Emma Wagstaff

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

My research investigates poetic form from two perspectives: the effect of form on the writing and reading process, particularly in relation to attention; and the connection between the form of creative works and cultures of protest. Current projects include a single-authored book on a major twentieth-century French poet, André du Bouchet: Poetic Forms of Attention (under contract), and a British Academy/Leverhulme-funded series of activities on responses to the protest and events of '1968' in different parts of the world. These projects build on previous research into modern and contemporary French poetic practice, and the connections between French writers and the visual arts.



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, University of Cambridge

    Time and Forgetting in the Poetry of Andre du Bouchet, Philippe Jaccottet and Bernard Noel

    1 Oct 1999 - 30 Jun 2003

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy,

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I have supervised an M.Phil dissertation on bande dessinée and am currently co-supervisor of students working on literary and translation topics. I would be very glad to hear from students wishing to pursue Masters or doctoral research in the following areas:

modern and contemporary French poetry
poetic form and political engagement
poetry and translation
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 examiner for PhD and MA dissertations.