Dr Richard Brown

Dr Richard Brown


I was appointed to the School of English at the University of Leeds in 1985 and have been Reader in Modern Literature since 2003.

I come from Weston-super-Mare, studied at the local Grammar School and won a place to read English at University College, London, taking advantage of a student exchange to study at Dartmouth College in the USA during my penultimate undergraduate year there. 

As a finalist at UCL I was Morley Medal winner and carried on to do my PhD there on Joyce in the newly establshed James Joyce Centre in the UCL library which was set up by Frank Kermode, my supervisor Michael Mason and the Joyce Estate. I started my university teaching career there as Quain Student. When in London I also taught for the Extra-Mural Department of London University as well as sub-editing and writing book reviews for the Sunday Times and Times Literary Supplement and I taught for the Open University in Cambridge and East Anglia. 

During the academic year 1992-3 and again in the Summer of 1997, I was Visiting Professor in the English Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where I taught courses on Shakespeare and contemporary English fiction. 

I have recently acted as External Examiner for the MA in English Literature at Brunel University and  the BA English Programmes at Reading University and the MA programmes in Modern Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, the University of Hertfordshire and Bolton Institute of Higher Education.

I was Cline Fellow at the Ransom Humanities Research Centre in the University of Texas at Austin.  For the Cline Fellowship interview discussing my article ‘Marilyn Monroe Reading Ulysses’.

During the Summer of 2017 I was Visiting Associate Professor at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing and in 2018 a Resource Person and opening keynote lecturer at the India UGC/ICSSR Sponsored International Seminar on Modern/Postmodern Literature in English: The Urge for Becoming in Bhagalpur, Bihar.

In 2019 I delivered invited lectures and keynotes on Literature as Crisis at the Jagiellonian Univeristy in Krakow, The Village in the World Picture of the Later Joyce at the Conference on James Joyce and the World at Ivane Javakishvili Tblisi State University in Georgia, Britian in Brexit Fiction at Taras Shevchenko of Kyiv and the Ekphrastic Fantastic in Ballard, Mieville and Smith to the Modern and Contemporary and Transcultural Fantastic Research Groups at Leeds.


  • Programme Manager BA English Literature
  • Programme Manager MA in English Literature Modern and Contemporary Pathway

Research interests

My research interests as defined by my publications are in Modern and Contemporary Literatures, with focus on and beyond key writers who include James Joyce, J.G. Ballard, Ian McEwan, Bob Dylan.


James Joyce

I have published four books on James Joyce: James Joyce and Sexuality (Cambridge, 1985), James Joyce: A Postculturalist Perspective (Macmillan, 1992), Joyce, "Penelope" and the Body (Rodopi, 2006) and the 450-page Companion to James Joyce (Blackwell (2008, 2011), which combines new readings of Joyce's texts with pioneering essays placing his work in a variety of global contexts.

Many of my articles and book chapters which grew into or else from and beyond these books, develop my interests in intertextualities, the body and the city in Modernist and Postmodernist literatures, literary theories and in literatures in global contexts. I have been co-editor of The James Joyce Broadsheet since founding it in 1980. The journal publishes articles, book reviews, art work, translation, news and other material connected to the work of Joyce, three times a year, having a distinctive print medium format and design and maintaining a significant presence in the field world-wide.

I regularly contribute work to various international research groupings including the International James Joyce Foundation with its alternating North American and European Symposia (regularly presenting at conferences and twice serving periods as elected Trustee), the European Joyce Studies Journal to which I have contributed several book chapters and edited volumes and the Italian Joyce Group based at the Universita di Roma Tre and their publication series Joyce Studies in Italy to which I have also contributed regular keynotes, papers and essays. I was a guest on Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time progamme on Joyce's Ulysses in 2012. 

Recent publications on Joyce include a co-edited special issue of The James Joyce Quarterly (with Catherine Flynn, UC Berkeley) on "Joycean Avant-Gardes" (52: 2, 2015), my chapter "The Porters, Polypragmatic Paradigms and Pseudoselves in 3.4" in Joyce's Allmaziful Plurabilties: Polyvocal Explorations of Finnegans Wake (Florida, 2015) and "Joyce's 'Single Act' Shakespeare" in Joyce/Shakespeare edited by Laura Pelaschiar (Syracuse, 2015).   

This latter essay underpins a portfolio of activities and publications relating to Modernism, embodied reading and walking in the city which included the featured walk, performance and readings in the London of Shakespeare as imagined by Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses at the IJJF London Symposium in 2016,  Ulysses which subsequently formed a special issue of the James Joyce Broadsheet (no. 104, June 2016) and the basis of my lecture on the "Forbidden Cities of Modernism" at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.    

Recent authored contributions to the Joyce Broadsheet have appeared on Herbert Read and Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. I am editing with Peter de Voogd, Utrecht and Colleen Jaurettche, UCLA a volume of essays on Eighteenth-Century literatures in Joyce.

Other publications

Contemporary Literature: J.G. Ballard: Landscapes of Tomorrow (Brill, 2016), which was co-edited with Christopher Duffy and Elizabeth Stainforth, explores the cultural landscapes of Ballard's work, including my own essay on the Modernist legacy in his work with a focus on his most challenging book,The Atrocity Exhibition and am currently inviting proposals for further volumes in this book series.

My work on Ballard included in 2017 further articles on the architectural, geographical and cultural environments of his work published in special issues of refereed journals Literary Geographies and Green Letters.

My chapter on Ian McEwan's Cold War fictions appears in the Cambridge Companion to Ian McEwan edited by Dominic Head and I have published on Saturday in Critical Survey and The Innocent in Anglisitk (Heidelberg).

Book contributions on Bob Dylan appeared in Do you Mr Jones? Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors (reprinted 2017) and The Political Art of Bob Dylan (reprinted 2009). 

My poem "Dates, Figs and Turkish Delight" appeared in Moving Worlds: A Journal of Postcolonial Writing (4:2), my poems "Afterword" and "Super-Mare" in Deep Ends (Toronto, 2016) and several poems were selected by Douglas Caster poetry fellow Helen Mort for her "Leads to Leeds" web site in 2016. 

I have also written and had performed two plays emerging from my literary interests. The first was an adaptation for performance by seven actors of the “Circe" episode of Ulysses, under the title Ce Bordel, performed with students from the MA in Theatre Studies March 7-10, 1990. Cafe Wha?, a three-dimensional post 9/11 dream satire set in 1961 and featuring the ghost of James Joyce and the young Bob Dylan was directed by Stephen Bottoms in the Workshop Theatre 10–11 September, 2008.   

Research groups, conferences and seminars

In the School of English at Leeds I have run regular Modern and Contemporary and James Joyce Research Groups and Seminars, inviting guest speakers and hosting conferences.  We have a Finnegans Wake Reading Group recently hosted by Dr Georgina Binnie and a Sensory Modernisms Research Grouping (with Dr Crispian Neil) to which I gave the opening two conference keynotes.  I established the first A.N. Jeffares Lecture (Jeffares developed the study of Anglo-Irish Literature in Leeds as Professor from 1957-1974) which was delivered by Professor Declan Kiberd of University College Dublin. 

Public engagement of the group has included our group participation as part of Doria Garcia’s “These Books Were Alive” exhibition at Leeds Tetley Gallery February 2017.   

Recent invited plenaries, lectures, conferences and research trips have taken place in locations such as:

  • Dublin
  • Los Angeles
  • Seoul
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Beijing
  • Toronto
  • New York
  • Berlin
  • Paris

PhD supervisions

I have conducted 30 postgraduate supervisions (including 11 successfully completed supervised PhD theses since 2000) and a similar number of internal and external PhD examinations.

Recent successes include Dr Debra Conway, "Hybridity, Diasporic Homes, History and Forgery in Finnegans Wake" (2014), Dr Christopher Duffy  "Heterotopic Space in Selected Works of J.G. Ballard" (2015) and Dr Daniel Kielty "Haptic Relations with Built Environments in the Writings of Rebecca West 1909–1941" (2017).

I am currenty supervising PhD students working on T.S. Eliot and Homecoming on Stream of Consciousness in James Joyce and Liu Yichang and on Intimacy and Violence in D.H.Lawrence.  

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA English Language and Literature, University College, London, 1975.
  • PhD in English Literature, University College, London, 1981.

Professional memberships

  • International James Joyce Foundation
  • Modern Languages Association of America
  • British Association of Modernist Studies
  • Modernist Studies Association

Student education

Teaching is highly important to me as is the connection between teaching and research which I see as mutually supportive in our subject area.

Since my arrival in the Leeds School of English I have been centrally involved in the design, management and, above all, regular and committed delivery of core and option modules and the supervision of student dissertations and of course examination and assessment, especially in the areas of Modern and Contemporary Literature, and especially at Level Three and PGT Level. 

I am proud to have been centrally involved in the introduction, maintenance and expansion of our core provision in these key areas over the whole of my career and I continue to commit to these areas for the future. Option modules at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels still more closely conected to my core research interests which I have designed, sustained and continue to offer are in James Joyce's Ulysses, the Engimatic Body of Modernism and Millennial Fictions.          

Research groups and institutes

  • Critical Life Research Group
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>