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Katherine Baxter

Reader in English Literature

Department: Humanities

Following my first degree in English and Hebrew, I was awarded my Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow in July 2003. I then worked for several years in London both as a lecturer and as a cataloguer and curator at the British Library. In 2007 I was appointed as Research Assistant Professor in Cross-Cultural Studies in English at the University of Hong Kong. I then moved, in 2010, to the United States where I was a lecturer at Stanford University before joining Northumbria University in 2011. My work is characterized by my longstanding interest in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary scholarship. Modernist, colonial and postcolonial literatures form the main focus of my research alongside an interest in literary multilingualism.

Campus Address

Office: Lipman 107

0191 227 4986


  • English Literature and Classical Hebrew MA Hons (Glasgow)
  • Literature, Theology and the Arts PhD (Glasgow)

Current/Recent Projects

I am currently working with Dr Ann-Marie Einhaus on a Heritage Lottery funded project, ‘Reflections of Newcastle, 1914-1918’ (£55,200) in collaboration with the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle College and the November Club. The project examines the intellectual and cultural life of Newcastle during the First World War. As part of the project students from Northumbria University and Newcastle College undertook internships to research and develop three iBooks, launched on the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 2016 (see project website). I have also been involved with The Bowes Museum’s HLF funded project, ‘To Serve King and Country’, to develop a creative project with Northumbria University Creative Writing and Performing Arts students.

For other research projects see Research Themes and Scholarly Interests.

Key Publications

Imagined States: Law and Literature in Nigeria. Edinburgh University Press. Forthcoming 2018.

Conrad, Joseph. Plays, eds. Katherine Baxter and Richard J. Hand, Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad.  Cambridge University Press. 2018. Forthcoming.

Edinburgh Companion to the First World War in the Arts eds. Katherine Baxter and Ann-Marie Einhaus. Edinburgh University Press. 2017. Forthcoming.

‘The Translinguistic Poetics of Perez and Sullivan’. Co-authored with Lytton Smith. Literary Geographies, 2016. Forthcoming.

Conrad and Language. eds. Katherine Baxter and Robert Hampson. Edinburgh University Press, 2016.

‘Senseless speech’ and Inaudibility in Conrad's ‘Amy Foster’: Rethinking Trauma and the Unspeakable in Fiction’, Textual Practice 30.5 (2016) 879-95.

‘Reading New Black Fiction of East Asia: An Ex-centric Approach to Transnational Literary Studies’, Journal of Commonwealth Literature 48.3(2013) 349-62. (Translated and reprinted in D’Afrique en Asie, d’Asie en Afrique. Recontres au coeur d’un monde globalisé. eds. Dominique Malaquais and Nicole Khouri, Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre, 2016.)

‘Speaking Foreign: Conrad and Modernist Multilingualism’, Studia Neophilologica 85.1(2013) 17-28.

Joseph Conrad: The Contemporary Reviews Vol. 4, eds. Katherine Baxter and Mary Burgoyne. Cambridge University Press. 2012.

‘Judging Judgement in Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease’, in The Legal Case: Cross Currents between Law and the Humanities. ed. Marco Wan, Routledge. 2012. 159-71.

‘Photography and Postcolonial Trauma in The Bang-Bang Club’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 47.1 (2011) 18-29.

Joseph Conrad and the Swan Song of Romance. Ashgate. 2010. (Reprinted excerpt in Short Story Criticism: Within the Tides. Gale Cengage, 2014.)

Joseph Conrad and the Performing Arts, eds. Katherine Baxter and Richard J. Hand. Ashgate. 2009.

‘Soyinka, Walcott, and Modernist Circulations of African Aesthetics’ in Origins of Literary Modernism, 1870-1914. ed. Gregory F. Tague, Academica Press. 2008.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My two main areas of research are modernism, in particular the work of Joseph Conrad, and colonial and postcolonial literatures. I am also General Editor of English: The Journal of the English Association.

My current monograph project, Imagined States: Law and Literature in Nigeria (EUP 2018), examines the complex, transnational relationships between literature, jurisprudence, and legal practice in late colonial and early postcolonial Nigeria.

In Conrad studies I have published widely, most recently editing Conrad and Language with Professor Robert Hampson (EUP 2016). My monograph, Joseph Conrad and The Swan Song of Romance, explores Conrad’s use of classical romance forms throughout his oeuvre (Ashgate 2010). In 2012 this book received ‘Honourable Mention’ for the Adam Gillon Book Award, presented quadrenially by the Joseph Conrad Society of America. I am co-editor of Conrad’s Plays for Cambridge University Press’s series, The Works of Joseph Conrad, with Professor Richard Hand (CUP 2018). This is an exciting project, which collects together for the first time all Conrad’s plays with The Book of Job, his only literary translation from Polish, and his film scenario, Gaspar The Strongman.

I am also involved in research on the First World War, co-editing the Edinburgh Companion to the First World War in the Arts with Dr. Ann-Marie Einhaus, (EUP 2017). I am a member of the North East WW1 Research Forum, and have been involved in other WW1 projects during the centenary commemorations (see Current and Recent Projects).

I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and act as an expert reviewer for several academic publishers and journals.

Teaching Interests

My teaching ranges across modernist, colonial and postcolonial literature including fiction, poetry and drama. I have also designed and taught modules on travel writing, tourism, museum and exhibition practices, literary theory, reading and writing short fiction, and academic writing and research.

Funding Awards and Fellowships

  • TQEF Grant, Northumbria University: ‘Creativity and Remembrance at the Bowes Museum’, 2015 (GBP 2,000).
  • Heritage Lottery Fund Grant: ‘Reflections of Newcastle, 1914-1918’ collaborative partner with Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle College and the November Club, 2015 (GBP 55,200).
  • HEIF Project, Northumbria University: 2014 (GBP 2,530).
  • General Research Fund Incentive Grant, University of Hong Kong: ‘Imagined States: Law and Literature during Nigerian Decolonization, 1900-1970’, 2009-2010 (HKD 30,000).
  • Continuing Professional Development Grant, University of Hong Kong, 2008 (HKD 10,451).
  • Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research, University of Hong Kong: ‘Literature and Infrastructure in the Period of Western Africa’s Decolonization’, 2008-2010 (HKD 210,000).
  • School of Criticism and Theory, Sponsored Participant Fellowship, University of Cornell, 2008.

Postgraduate Supervision

I have supervised the following projects to date:

  • ‘Expanding or Diminishing Worlds: A Study of Early Twentieth-Century Oriental Travel Writing’, PhD (ongoing)
  • ‘Middlebrow Mystics: Henri Bergson and British Culture 1899-1939’, PhD. Second Supervisor.
  • ‘Loss in Conrad’s Fiction’, MRes (2014)
  • ‘Exploring the Hidden Diaspora: How Margaret Scott Negotiates a Sense of Place in her Collected Poems’, MA (2013)
  • ‘The Social and Aesthetic Landscapes of Conrad’s Colonial Fiction’, MPhil (2010)
  •  ‘Contemporary Feminisms in Literature and Film’, MA (2010)
  • ‘Women and Race in Postcolonial Literature’, MA (2010)
  • ‘Gender, American Literature and Modernism’, MPhil. Second Supervisor (2009)

I particularly welcome proposals from students with interests in Joseph Conrad, modernism, colonial and postcolonial literatures, and travel writing.

Affiliations and Memberships

  • Joseph Conrad Society U.K.
  • Modernist Studies Association
  • North East Modernist Research Initiative
  • North East WW1 Research Forum


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