Emma Wagstaff


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I currently co-supervise doctoral researchers working on early modern, modern and contemporary French writing, connections between literature and visual art, and Caribbean and African literature. I would be very glad to hear from students wishing to pursue Masters or doctoral research in the following areas:

modern and contemporary poetry
poetry and translation
comparative topics in modern literature
poetic form and political engagement
French writers and art
word-image interactions.

I have also supervised projects and dissertations by students taking the MA in Translation Studies, and have acted as internal and external examiner for PhD and MA dissertations.


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

I investigate poetic form from the following perspectives: the effect of form on the writing and reading process, with a particular focus on attention; the relationship between contemporary French poetic practice and other arts and disciplines, including poetry in translation; and the connection between the form of creative works and cultures of protest.

My most recent single-authored book is the first in English to investigate major twentieth-century French poet André du Bouchet, and examines attentiveness in his poetic and critical work: André du Bouchet: Poetic Forms of Attention (Leiden: Brill, 2020).

From 2017-2020, I led a British Academy/Leverhulme-funded series of activities on responses to the protest and events of the 1968 period in cultural reviews and magazines in different parts of the world, which will result in a comparative special journal issue. The project website is here: https://1968inreviews.wordpress.com/home/ and the digital exhibition of reviews here: https://protestinprint.co.uk/.

Together with Professor Nina Parish (University of Stirling), I directed an AHRC network on Contemporary French Poetic practice (2012-2015) which led to a number of co-authored and co-edited publications, including Writing the Real: A Bilingual Anthology of Contemporary French Poetry (London: Enitharmon, 2016). Of those intermedial connections, my particular interest lies in the ways in which writers reflect on visual art, and I published the single-authored book Writing Art: French Literary Responses to the Work of Alberto Giacometti (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2011). 


I have taught at the University of Birmingham since 2006, contributing to core courses at all levels and offering specialist teaching on French poetry, experimental writing and the visual arts. I am currently Director of Undergraduate Studies in Modern Languages.

Previously I held temporary teaching posts at Trinity College, Cambridge and at the université Paris XII at Créteil. I was Research Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge from 2002-2005, having completed my PhD in French and undergraduate degree in French and German at Trinity College.  


  • PhD in modern French poetry, supervised by Jean Khalfa (Cambridge, 2003)
  • MPhil in European Literature (Cambridge, 1999)
  • BA Hons in Modern and Medieval Languages (Cambridge, 1998)


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Time and Forgetting in the Poetry of Andre du Bouchet, Philippe Jaccottet and Bernard Noel, University of Cambridge

1 Oct 199930 Jun 2003

Award Date: 30 Sept 2003


  • PC Romance languages
  • French
  • poetry
  • art
  • translation
  • protest


Dive into the research topics where Emma Wagstaff is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles