2000). She has also collaborated with Stephen Milner, editing The Erotics of Consolation: Desire and Distance in Medieval Literature (Palgrave, 2008). Her current research is into the Occitan translations of Latin didactic works that were produced for members of the papal curia in Avignon. Catherine also teaches cinema and cinematic adaptations of French literature. She is currently director of the University of Reading Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies.

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Catriona McKinnon - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationCatriona McKinnon

Catriona McKinnon is Professor of Political Theory. She works on contemporary political philosophy, the theory and practice of toleration, equality and distributive justice, the values and ideals of welfare policy, cosmopolitanism and global justice, political liberalism, political constructivism, and the political theory of climate change politics. She is author and editor of a number of books, including Toleration: A Critical Introduction (London: Routledge, 2006).

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Esther Mijers - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationEsther Mijers

Esther Mijers, MA (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), PhD (University of St Andrews), Lecturer in Early Modern, British History

Esther Mijers' main interests are in seventeenth century Britain and the wider world. She is especially interested in Scottish history, especially in migration and the movement of goods and ideas. She has worked on the Republic of Letters and the early Enlightenment but also on the wider European and British Atlantic. Her current research focuses on the participation of non-English, European and non-national groups in the north-American Atlantic and the Caribbean. Her project Europeanising the 'British' Atlantic addresses the concept of the British Atlantic in the seventeenth century. She has published extensively on Scottish-Dutch early modern relations, in both a European and an Atlantic setting. Her monograph News from the Republic of Letters. Charles Mackie, Scotland's First Professor of History, and the United Provinces should appear later in 2011 and she is the editor of several collections, including Redefining William III: The Impact of the King-Stadholder in its International Context (Ashgate, 2007). She is also one of the founding editors of the Ashgate book series Politics and Culture in Europe, 1650-1750 and of the web-based network The Williamite Universe.

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Teresa Murjas - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationTeresa Murjas

Lecturer in Theatre, Director of Postgraduate Studies, Module convenor of Practical option: theatre; Independent project: theatre; Polish film & theatre.

My work combines historiography, performance analysis and practice as research, in the form of both theatre translation and performance, concentrating on issues of cultural transfer and processes of translation. My PhD research analysed directorial approaches to staging the plays of Swedish dramatist August Strindberg. Since arriving at Reading eight years ago, I have focused on late nineteenth and early twentieth century European theatre, specifically Polish theatre and the work of a range of practitioners, including Gabriela Zapolska. This project involves archival research and attendant issues relating to biography, context, performance history and documentation. In addition, I work through practice to translate and direct play texts written in Polish, including more recent examples, many of which have not previously been translated into English. I have directed research performances at a variety of national and international venues.

I am currently extending my research into the area of Polish Holocaust representation, with particular focus on the work of playwright Tadeusz Slobodzianek. I am also preparing a Practice as Research project which will explore the methodologies of theatrical translation.

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Mark Nixon - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationMark Nixon

Mark Nixon, MA (Hons) (St. Andrews), MA, PhD (Reading); Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature

Mark Nixon is the Director of the Beckett International Foundation at the University of Reading. He is an editor of Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Beckett Studies, and the Co-Director of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project. He has published widely on Beckett's work, and has recently prepared, for Faber & Faber, an edition of Beckett's Texts for Nothing and Other Short Prose 1950-1976 (2010). Forthcoming books include the edited volume Publishing Samuel Beckett (British Library, 2011) and the monograph Samuel Beckett's 'German Diaries' (Continuum (2011). He is currently working on Samuel Beckett's Library (Cambridge UP, 2012) with Dirk Van Hulle, and completing a critical edition of Beckett's unpublished short story 'Echo's Bones', which will appear with Faber & Faber. He is also editing Beckett's 'German Diaries' for publication by Suhrkamp in 2015. He is also researching the work of Paul Celan and Imre Kertész.

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Lisa Purse - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationLisa Purse

Lisa Purse researches the relationships between film aesthetics and the politics of cinematic representation in post-studio US cinema, with a particular emphasis on gender, ethnicity, sexuality and nationality in relation to notions of power and marginalisation. She has published variously on constructions of the screened body and contemporary developments in film style, including the digital 'turn'. Essays recently published include Working through the body: textual-corporeal strategies in United 93 (2006), in Brown & Walters (eds.), Film moments: criticism, history, theory (London: British Film Institute and Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), which addresses the cinematic construction of the terrorist body; and Return of the "Angry Woman": authenticating female physical action in contemporary cinema, in Waters (ed.), Screening Women (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), which considers the marginalisation of images of female anger and aggression in mainstream film. She is the author of Contemporary Action Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2011) and Digital Imaging in Popular Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2013).

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Jane Setter - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationJane Setter

Jane Setter's research interests are the phonology of new and emergent varieties of English, English phonetics and phonology, and prosdodic features of atypical speech. She is co-author, with Cathy Wong and Brian Chan, of Hong Kong English (EUP 2010), co-editor, with Peter Roach and James Hartman, of the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (17th Edition, CUP, 2006), has been invited speaker at several international conferences, and has published successfully in partnership with Vesna Stojanovik on speech prosody in Williams syndrome. She is currently working on a British Academy / Associated Commonwealth Universities sponsored project, "Juncture in three varieties of English", with Peggy Mok at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Low Ee Ling at the National Institute of Education, Singapore, and a project with Vesna Stojanovik on "The role of prosodic cues in language acquisition in children with Williams and Down syndrome", supported by a British Academy Research and Development Award.

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Peter Stoneley - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationPeter Stoneley

Peter Stoneley BA (Wales), DPhil (Oxon) - Professor, Department of English Language and Literature

Peter researches and teaches the literature and culture of the United States, and queer studies. His books include Consumerism and American Girls' Literature (Cambridge UP, 2003), and A Queer History of the Ballet (Routledge, 2007). He has edited, with Cindy Weinstein, A Concise Companion to American Fiction, 1900-1950 (Blackwell, 2008), and Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Oxford-World's Classics, 2007). His articles on U.S. literature have appeared in American Literature, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and Twentieth-Century Literature. He is currently working on a book on Mark Twain, and with colleague, Lucy Bending, on a project working with the Reading Gaol Archive at the Berkshire Record Office.

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Ashley Thorpe

My research centres upon the practice and reception of Chinese theatre both on the Chinese mainland and in diasporic communities. I have studied Jingju ('Beijing Opera') at the Traditional Chinese Theatre Academy (Zhongguo Xiqu Xueyuan) in Beijing and at the Shanghai Theatre Academy (Shanghai Xiju Xueyuan), and have performed as both an actor and percussionist in performances of Jingju in the UK. My current research focuses on the use of theatre performance in constructing identities, specifically amongst Chinese communities in the UK. I am particularly interested in paradigmatic shifts in theatre performance purporting to represent the British Chinese across the twentieth century. I am the co-organiser of 'Contesting British Chinese Culture: Forms Histories, Identities', the first conference to bring together academics and practitioners to debate the relationships between culture and identity, to be held in Reading in September 2011. The edited book that emerges from the conference will be the first monograph to analyse British Chinese culture. A Practice-as-Research project, to take place in December 2011, will mark preliminary investigations into the history of British Chinese performance by arguing that Lady Precious Stream (1934) should be classified as the first 'British Chinese' play.

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Phiroze Vasunia - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationPhiroze Vasunia

Phiroze Vasunia's areas of interest are the study of empire and colonialism and cross-cultural contact (e.g. between Greece, Egypt, Persia, the Near East). He is completing a book for Oxford University Press on the classical tradition and colonial India. Work in progress includes a book on postcolonialism and antiquity. Dr Vasunia is the principal co-ordinator of the international network on Ancient and Modern Imperialisms and a member of the international network on the Legacy of Greek Political Thought. He is also the general editor of Ancients and Moderns, a book series jointly published by I. B. Tauris and Oxford University Press (USA).

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Emily West - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationEmily West

Emily West is a Senior lecturer in American history and her research focuses on the pre-Civil War Southern states of the USA. Her forthcoming book and recent articles focus on the expulsion and enslavement of free black Southerners and how, in their responses to persecution, free people of colour prioritized their spousal and familial relationships before their legal status. Emily's research also focuses on the lives of enslaved women, and a textbook, Enslaved Women in America, is under contract with Rowman and Littlefield for publication in 2013.

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Nicola Wilson - Minority Identities: Rights and RepresentationNicola Wilson

Postdoctoral researcher, Department of English Language and Literature

Nicola Wilson researches British working-class writing and culture and specialises in twentieth-century fiction. She has published articles on Robert Tressell, D. H. Lawrence, Ellen Wilkinson and Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, and is currently writing a monograph on the representation of the home and domesticity in British working-class writing. She has recently edited and introduced Ethel Carnie Holdsworth's novel, This Slavery (first published in 1925), and is developing a project on working-class writing and book history that draws on the records of British printers and publishers based at Reading.

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Coming soon...


24 October 'We Were Here' screening and Q&A

29 October 'Margins to Mainstream: The Story of Black Theatre in Britain' screening

22 November Stenton Lecture and Symposium 'War, women and enslavement in Medieval Britain'

5-8 December 'Surviving Objects' devised multi-media performance on refugee and diasporic experience

For more details see our Events page


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