Juliette Taylor-Batty


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Personal profile


Before joining Leeds Trinity in 2004, I taught at the University of Warwick, where I completed my PhD. I am currently Associate Professor (Research) of English and Comparative Literature at Leeds Trinity. My research focuses on literary multilingualism, particularly in twentieth-century writing, and I have published widely in journals including Modernism/Modernity, Modernist Cultures and Comparative Literature. I am the author of Multilingualism in Modernist Fiction (Palgrave, 2013) and co-author of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (Bloomsbury, 2009).

I am on the editorial boards of the Journal of Literary Multilingualism, Comparative Critical Studies, and the Brill book series Literary Multilingualism. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, am on the organising committee of the Northern Modernism Seminar, and served as an elected member of the Executive Committee of the British Association for Modernist Studies 2019-2022, where I stood as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Association.

Research interests

My research examines multilingualism and translational processes in literary texts, particularly in English and French. My current research centres on literary modernism, but I maintain an active interest in later twentieth and twenty-first-century literature, including postmodern and postcolonial literature. I have published on writers including Jean Rhys, T.S. Eliot, Eugene Jolas, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov and Salman Rushdie. I co-edited the inaugural issue of the Journal of Literary Multilingualism with Till Dembeck, and we co-edit a regular section of the journal entitled ‘Reflections and Debates in Literary Multilingualism Studies’.

My first monograph, Multilingualism in Modernist Fiction (Palgrave, 2013), examines how a wide range of modernist writers make use of different languages, and argues that modernist literature is defined by a ‘multilingual turn’. The book demonstrates that, rather than being an exceptional or unusual phenomenon, multilingualism is fundamental to modernist forms of defamiliarization, and examines examples of modernist literature that fundamentally undermine traditional distinctions between original and translation, native and foreigner, ‘mother tongue’ and ‘foreign’ language.

Since then, my research has continued to explore literary multilingualism, but with a focus on the relationship between modernist writers’ work as translators and their ‘original’ writing, the importance of ‘not knowing’ languages in modernist literature, the productive possibilities of untranslatability, and the ways that literature can challenge ideas of linguistic ‘competence’ or ‘ownership’. I have recently published articles and chapters on Jean Rhys’s use of French sources in Wide Sargasso Sea and her use of translational processes in her short stories, on the function of untranslatability in Eugene Jolas’s modernist magazine transition, and on not knowing languages and untranslatability in modernist literature more generally. Forthcoming work includes a study of T.S. Eliot’s translation of St. John Perse’s Anabase.

My current book project, M/Other Tongues: Multilingualism, Gender and Modernism, turns to the very gendered conceptions of language that we find in notions such as the ‘mother tongue’ and translational ‘fidelity’ and examines the implications of this for multilingual literature. Whereas male anglophone writers such as Joyce, Beckett, Conrad and Nabokov are firmly fixed within a ‘canon’ of literary multilingualism studies, the multilingualism of female Anglophone modernist writers has had much less critical attention. This project will reveal the importance of multilingualism to the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Mina Loy, Hope Mirrlees and Nancy Cunard, and will examine the reasons why this has remained relatively hidden, including the barriers to multilingual publishing and the persistent ideology of the ‘mother tongue’.

Most recently, I have started to develop a new research project that examines the implications of perceptual diversity in literature, including conditions such as synesthesia and aphantasia. I have an article forthcoming in Comparative Literature which examines synesthesia in Samuel Beckett and Arthur Rimbaud.

Teaching and Administration

Level 4: ENG4503 English Skills and Employability; ENG4523 Understanding Literary Genres.

Level 5: ENG5515 Postcolonial Literature

Level 6: ENG6593 Experiments: Modernism and Postmodernism; ENG6503 English Dissertation

MA: HUM7103 Reading as a Writer

Education/Academic qualification

PGCertLTHE, University of Leeds

Award Date: 1 Jun 2006

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Warwick

Award Date: 1 Jun 2003

Master of Arts, University of Sussex

Award Date: 1 Jun 1998

Bachelor of Arts, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jun 1996

External positions

External Examiner, The University of Manchester

1 Oct 202031 Dec 2024

External Examiner, King's College London

1 Jan 201631 Aug 2019

REF 2029 UOA

  • UOA27 - English Language and Literature


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