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Sophie Seita

Dr Sophie Seita

Junior Research Fellow

Department/College

Faculty of English

Queens College

About

I am a Junior Research Fellow at Queens’. I read English at Magdalene, Cambridge, followed by an MPhil in Criticism and Culture (with a thesis on Kathy Acker and Christine Brooke-Rose), also at Cambridge. In 2016, I received my PhD from Queen Mary University of London (under the supervision of Andrea Brady). Between 2013 and 2014 I was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, and between 2015 and 2016 I held the same position at NYU where I taught two courses on ‘Print, Typography, and Form’ in the Media Studies department. During my PhD, I was involved with a research and digitisation project at Princeton University (http://bluemountain.princeton.edu/index.html) and with the British sound archive, Archive of the Now (http://www.archiveofthenow.org/). This year, I'm one of co-organisers of the next RAPAPUK (Race&Poetry&Poetics in the UK) conference (Oct 2018). I am also an artist who works with language on the page, in performance, and in translation, often responding to and writing through older literary, archival, and philosophical materials and ideas, with a commitment to collaboration, formal difficulty, and queer politics (www.sophieseita.com).

I have received a Beinecke Fellowship at Yale, a Princeton University Library Research Grant, a Charles D. Abbott Fellowship (Poetry Collection, SUNY Buffalo), a Queen Mary Principal’s Studentship, a Hölderlin Study Abroad Scholarship, the John Kinsella and Tracy Ryan Poetry Prize, a writing residency at The Guesthouse (Cork, Ireland), as well as scholarships, grants, and awards from NYU, Queen Mary University of London, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (multiple), Cambridge’s Judith E. Wilson Fund, the Cambridge Humanities Research Grant Scheme, Columbia University’s Gatsby Foundation, the Arts and Culture Fund (QMUL, London), PEN America, and Asymptote.

Research Interests

My research focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Anglophone avant-garde writing, art, and poetics; literary communities; print culture and periodical studies; contemporary experiments with performance writing, feminist and queer performance art, artistic collaborations, mixed media art, and practice-based research. I’m currently finishing my monograph Provisional Avant-Gardes: Little Magazine Communities from Dada to Digital (forthcoming from Stanford University Press)—a diachronic study of provisional avant-garde communities through the medium of the ‘little magazine’, which rethinks received views of avant-garde ‘movements’ and their respective historical, social, and aesthetic boundaries, in chapters that compare proto-Dada (~1914-1929), proto-conceptual (~1965-1975), proto-Language and queer New Narrative (~1971-1987), feminist (~1983-2009), and contemporary magazine communities (2010-2017). I’m particularly interested in aspects of a magazine’s production (including print technology and materiality), distribution (e.g. readings, mailing lists, social media), and reception, as well as wider theoretical questions about hospitality, feminism, sexuality, race, and canonicity, and what it means to be ‘avant-garde’ today. The crosscurrents between formal experimentation, materiality, and community-formation will also inform my second project, tentatively called Contemporary Performance Practice: Material, Medium, Genre. I also have an interest in experimental translations (across languages and media) and multilingualism.

Teaching

I supervise students for both Part I and Part II of the English Tripos, including Practical Criticism, Lyric, American Literature, Contemporary Writing, and English Literature and its Contexts 1830-1945. I also supervise dissertations across these areas.

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