My current research focuses on adaptations of nineteenth-century French literature in a variety of different media. My most recent monograph, Adapting Nineteenth-Century France: Literature in Film, Theatre, Television, Radio and Print, was co-authored with Kate Griffiths (Cardiff) and published by University of Wales Press in 2013. This project has been praised extensively by reviewers in the United Kingdom and abroad:
- ‘Griffiths’s and Watts’s work remains a major work of scholarship. They persuasively encourage exciting new directions for how adaptation studies – and how thinking on the reception of nineteenth-century French literature – can move beyond restrictive models of understanding’ (Modern Language Review).
- ‘Griffiths and Watts's work illustrates how thinking or writing about adaptation may be viewed as adaptive processes in which the theory of adaptation is always transformed’ (French Studies).
- ‘Griffiths and Watts make important statements about the power of translation in and through adaptation across different media. Such statements deserve the widest possible recognition, particularly in an era when the very existence of material deemed readable is threatened by adaptation onto screens of various shapes and sizes’ (Nineteenth Century French Studies).
With Owen Heathcote (Bradford), I am co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Balzac (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and have recently contracted to write a further book with Kate Griffiths under the title The History of French Literature on Film. This book will form part of a new series, ‘Literatures on Film’, published by Bloomsbury and edited by colleagues at the University of Connecticut.
I am one of the co-founders, with Kate Griffiths and Bradley Stephens, of the ART (Adaptation, Recreation, Translation) research cluster, which manages a number of key research projects in adaptation studies, and takes as its broader aim the reconceptualization of adaptation as an academic discipline. Under the umbrella of ART, I co-edited a special issue of Dix-Neuf on the theme of multimedia adaptation, which appeared in July 2014.
I served as Conference Officer for the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes from 2009-11, and am co-editor of the proceedings of two annual conferences (‘Memory’, 2008, and ‘Aller(s)-Retour(s)’, 2009), with Susan Harrow (University of Bristol) and Loïc Guyon (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick) respectively.
I was appointed co-editor of Dix-Neuf, the journal of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, in April 2017.