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Durham University

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Ms Suzannah V. Evans

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My doctoral thesis, provisionally entitled ‘Hearing Laforgue in T. S. Eliot,’ investigates T. S. Eliot’s prolonged engagement with the writing of the avant-garde French poet Jules Laforgue. Grounded in close readings of Eliot’s poetry and criticism, this will be the first full-length study to assess Laforgue’s role in shaping Eliot’s poetic voice, challenging scholars to reconceive the transnational acoustics of modernism. I hope to examine how transcultural and multilingual exchange are crucial to the development of avant-garde poetry in the twentieth century. This work is supervised by Professor Jason Harding and Dr. Sam Bootle, and funded by the AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership.

This research builds on my MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture which I completed at the University of York, supported by a Departmental Postgraduate Award. My dissertation, which won the Philip Brockbank Prize, was entitled ‘Revelations and Revaluations: T. S. Eliot and Laforgue’. Prior to this, I graduated from the University of St Andrews with a First Class MA Honours degree in English and French.

I have presented research on modern poetry at various conferences in the UK, and most recently at the 2018 Society of Dix-Neuviémistes international conference in Newcastle, where I gave a paper on Laforgue’s reception in France and abroad. In addition to this, I am a Research Assistant in the department of English at Durham, aiding Professor Mark Sandy with a co-edited collection of essays entitled Unsettling Presences: Literary and Cultural Alternatives to Modernism. I also run a weekly T. S. Eliot reading group for staff and students.

I have a strong interest in literary journalism and write frequently for publications including the Times Literary Supplement, The London Magazine, and New Welsh Review. A selection of my poems was longlisted for the 2018 Ivan Juritz Prize for creative responses to modernism, with other poems published widely, and I am Reviews Editor for The Compass poetry magazine.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

‘“Let’s take a walk”: Frank O’Hara the flâneur’. Peer English 11 (2018)

“Throbbing on taut ear-drum”: The Acoustics of David Jones’s In Parenthesis’. Postgraduate English: A Journal and Forum for Postgraduates in English, no. 31 (2015)

Selected Awards

AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Centre Studentship (2017-20)

Department of English, University of York, Philip Brockbank Prize. For highest mark achieved across all taught English MA dissertations and essays (2016)

Department of English, University of York, Departmental Postgraduate Award. For academic excellence (2012)