My general research areas are Dada and Surrealism in French literature and film.
My most recent book is Dada as Text, Thought and Theory (Oxford: Legenda Research Monographs in French Studies, 2015). Arguing for a significant reappraisal of one of the twentieth-century's most prominent cultural movements, the study combines close textual analysis and Dada history to approach topics either ignored or resisted by most traditional criticism, including women Dada poets, psychoanalysis and madness, and the history of ideas, including Buddhism and quantum physics.
Over 2014 I worked with Saskia Warren on a feasbility study into a heritage space related to the Birmingham Surrealist group led by Conroy Maddox. The project was funded by the Communities and Culture Network+ and involved workshops and a round table as part of a Birmingham Surrealist Laboratory.
I am also interested in Dada and Surrealism as part of a tradition of experimental or (would be) 'radical' French culture. With my colleague Emma Wagstaff I co-edited a special issue of Nottingham French Studies (2011) on the French avant-garde, in the aim of expanding the periodisation and scope of the avant-garde canon, as well as the methods used to understand individual authors and bodies of work. My other published research in this area considers French avant-garde work from the 1920s and 1930s within a variety of contexts, including European cultural and intellectual responses to armed conflict, combat testimony from soldiers, modern geo-politics and the (so-called) 'so-called 'war on terror'', and the politics and commodification of avant-garde art. I have also drawn on Dada and Surrealism in looking at collaborative experimental work produced on film and video by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville in the 1970s and 1980s.
My monograph on Tristan Tzara (1896-1963) - Modernist Song: The Poetry of Tristan Tzara (Oxford: Legenda, 2006) - represents the first book-length study of poetry written by the man remembered popularly as 'the Father of Dada', whose life in literature continued for nearly four decades after the totemic Sept manifestes Dada of 1924. I have continued to research various aspects of Tzara's life and writing, and am working on a long-term project to bring together Tzara's post-WII poetry - which was illustrated by Sonia Delaunay, Matisse, Miró and Picasso, among others - in a critical edition.
I have corresponded with galleries, cultural organisations and researchers about the various research topics described here, and it is always a pleasure to hear from colleagues or students working in related areas. I am very happy to discuss possible supervision or collaboration, or to respond to questions about any aspect of my work.