Professor Adam Piette

Professor of Modern Literature


Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA


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 a lecturer then Reader at the University of Glasgow between 1997 and 2005, where I specialised 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 funding a book on Cold War writing: The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). I co-edited The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012) with Mark Rawlinson. More recently, I have published articles on Beckett, Joyce, Nabokov, the war story, Elizabeth Bowen, Muriel Spark, postwar espionage fiction, 20th century poetry.

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 Modern and Contemporary Literature core modules, approved modules on Cold War Fiction and Film, and Irish Fiction, and help convene the Creative Writing MA programme.


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
  • ‘Postwar Espionage Fiction: Memory and Fascism in Emergency-State Thinking’, Long Shadows: The Second World War in British Literature and Film, ed. Petra Rau (Evanston IL: Northwestern University Press, 2016), 177-196.
  • “Torture, Text, Human Rights: Beckett’s Comment c’est/ How It Is and the Algerian War”, Around 1945: Literature, Citizenship, Rights edited by Allan Hepburn, (Montreal: McGill/Queen’s University Press, 2016), 151-74.
  • "Now listen, Mr Leer!": Joyce's Lear”, Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry, edited by Matthew Bevis & James Williams (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2016), 281-299.
  • ‘Deep Geological Disposal and Radioactive Time: Beckett, Bowen, Nirex and Onkalo’, Cold War Legacies: Systems, Theory, Aesthetics, edited by John Beck, Ryan Bishop (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 102-115.
  • ‘Sputniks, Ice-Picks, G.P.U.: Nabokov’s Pale Fire’, The Edinburgh Companion to Atlantic Literary Studies, edited by Leslie Elizabeth Eckel & Clare Frances Elliott (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016). [October – 978 1 4744 0294 1]
  • ‘my soldiers’: F.T. Prince and the Sweetness of Command’, in Reading F.T. Prince, ed. Will May (Liverpool University Press, January 2017), 153-164.
  • Entries to The Edinburgh Dictionary of Modernism, ed. Vassiliki Koloctroni & Olga Taxidou (Edinburgh: Edinburgh, 2018): ‘Memory’, pp. 232-35; ‘Translation’, pp. 379-83; ‘War’, pp. 392-96.
  • “Sacrifice and the Inner Organs of the Cold War Citizen”, Sacrifice and Modern War Literature: From the Battle of Waterloo to the War on Terror edited by Jan-Melissa Schramm and Alex Houen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp.191-206.
  • ‘Muriel Spark and Fake News’, special issue on Muriel Spark ‘The Prime of Muriel Spark: A Centenary Retrospect’, ed. Kolocotroni & Maley, Textual Practice 32.9 (2018), pp. 1577-1591.
  • ‘Poetry, the Early Cold War and the Idea of Europe’, Postwar: British Literature in Transition, 1940-1960 ed, Gill Plain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 161-175.