Research projects

Our researchers are engaged in re-discovering authors, challenging the literary canon and bringing new approaches to bear on established texts.

Networks of Association & Intimacy: The Legacies & Letters of Harriet Shaw Weaver & Sylvia Beach

Based on recent research in Princeton, Clare Hutton is currently writing a long essay on ‘The Legacies and Letters of Harriet Shaw Weaver and Sylvia Beach’.  This builds on ‘Women and the Making of Ulysses’ and explores the correspondence which passed between two of Joyce’s female publishers, Harriet Shaw Weaver and Sylvia Beach from 1920 to 1961.  These letters tell a rich and detailed story of female friendship, and reflect an unusual perspective on Joyce’s life.  In close reading this record, the aim is to establish the basis for a different kind of biography, one which is feminist and nuanced, and which appraises the significance of women working behind the scenes. 

Form and Modernity in Women’s Poetry, 1895–1922

Sarah Parker has recently published a new book entitled Form and Modernity in Women’s Poetry, 1895–1922: A Line of Her Own. The book transforms current understandings of twentieth-century poetry by attending to the work of women poets Alice Meynell, Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper), Dollie Radford, and Katharine Tynan. While mainly associated with the late nineteenth century, Sarah’s work shows that these poets were highly active in the early twentieth century and, far from being uninterested in modernity, used their poetry to address contemporary concerns, including suffrage, sexuality, motherhood, and the First World War.

Reading Social Networks in James Joyce’s Library

Based on her doctoral research, Emily Bell is currently developing a paper on affective and emotional networks evidenced in James Joyce’s library. Using his correspondence, Emily’s work remodels Joyce’s reading practice by looking at the emotional ties that connected Joyce to his reading materials and to his readers. This research helps us understand how reading tasks were delegated and distributed among family, friends and helpers both near and far.