Professor of Modern English Literature, University of Lausanne


University of Sheffield: Professor of 20-21C Literature (2009-10); Reader in English (2005- 08), Senior Lecturer (2002-04), Lecturer (1994-2001), Teaching Fellow, (1993-94)

Tutor in English Literature, Manchester College, University of Oxford (1992-93)

Tutor in English Literature, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London (1992-93)

Visiting Lecturer in English Literature, Charles University, Prague (1990-92)

Temporary Lecturer in English Literature, Exeter College, University of Oxford (1989-90)


DPhil, ‘The Influence of Virgil on Milton’s Style,’ supervised by Profs John Carey and Anthony Nuttall, University of Oxford, December 1989

Hons BA/MA in English Language and Literature, University of Oxford, June 1986/1987

Hons BA in Classical Languages and Literatures, magna cum laude, distinction in Latin Literature, Yale University, June 1984

Learned Societies

British Comparative Literature Association: Executive Committee, 2004-2010; International Member, from 2015.
C21: A Journal of Twenty First Century Writings: Editorial Board, 2010-2022.Children’s Literature in Education: Editorial Board, 2009-2011.
Faber & Faber: Member, from 2018.
Fiction-Network (UK): Member, from 2009.
International Network for the Study of Lyric Poetry: Member, 2016-2018.
Modern Fiction Studies: Executive Committee, 2008-2010.
Réseau Européen d’Etudes Littéraires Comparées/European Network of Comparative Literary Studies, Member, from 2010.
Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies (SAMEMES): Member, from 2010
Swiss Association of University Teachers of English (SAUTE): Member from 2010; Editorial Board, 2016-19.
Neke: New Zealand Journal of Translation Studies. Member of Advisory Board, from 2018.
Yeats International Summer School, University of Zurich. Selection Committee, from 2018.

International Consultancy, Grant Assessment, and Reviewing

Peer Reviewer for Comparative Critical Studies, journal of the British Comparative Literature Association (UK, 2006 – 2011)
Assessor for Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK, 2007)
Evaluator for Killam Research Fellowship Selection Committee, Canada Council for the Arts: each two-year fellowship is worth $70,000 (Canada, 2007)
Assessor for John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (USA, 2007)
Member of Distinguished Professor Selection Committee, for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University (USA, 2007)
Consultant for Open University, Faculty of Education and Language Studies (UK, 2008)
Assessor for Palgrave Macmillan Publishing (UK, 2007-2009)
Reading Committee member for E-rea, Revue électronique d’études sur le monde anglophone (France, 2007- 2009)
Peer Reviewer for Children’s Literature in Education (UK, 2008 – 2012)
Peer Reviewer for Critical Engagements, Modern Fiction Studies Network (UK, 2009)
Assessor for Leverhulme Trust Research Awards (UK, 2011)
Peer Reviewer for Children’s Literature Association Quarterly (USA, 2011 – 2012)
Peer Reviewer for HARTS & Minds: Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities and the Arts, University of Bristol (UK, 2013)
Referee for Leverhulme Trust Research Award for poet Kathleen Jamie (UK, 2013).
Peer Reviewer for Comparative Literature, University of Oregon (USA, 2014)
Peer Reviewer for C21: A Journal of Twenty-First Century Writings (UK, 2014)
Peer Reviewer for Lion and Unicorn (Canada, 2008, 2015)
Assessor for QS World University Rankings (UK, 2015)
Peer Reviewer for Children’s Literature, annual journal of Children’s Literature Association, University of Chicago (USA, 2016)
Peer Reviewer for SPELL: Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature (2016)
Peer Reviewer for Anglia/Journal of English Philology (Augsburg, Germany, 2016)
External Assessor for appointment of Professor of Children’s Literature, Newcastle University (UK, 2016)
Peer Reviewer for Yale University Press (London branch, 2016)
Peer Reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan (Basingstoke, UK, 2016)
External Assessor for Professorial Promotions Committee, University of Leeds (2020)
Peer Reviewer for Text Matters (University of Llodz, Poland, 2021)
Peer Reviewer for Translation and Literature, Edinburgh University Press (2022)
Internal MS Reviewer for Manchester University Press (2022)
Judge for Laurel Prize, Award for First Collection of Ecopoetry, UK (2023)

Grants and Awards

Amelia Jackson Scholarship, Exeter College, Oxford, 1986-1989 (doctoral research award)

Overseas Research Studentship, University of Oxford, 1987-89 (doctoral research award)

Quarrel Read Prize, for ‘contribution to college life’, Exeter College, Oxford, 1989

British Academy Overseas Conference Grant, 7th International Bakhtin Conference, Moscow Institute, 1995.

Arts and Humanities Research Leave Award, Oct – Jan 2004.

Fellowship stipendiary, Centre for Anglophone Studies, Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence to deliver a series of public lectures on Crossover Literature, May – June 2007.

Consultancy grant, Open University: to develop course on Crossover Literature, 2008.

ESRC grant to design and deliver interdisciplinary public workshop, “How to be Creative?”, Grant Festival of Social Science Week March 2009.

Subsidy from Department of Chemistry, Harry Kroto Centre, Arts and Humanities Centre, and Vice-Chancellor of University of Sheffield to develop the Arts-Science Encounters, 16 interdisciplinary public events at the University of Sheffield, March – June 2010, and to commission original oil portraits of two Nobel-prize winning chemists from University of Sheffield, 2009-2010.

Société du 450ème, University of Lausanne, subsidy for international SAMEMES (Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies) conference, ‘Literature, Medicine and Science in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods’, 2012.

Voted one of 30 ‘inspirational women’ at the University of Sheffield, featured in ‘Portrait of a Woman’, Festival of the Mind, Sheffield, 2013

Subsidy from the Irish Embassy (Berne) for W.B. Yeats 150th Year Anniversary Celebration, Oct 5, 2015.

Subsidy from International Relations Office, University of Lausanne, to launch ‘Two-Lakes Romanticism’ MA course, with field trips in Lake District and Alps, from 2016 for 5 years.

Subsidy from the Irish Embassy (Berne), the Max Geillinger Foundation, and SAUTE (the Swiss Association of University Teachers of English) for Ulysses at 100: a Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Joyce’s Ulysses. Feb 25, 2022.

Subsidy from Société de Lecture, Geneva, for A Poetry Reading by UK Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, May 20, 2022.

Subsidy from the Hardt Fondation, Geneva, for Twenty Ways of Reading Seamus Heaney’s Aeneid Book VI, May 20-21, 2022.

Conference Organisation

‘Folly’, BCLA Triennial International Conference. Member of organisation and selection committee. Goldsmith’s College, London, 2-5 July 2007.

‘Archive’, British Comparative Literature Association Triennial International Conference. Member of organisation and selection committee. Kent University, 5-8 July 2010.

‘Literature, Medicine and Science in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods’, International Conference. Co-organiser of SAMEMES (Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies) University of Lausanne, 27-29 June 2012. Invited and introduced keynote Prof Heinrich Von Staden (Princeton Institute for Advanced Study).

‘Internationaliser les études lyriques’, CUSO Conference. Co-organiser, with Prof Antonio Rodriguez (Unil) and Prof Ralph Mueller (Unifr). Leysin & Grand Chalet, Kuklos, 6-7 Oct 2016.

Twenty Ways of Reading Seamus Heaney’s Aeneid Book VI, an international workshop of poets, editors, classicists and scholars of Heaney’s poetry, open to the general public, organised by Damien Nelis (Professor of Latin, Geneva) and Stephen Harrison (Professor of Latin, Oxford), and Rachel Falconer (Professor of Modern English Lit, Lausanne). Hardt Fondation, Geneva, May 20-21, 2022.

Editor of International Conference Collections

Conference publication chief editor, Seventh International Bakhtin Conference, Moscow State Pedagogical University, July, 1995: selected and co-edited papers for publication.

Conference publication co-editor, Invention: Literature and Science, 10th International Conference, 12-15 July 2004, University of Leeds: selected and co-edited papers for publication.

Co-edited with Denis Renevey, ‘Medieval and Early Modern Literature, Medicine and Science’, selected and co-edited papers for publication in guest issue of SPELL, 2013.

Plenary and
Invited Lectures

‘Crossover Literature: definitions, boundaries, and educational possibilities’, Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/ American Culture Associations Annual Conference, New Mexico, March 2001.

‘Hell and Back: the Katabatic Imagination,’ keynote address for Undergrounds, a British Comparative Literature Conference, University of Manchester, Jan 2003.

‘Tolkien, Dante and Crossover Epic,’ Tenth Annual NCRCL/British IBBY Conference, Books and Boundaries: Writers and their Audiences, University of Surrey, Roehampton Institute, 15 Nov 2003.

‘Teaching Primo Levi,’ English Subject Centre Conference, Teaching Holocaust Writing and Film, London University, 18-19 Feb 2005.
‘Teaching “Dual-aged” Fiction,’ English Subject Centre Conference, Teaching Children’s Literature, Durham University, 20 May 2005.

‘Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and its adult cross-readers’, University of West of England, 15 Oct 2005.

‘The London Underground and the Descent to the Underworld,’ keynote address for Urban Underworld: London’s cultural and spatial undergrounds from 1820 to the present, University of Cambridge, Sept 2006.

‘Katabatic narratives, global politics and religion,’ opening address for Hell and Its Afterlife, a week-long international, inter-disciplinary conference organised by the University of Utah, Oct 2006.

‘Heterochronic Representations of the Fall: Bakhtin, Milton, DeLillo’; one of fifteen invited international speakers delivering papers at Bakhtin’s Theory of the Literary Chronotope: Reflections, Applications, Perspectives, University of Ghent in Brussels, 28-29 June 2008.

‘Imagination in Children’s Literature,’ University of Newcastle Research Seminar series, 20 April 2009.

‘Releasing your Inner Angel: David Almond’s Skellig for children and adults’, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, Oct 2009.

‘Can Literature Help Save the Planet?’ What Happens Now: 21C Writing in English – the First Decade, University of Lincoln, July 2010.
‘Primo Levi’s If This is a Man‘. Literature and the Human. University of Neuchatel, MA Seminar, 20 April 2011.

‘Afflatious Encounters: les oiseaux dans la poésie contemporaine britannique’, Inaugural Lecture, University of Lausanne, 22 March 2012.

‘Littérature et musique anglaise du 17e au 21e siècle: réflexion et interrogation autour de l’évolution de la littérature et de la musique à l’intérieure d’un même pays’. Lecture and concert of English music performed by cellist Pascal Desarzens and other musicians, for Association à Piacere. Caveau du Singe Vert, Lutry, 13 April 2012. Repeat performance at Eglise Saint-Vincent, Montreux, 20 April 2012.

‘Afflatious Encounters: birds in contemporary British poetry’, keynote address, SAUTE (Swiss Association of University Teachers of English), University of Neuchâtel, 27 April 2012.

‘Birds, Poetry and Music’. Interdisciplinary conference, Inspiration for Life, Lectures in Celebration of the Life of Dr Tim Richardson, Department of Physics, University of Sheffield, March 2013.

‘Yeats and Heaney: reading and discussion’, To the waters and the wild: A Selection of Irish Maritime Poetry through the Ages, Lausanne Irish Study Group. 20 April 2013.

‘Wonderstruck, the Threshold Crossing into Other Worlds: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Narnian Chronicles’. Formation Continue, University of Lausanne, 12 Sept 2014.

‘Listening with Poetry: Jean-Luc Nancy and Seamus Heaney’. University of Geneva, Modern and Contemporary Literature Doctoral Workshop, 16 Oct 2014.

‘Seamus Heaney and the Underworld Journey in Virgil’s Aeneid 6’. Classical Presences in Seamus Heaney’s Poetry. University of Oxford, 17 July 2015.

‘Gravitas and Light: Heaney’s Virgilian Measure’, Traduire le rythme, Centre for Translation Studies, University of Lausanne, 29 April 2016.

‘Byron, the Shelleys and the Summer of 1816’, public event organised by Prof Patrick Vincent (Neuchatel University), Chateau de Chillon, Veytaux, 23 May 2016. Participant in reading of ‘Prisoner of Chillon’ and panel discussion.

‘Hosting Otherness: Lyric, Epic, Rhythm, Voice’, Interdisciplinary CUSO conference, ‘Internationaliser les études lyriques’, Leysin & Grand Chalet, Kuklos, 6-7 Oct 2016.

‘Epic Distortions of Lyric in Heaney’s ‘Riverbank Field’ First International Conference of the Network for the Study of Lyric, Boston University, June 2017.

‘Of Bugs, Birds, and Poets: Undersongs of the Natural World’, Green Thought in a Green Shade: Literature and the Environment, Formation Continue, Lausanne, Sept 2017.

‘Seamus Heaney’s “Route 110” and Virgil’, guest seminar in ‘Seamus Heaney and Translation’, Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, April 2019.

‘Wordsworth UnEnglished: the Aeneid translations’, keynote lecture for The Wordsworth International Summer Conference, Rydal, Cumbria, 12 August 2019.

‘Coming of Age in a Fantasy World: Pullman’s His Dark Materials’, Formation Continue. University of Lausanne, 6 Sept 2019.

‘Afflatious Encounters: Human and Avian Encounters in Modern and Contemporary Poetry’ for The Place of Poetry in 21st Century Culture. University of Lausanne, Sept 2021.

‘Heaney and Virgil’, LA TRADUCTION LITTÉRAIRE AUJOURD’HUI : La POÉSIE entre le XIXe et XXIe siècle. Bergame University Summer School, 3 – 8 June 2021.

‘From the Prado to Hades : Seamus Heaney in the Underworld’, plenary lecture, Mythos, Pathos, Ethos, Complutense University, Madrid, 17 June 2022

Other Conference Papers and Chairing (selected)

‘Theatre on the Balustrade’s Velvet Revolution,’ Why Theatre?/ Pourquoi Le Theatre? International Conference, University of Toronto, Nov 1995.

‘Between Polyphony and Dialogue: the subject in Primo Levi and Mikhail Bakhtin,’ Bakhtin and the Crisis of Subjectivity: Between Philosophy and Literature, Sixth International Conference, ISSEI, Haifa University, Israel, Aug 1998.

‘Classical katabasis in Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet,’ The Poetics of the Subject International Conference, LERMA Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France, 28-29 March 2003.

‘The motif of katabasis in disaster narratives,’ Representing the Unimaginable: Narratives of Disaster, International Interdisciplinary Conference, English Seminar, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, 23-25 May 2003.

‘English-language Crossover Literature,’ International Conference on Storytelling and Cultural Identity, Terceira, Azores, 27-29 June, 2005.

‘Crossover Fiction’. Twenty-first Century Novel, Lancaster University, 2-3 Sept 2005

‘British Crossover Fiction and its Readers’. Stories for Children; Histories of Childhood, Tours, France, 18-19 Nov 2005.

‘Not just “for children, old people and professors”: a Defence of Re-reading”.

Evidence of Reading; Reading the Evidence, Institute of English Studies, University of London Senate House, July 2008.

‘Uses of Metaphor’, paper presented with Professor Aurora Plomer and Professor Thomas Baldwin (Philosophy, University of York), for the 2009 Arts-Science Encounters, University of Sheffield, 2 June 2009.

‘Myths of Modern Science: Metaphor and Myth in the Languages of Biology and Chemistry’, presented with Professor Aurora Plomer (Dept of Law, University of Sheffield), Fourth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Venice, Italy, 29-31 July 2009.

Présidente de séance, Visage: Colloque Interdisciplinaire, Université de Lausanne, Nov 2011.

Chair, Wordsworth Panel, Romantic Prospects: 2012 NASSR conference, University of Neuchâtel, August 2012.

‘Nel mezzo del cammin’: the soul at sea in Kathleen Jamie’s The Overhaul‘, 3rd British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference, University of Manchester, Sept 2013.

‘Kathleen Jamie’s Midlife Music’, First International Conference of Scottish Literature. University of Glasgow, 2-5 July 2014.

Chair, ‘Economies of Contemporary Poetry’ panel, Economies of English: SAUTE Biennial Conference, University of Geneva, 24-25 April 2015.

‘A Ghostly Conversation: Heaney and His Virgil’, English Dept Research Series, University of Lausanne, 29 May 2015.

‘Salvage at the River’s Edge: Heaney, Virgil and the transfusion of cultural memory’,

Salvage : Fourteenth Triennial Conference of the British Comparative Literature Association, University of Wolverhampton, 12-15 July 2016.

‘Virgilian Afterlives in Heaney’s The Riverbank Field’, Archival Afterlives, Manchester University, June 2017.

‘Charon’s Boat’, close comparative reading of Virgil and Heaney’s Aeneid VI translation, for ‘Twenty Ways of Reading Seamus Heaney’s Aeneid Book VI’ (co-organiser), Hardt Fondation, Geneva, May 21, 2022.