Richard Hibbitt

Richard Hibbitt


My first degree was in French and German at Royal Holloway, University of London, which included a year working as an assistant in Strasbourg. After this I spent a year as a DAAD-funded visiting student at the University of Augsburg, followed by a MA in Comparative Literature at the University of East Anglia. I then took a PGCE at the University of Exeter and spent a year teaching French and German at various schools in London and Surrey. After this I returned to UEA to study for a PhD in Comparative Literature, during and after which I taught French there part-time. Before joining the Department at Leeds in 2007 I held two one-year Lectureships in French, at the National University of Ireland, Galway and at the University of York.




  • Two Sides of the Straits: An Anthology of Gallipoli Poems in English and Turkish, trans. by Berkan Ulu, ed. by Richard Hibbitt and Berkan Ulu (York: White Rose University Press, forthcoming 2024). 
  • Oysters, Nightingales and Cooking-Pots: Selected Poetry and Prose of Tristan Corbiere, trans. by Christopher Pilling, ed. by Richard Hibbitt and Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe (York: White Rose University Press, 2018). Open access publication; free to download or read online

Journal issues

  • Comparative Critical Studies, special edition on ‘Fin-de-sicle cosmopolitanism’, edited by Stefano Evangelista and Richard Hibbitt, 10.2 (2013)
  • Comparative Critical Studies, special online edition on ‘Possible Worlds’, edited by Marina Warner with Richard Hibbitt, 9.3 (2012)

Articles, book chapters and other publications 

  • ‘The Transnational Continuum: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism in Nineteenth-Century France’, in Transnational French Studies, edited by Charles Forsdick and Claire Launchbury (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2023), pp. 343-37.
  • ‘The World War Project’, in W.G. Sebald in Context, ed. by Uwe Schütte (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023), pp. 127-34. 
  • ‘Anti-colonial Exoticism in Octave Mirbeau’s Le Jardin des supplices’, in French Decadence in a Global Context: Colonialism and Exoticism, ed. by Julia Hartley, Wanrug Suwanwattana and Jennifer Yee (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2022), pp. 97-120 
  • ‘Double Palimpsest: History and Myth in the Poetry of the Gallipoli Campaign’, co-written with Berkan Ulu, Journal of European Studies, 51.3–4 (2021), special issue: ‘The First World War and its Aftermath: Literary Networks and Cultural Encounters’, edited by Philip Ross Bullock, Sofia Permiakova and Gesa Stedman: 
  • ‘On Translating Verlaine’s Prose’, Volupté, special issue on Decadence and Translation, edited by Matthew Creasy and Stefano Evangelista, 3.2 (2020), 77–93
  • ‘Against haute littérature? André Gide's Contribution to the World Literature Debate’, Comparative Critical Studies, special issue on Rethinking Literariness: Genres, Traditions and Paradigms in Comparative and World Literature, edited by Alessio Mattana and Laura Lucia Rossi, 27.3 (2020), 391–411
  • ‘Baudelaire and the Dilettante Work Ethic’, in The Labour of Literature in Britain and France, 1830-1930: Authorial Work Ethics, edited by Marcus Waithe and Claire White (London: Palgrave, 2018), pp. 131–45
  • ‘The Symbolist Novel as Transnational Capital’, in Other Capitals of the Nineteenth Century: An Alternative Mapping of Literary and Cultural Space, ed. by Richard Hibbitt (London: Palgrave, 2017), pp. 247–65
  • ‘W. G. Sebald et le roman: « c’est pas vraiment mon style , in W. G. Sebald: littrature et thique documentaire, ed. by Muriel Pic and Juergen Ritte (Paris: Presses universitaires de la Sorbonne, 2017), pp. 63–78
  • ‘Bruges as Symbolic Capital’, in ‘Literary Communities in the Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Centuries: Space, Place and Identity’, special issue of Forum on Modern Language Studies, edited by Philip Bullock, Stefano Evangelista and Gesa Stedman, 2017 (53.1), 349–59
  • ‘Baudelaire, Baumgarten and Sensate Knowledge’, in Aisthesis und Noesis. Zwei Erkenntnisformen vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart, edited by Hans Adler and Lynn Wolff (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2013), pp. 85–96 
  • ‘Inevitable Plots in the Symbolist Novel: Georges Rodenbach’s Bruges-la-morte’, in Finding the Plot: On the Importance of Storytelling in Popular Fictions, edited by Diana Holmes and David Platten (Newcastle-on-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013), pp. 218–33 
  • ‘Two Responses to Paul Bourget: Henry James and Thomas Mann’, Comparative Critical Studies, special edition on ‘Fin-de-sicle cosmopolitanism’, edited by Stefano Evangelista and Richard Hibbitt, 10.2 (2013), 303–16
  • ‘Oscar Wilde and la critique impressionniste, Cahiers victoriens et douardiens, no. 77 (Spring 2013), edited by Laurent Bury and Luc Bouvard, online
  • ‘Entente asymetrique?: Franco-British Literary Reception in 1908’, in Channel Packets: Franco-British Cultural Exchanges, 1880-1940, ed. by Andrew Radford and Victoria Reid (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 34–51 
  • 'Reflections on the Fruitful Error', in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression, ed. by Rhian Atkin (Oxford: Legenda, 2011), pp. 27–36
  • 'The Artist as Aesthete: The French Creation of Oscar Wilde', in The Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe, ed. by Stefano Evangelista (London: Continuum, 2010), pp. 65–79
  • 'Paul Bourget's critique of fin-de-siecle cosmopolitanism', in The Cause of Cosmopolitanism: Dispositions, Models, Transformations, ed. by Laura Rascaroli and Patrick O'Donovan (Oxford : Peter Lang, 2010), pp. 173–87
  • 'Le roman d'analyse et le romanesque: la reprsentation de l'hritage psychologique chez Paul Bourget', in Romanesque et Histoire, ed. by Christophe Reffait (Collection Romanesques, vol.  III ; Paris: Encrage, 2008), pp. 175–89
  • 'Oscar Wilde et Paul Bourget : Deux vies en parallle', rue des beaux-arts, 17 (Nov. / Dec. 2008), ed. Danielle Gurin (online)
  • 'Dilettantism and Irony: Jules Laforgue and C. M. Wieland', Forum For Modern Language Studies, 44.3 (July 2007), 290–300
  • '"This savage parade": Recent translations of Rimbaud', The Cambridge Quarterly, 36.1 (February 2007), 71–82 (review article)


  • Director of Comparative Literature

Research interests

My research interests encompass two overlapping areas. The first is nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French and comparative literature, with particular emphases on cultural exchange, the reception and translation of fin-de-siècle literature, and the concepts of dilettantism and cosmopolitanism. This research has led to publications on Charles Baudelaire, Paul Bourget, Jules Laforgue, Arthur Rimbaud, Georges Rodenbach, Henry James, Thomas Mann, Oscar Wilde, and the Symbolist novel. My present research is on the transnational cultural field in the long nineteenth century, which is linked to my membership of Writing 1900, an international and cross-disciplinary research network. With Arunima Bhattacharya and Laura Scuriatti I am currently co-editing a volume of essays entitled Literary Capitals in the Long Nineteenth Century: Spaces beyond the Centres, to be published by Palgrave in their Literary Urban Studies series in 2021. I am also a member of the AHRC-funded network Decadence and Translation; through this group I am currently researching English translations of Paul Verlaine’s prose works. 

My second area of research is informed by my wider interest in literature from a comparative perspective, stretching from Montaigne to W. G. Sebald.  This includes my first book, Dilettantism and its Values: From Weimar Classicism to the Fin de Siècle (Legenda, 2006), and an ongoing interest in digression, experimentation,and  narratology. In 2011 I co-edited with Dr Jo Catling (UEA) a volume of essays on W. G. Sebald, entitled Saturn's Moons: W. G. Sebald - A Handbook (Legenda). Recently I have been collaborating with Dr Berkan Ulu of Akdeniz University (Turkey) on a project investigating poetry from the Gallipoli Campaign, funded by an AHRC Gateways to the First World War public engagement award.  

I am on the Executive Committee of the British Comparative Literature Association . Between 2017 and 2022 I was one of the General Editors of its journal Comparative Critical Studies, published by Edinburgh University Press: I am also on the Executive Committee of the European Society of Comparative Literature

At Leeds I co-directed the Centre for World Literatures in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies from 2014 to 2022. I am also one of the founding organisers of International Writers at Leeds, a programme of visiting writers in partnership with Leeds Central Library. I currently organise the John Dryden Translation Competition, which is supported by the British Comparative Literature Association and the British Centre for Literary Translation. Further details on entering and on previous winners and entrants can be found here:

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research on the following areas: French and comparative  literature, cosmopolitanism, cultural exchange, and reception and translation during the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century; different conceptions of dilettantism; comparative topics, particularly with a focus on literature in English, French and German; world literature. Current and past topics include the following: bibliomigrancy, nomadic paratexts, second-person narratives, representations of mental health,endings in English and French fiction, and representations of women in contemporary fiction.  

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

Student education

I teach French and comparative literature at all undergraduate levels.

Research groups and institutes

  • French
  • Cultural studies
  • Centre for World Literatures
  • Literary studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>