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Professor Mary Bryden


Having completed my BA and PhD at the University of Reading, I have remained at Reading for the majority of my career, apart from a period as Professor of European Literature at Cardiff University from 2003-2007. At Reading I have occupied, at different times, the roles of Head of the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies, School Director of Research, and Co- Director of the Beckett International Foundation (to which I am now an Adviser). I am currently a full-time Fellow at the Institut d'Etudes Avancées in Paris - - working on a research project on the literature of the First World War. I am also Vice-President of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French (AUPHF), having served as its President from 2010-13. I was President of the international Samuel Beckett Society from 2003 to 2005, and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College from 2006 to 2014.

I have held visiting appointments at Newnham College Cambridge and Magdalen College Oxford, and recent external examiner appointments have included Manchester University (BA in French), 2010-14; Cardiff University (MA in Translation), 2009 to 2012; Exeter University (BA in French), 2007-11; Oxford University (MPhil and MSt), 2006-09; Nottingham University (MA in 20th century French and Francophone Studies), 2005-09; Cambridge University (Part IB, Modern & Medieval Languages Tripos), 2003-2006; Bristol University (BA in French), 2002-2005. I have recently examined PhD theses at the University of Northumbria (2014) and Paris VIII (2015).

Media work has included live and recorded interviews on aspects of Samuel Beckett with BBC Radio 3 'Nightwaves', 'Music Matters', and 'Ill Said Ill Sung'; BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour'; BBC Radio Ulster Sunday religious affairs programme; Australian ABC Radio, etc.

My research specialism lies mainly within twentieth-century French literature, philosophy, and culture. I have discussed a range of literary and cultural production in my published research and conference presentations, but have worked intensively upon: Samuel Beckett; Gilles Deleuze (especially in his engagement with literary texts); Hélène Cixous; T E Lawrence. Earlier books include the monographs Women in Samuel Beckett's Prose and Drama: Her Own Other (1993), and Samuel Beckett and the Idea of God (1998) (both with Palgrave Macmillan), and two edited books Samuel Beckett and Music (Oxford University Press, 1998), and Deleuze and Religion (Routledge, 2001). More recent books and other publications are given in the list below.

Conference Proceedings:

'"The Liver and the Lights": Beckett und Musik', Proceedings of the Colloquium 'Beckett and German Culture', Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, March 2004 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2005), pp.282-95.

'Aural and Musical Perception in the Writing of Samuel Beckett', Proceedings of the Colloquium 'Sinneswahrnehmung: Perception and the Senses', Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf/University of Reading, September 2000 (Tübingen and Basel: A. Francke Verlag, 2004), pp.225-34.

Co-editor, Proceedings of Samuel Beckett and Religion, University of Stirling, 1999, in Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, No 9 (2000). Introduction, pp.13-15.

'Sounds and Silence: Beckett's Music', in Selected Papers from Beckett: L'Oeuvre Carrefour, l'Oeuvre Limite, University of Strasbourg, 1996, Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, No 6 (1997), pp. 279-88.

'Hélène Cixous and the Painterly Eye', in M Bishop (ed), Thirty Voices in the Feminine: Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Contemporary Women's Writing in France, Québec and Acadia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 1994 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996), pp. 58-64.

'Gender in Beckett's Music Machine', in L Oppenheim (ed), Beckett On and On… (Selected Papers from Beckett in the 1990s, The Hague, 1992) (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996), pp. 36-43.

'Hélène Cixous and Maria Chevska', in D Knight and J Still (eds), Women and Representation: Proceedings of the Women Teaching French Conference May 1994 (University of Nottingham Occasional Papers, No 3, 1995), pp. 106-14.

Journal Articles:

'The Odorous Text: A Deleuzian Approach to Huysmans', Romanic Review, 2009 forthcoming.

"The Snowball Act": Beckett's Literary Pathfinding', (Rose des vents/Suiseisha, No. 22, Spring 2008), pp.68-80

'Beckett, Böll, and Clowns', Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, No 19 (2007 forthcoming).

'Lawrence, Malraux, and the French aventurier figure', T. E. Lawrence Journal, Vol XV, No 1 (Autumn/Winter 2005/06), pp.13-31.

'Stroboscopic Vision: Deleuze and Cixous', Women: A Cultural Review, Vol 15, No 3 (Winter 2004/5), pp.320-29.

'Beckett and the Dynamic Still', Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, No 14 (2004), pp.179-92.

'Nomads and Statues: Beckett's Staged Movement', Assaph: Studies in the Theatre, Nos 17/18 (2003), pp.35-46.

'Beckett and Coward: Dreadfully Un-Like?', Notes and Queries, Vol 247, No 1 (March 2002), pp.93-4.

'Beckett in the Archives', The Beckett Circle, Vol 23, No 2 (Fall 2001), pp.8-10.

'Sir Joseph Gold', The Caravan (IMF), (July 2000), p.9.

'Spatial and Visual Exhaustion in Beckett's Television Plays', Text and Presentation, Vol 19 (2000), pp. 64-9.

'Theatrical Impasses: Giono's Le Bout de la route and Bernard's Martine', New Comparison, No 25 (Spring 1998: appeared Spring 2000), pp.94-103.

'Pipedreams: Magritte and Beckett' (with Walter Redfern), Angelaki, Vol 4, No 3 (December 1999), pp. 171-7.

'The Carved Rats of Saint-Sernin', The Beckett Circle, Vol 21, No 2 (Fall 1999), p. 9.

'Le Monastère de Ganagobie: Hier et Aujourd'hui' (with Walter Redfern), Bulletin du Monastère de Ganagobie, No 30 (July-September 1999), pp. 23-7.

'Pour finir encore: A Manuscript Study', Journal of Beckett Studies, Vol 8, No 1 (Autumn 1998, appeared June 1999), pp. 1-14.

'Saints and Stereotypes: The Case of Thérèse de Lisieux', Literature and Theology, Vol 13, No 1 (March 1999), pp. 1-16.

'Rats in and around Beckett', Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, No 7 (1998), pp. 317-29.

'The Monastery of Ganagobie: Then and Now' (with Walter Redfern), The Downside Review, Vol 116, No 403 (April 1998), pp. 137-42.

'L'Evénement Nerval', French Studies Bulletin, No 63 (Summer 1997), pp. 17-19.

'Beckett y Cixous: Extranjeros en el lenguaje', trans. into Spanish by Walter Redfern, Beckettiana, No 5 (1996), pp. 11-21.

'No Stars Without Stripes: Beckett and Dante', Romanic Review, Vol 87, No 4 (November 1996), pp. 541-56.

'The Schizoid Space: Beckett, Deleuze, and l'Epuisé', Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, No 5 (1996), pp. 85-93.

'Pozzo in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot', Notes and Queries, Vol 241, No 1 (March 1996), pp. 60-1.

'Beckett/Deleuze/Guattari - Gender in Process', trans. into Japanese by Yoshiki Tajiri, Eureka, Vol 28, No 2 (1996), pp. 79-89.

'Quad: Dancing Genders', 'The Savage Eye/L'Oeil Fauve: New Essays on Samuel Beckett's Television Plays', Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, No 4 (1995), pp. 109-23.

'Portrait de Stéphane Verrue', Du Théâtre, No 7 (Winter 1995), pp. 51-3.

'Beckett and the Three Dantean Smiles', Journal of Beckett Studies, Vol 4, No 2 (Spring 1995), pp. 29-33.

'Balzac to Beckett via God(eau/ot)', Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, No 3 (January 1995), pp. 47-56.

'The Painted Text: Maria Chevska and Hélene Cixous', Word and Image, Vol 10, No 4 (October-December 1994), pp. 366-70.

'Staging Balzac', French Studies Bulletin, No 52 (Autumn 1994), pp. 7-10.

'La Compagnie de l'oiseau-mouche', Beckett Circle, Vol 16, No 1 (Spring 1994), p. 8.

'Samuel Johnson and Beckett's Happy Days', Notes and Queries, Vol 238, No 4 (December 1993), pp. 503-04.

'Pas et Berceuse: des textes féminins?', Europe, No 770-71 (June/July 1993), pp. 143-52.

'Translating Poetry with Students', French Studies Bulletin, No 40 (Autumn 1991), pp. 5-7.

'"Poetry is what gets lost in Translation"', The Linguist, Vol 30, No 4 (August 1991), pp. 126-7 & 132.

'The Sacrificial Victim of Beckett's Endgame', Literature and Theology, Vol 4, No 2 (July 1990), pp. 219-25.

'Deviation and Norm on the Beckettian Stage', LJ, Vol 1, No 1 (March 1990), pp. 32-3.

'Coils of the Cobra: the Predatory Woman of Shaw and Beckett', New Comparison, No 7 (Summer 1989), pp. 160-71.

'Reading but not Curiously: Possible Countermeasures', English Teaching Forum, Vol 26, No 3 (July 1988), pp. 48-50.


'Beckett and Holliger', by Philippe Albèra, in M Bryden (ed), Samuel Beckett and Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 87-97.

'Marcel Mihalovici and Samuel Beckett: Musicians of Return', by Edith Fournier, in M Bryden (ed), Samuel Beckett and Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 131-9.

'Between Word and Silence: Bing', by Jean-Yves Bosseur, in M Bryden (ed), Samuel Beckett and Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 241-7.

'Visual Pleasure', by Bernard Noël, Journal of Beckett Studies, Vol 4, No 1 (Autumn 1994: appeared January 1995), pp. 151-55.

'Un Américain à Lisieux', by Patrick Ahern, Annales de Thérèse de Lisieux, No 731 (February 1994), pp. 12-14.

Qualifications: BA, MA, PhD