Professor Adam Piette


Adam PietteRoom 4.06, Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

Internal extension: 28494
Telephone: 44 (0)114-222-8494
Fax: +44 (0)114-222-8481

email :


Head of the School of English.

I did my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Cambridge, with a PhD on prose rhymes and the representation of memory in French and Irish modernist texts.

I taught at the Universities of Paris XIII, Geneva and Lausanne for ten years whilst turning the thesis into an OUP book — Remembering and the Sound of Words (Oxford University Press, 1996) — and publishing a study of Second World War fiction and poetry, Imagination at War (Macmillan, 1995).

I then worked as lecturer then Reader at the University of Glasgow between 1997 and 2005, where I specialized in 20th century teaching in American and English literature and worked closely with Willy Maley on teaching creative writing at MA level, helping found and run the Edwin Morgan Centre for Creative Writing.

In 2003 I was awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship which allowed me to write a monograph on Cold War writing, looking at writers including Graham Greene, Storm Jameson, Saul Bellow, Allen Ginsberg, Vladimir Nabokov, John Dos Passos, Josephine Herbst, Grace Paley, William Burroughs, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.This has now been published: The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). I have recently co-edited The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012).

I also am general editor of the student creative writing magazine, Route 57, and co-edit the poetry journal, Blackbox Manifold.

Route 57

Black Box Manifold


I am working on other aspects of Cold War culture, and help run the Cultures of the Cold War network.

Cultures of the Cold War

I am also currently researching Beckett and am planning a series of articles on Beckett and the French Cold War, Beckett and the maternal, Beckett and reader response. I am also researching espionage fiction, contemporary poetry, the Cold War and the construction of Europe.


I teach on the Victorian and Modern Literature core modules, approved modules on Cold War fiction and Film and Irish Fiction, and convene the Creative Writing pathway to the MA in English Literature.


I welcome research students working in any area of modernism, those interested in war studies, particularly the Cold War in literature, and would be happy to supervise projects on Joyce, Beckett, Proust, French-English comparative work, research into 20th century and contemporary poetry, and am willing to work with creative writing students.


  • Remembering and the Sound of Words: Mallarmé, Proust, Joyce, Beckett. Oxford: OUP Clarendon Press, 1996.
  • Imagination at War: British Fiction and Poetry 1939-1945. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995.
  • The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam. Edinburgh University Press, 2009.
  • Ed., Modernism and Translation. Guest editor for volume of Translation and Literature 2.1 (Spring 2003), + intro. (6000 words).
  • Ed. with Katy Price, The Salt Companion to Peter Robinson. 266 pp. Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2007.
  • ed. (with Mark Rawlinson), The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012). 590 pp. ‘Introduction: the Wars of the Twentieth Century’, pp. 1-7 + ‘Introduction: Spaces’, pp. 427-30 + ‘Introduction: Genres’, pp. 475-8 + article ‘The Fictions of Nuclear War, from Hiroshima to Vietnam’, pp. 160-71.

Recent Articles

  • ‘Activist Poetics in the Cold War: Grace Paley, Denise Levertov’, PN Review 36.4 (March-April 2010): 59-63.
  • ‘Muriel Spark and the Politics of the Contemporary’, The Edinburgh Companion to Muriel Spark, ed. Michael Gardiner & Willy Maley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010): 52-62.
  • ‘Contesting Realms of Memory in Early Cold War France: Tulle, Oradour and Ricoeur’s Memory, History, Forgetting’, Theory, Culture and Society 27. 5 (2010): 86-106.
  • ‘Mothers, Mirrors, Doubles: Anne Stevenson’s Elegies for Sylvia Plath’, Voyages over Voices: Critical Essays on Anne Stevenson, ed. Angela Leighton (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2010): 55-70.
  • ‘Beckett, Affect and the Face', special issue of Textual Practice ed. Alex Houen, Textual Practice 25. 2 (2011), 281-295
  • ‘Bernard Spencer’s Wars', Bernard Spencer: Essays on his Poetry & Life, ed. Peter Robinson (Bristol: Shearsman Books, 2012), 88-103.
  • “Childhood Wiped Out: Larkin, his Father and the Bombing of Coventry”, English 62.238 (Autumn 2013): 230-247.
  • ‘Contemporary Poetry and Close Reading’, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry, ed Peter Robinson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013): 230-45.
  • “Modernist Victorianism”, for The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Poetry, edited Matthew Bevis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013): 273-90.