Juliette Taylor-Batty


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Personal profile


Juliette Taylor-Batty is Reader in English and Comparative Literature at Leeds Trinity. She is the author of Multilingualism in Modernist Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), a wide-ranging study of the use by modernist writers of different languages for stylistic effect, and is the co-author of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’. She has also published widely on twentieth-century literature, including Jean Rhys, Eugene Jolas, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov and Salman Rushdie.

Before joining Leeds Trinity, Juliette studied at the Universities of Oxford and Sussex, then studied and taught at the University of Warwick, where she gained her PhD in English and Comparative Literature.

She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, is on the organising committee of the Northern Modernism Seminar, and is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the British Association for Modernist Studies. 

Research interests

My research lies at the interface of literary studies, translation studies, comparative literature, and world literature, with particular focus on literary multilingualism and the use of translational processes in literature. I am especially interested in the ways in which literature challenges traditionally conceived linguistic and national boundaries, and in the ways in which the transnational circulation of texts and languages is internalised within individual literary texts. 

The current primary focus of my research is literary modernism, but I maintain an active interest in later twentieth and twenty-first-century literature, including postmodern and postcolonial literature. This in turn informs my work on modernism, which contributes to debates regarding the periodisation of modernism and ‘peripheral’ modernisms. I work across languages, but maintain a particular interest in Anglophone and Francophone literature, and in Anglo-French literary relations.

My book, Multilingualism in Modernist Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), examines the use of different languages, translational processes, and interlingual interference in a wide range of writers, including James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Jean Rhys, D.H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield and Dorothy Richardson. I examine what I define as a ‘multilingual turn’ in modernist literature, and demonstrate that, rather than being an exceptional or unusual phenomenon, multilingualism is fundamental to modernist forms of defamiliarisation. The book argues that much modernist fiction challenges contemporary anxieties regarding the ‘artificiality’ of ‘cosmopolitan’ forms of multilingualism, manifesting instead a fascination with processes of interlingual interference and mixing, and with subversive interlingual processes that fundamentally undermine traditional distinctions between original and translation, native and foreigner, mother tongue and foreign language.

Other recent projects include a study of Eugene Jolas’s multilingual work in relation to his modernist journal transition, and a British Academy funded project examining Jean Rhys’s use of translational sources.

My next book, Modernist Originals: Copying, Translation, Rewriting, scrutinises the concept of ‘originality’ in modernist literature and especially the ways in which modernist writers undermine that concept despite an overt concern with literary ‘newness’. Applying theories of translation to the analysis of literary texts, the book will examine the relationship between modernist writers’ work as translators and their ‘original’ writing, the explicit use of translation for compositional purposes, the unacknowledged use of sources (including purported cases of plagiarism), and deliberately appropriative forms of translation, including forms that, following Oswald de Andrade, may be defined as ‘cannibalistic’. Translational ‘copying’, in such cases, becomes not a ‘derivative’ or ‘secondary’ form of writing, but constitutes a transformative act that is at the heart of modernist constructions of ‘newness’. 

Teaching and Administration

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

Level 5: ENG5515 Postcolonial Literature; ENG5412 Twentieth-Century Literature; ENG5822 Magical Realism in World Fiction.

Level 6: ENG6912 Postmodern Fiction; supervision of dissertations and research reports

MA: VICM1113 Approaches and Methods in Victorian Studies; 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, University of Manchester

1 Oct 202031 Dec 2024

External Examiner, King's College London

1 Jan 201631 Aug 2019


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