Professor Laura Salisbury
Professor in Medicine & English Literature
I am Professor in Modern Literature and Medical Humanities. My room is 119 in the Queen's Building.
I have research and teaching interests in modernist, postmodernist and contemporary fiction; medical humanities; modernity and the contemporary; poststructuralism; philosophies of temporality, ethics and affect; psychoanalysis; neuroscience and language.
I have published widely on the work of Samuel Beckett, including a monograph entitled Samuel Beckett: Laughing Matters, Comic Timing (Edinburgh University Press, 2012). My research has also been centrally concerned with the relationship between modernism, modernity, and early twentieth-century neuroscientific conceptions of language. I am currently writing a cultural history of waiting in modernity.
I work in the English Department and in the Wellcome Trust Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Heath. In the Centre, I am currently leading a critical and creative Beacon project called The Index of Evidence on the relationship between health and evidence in a post-truth context.
With Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck) I am joint PI on a 5-year Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award called 'Waiting Times' (2017-2022). This project is working to uncover what it means to wait in and for healthcare. I am currently beginning work on a cultural history of waiting in modernity.
My research interests are in modernist, postmodernist and contemporary fiction; medical humanities; modernist poetry; critical theory; modernity and the contemporary; poststructuralism; philosophies of temporality, ethics and affect; psychoanalysis; gender and language; neuroscience and language; the question of evidence.
WIth Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck), Jocelyn Catty (Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust), Michael Flexer (Exeter), Martin Moore (Exeter) and Raluca Soreanu (Birkbeck) I am part of a Wellcome Funded Collaborative Award, 'Waiting Times', to research the experience of waiting in healthcare.
I am Humanities Lead in Exeter's Wellcome Trust Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Health (directed by Prof Mark Jackson).
I am interested in supervising PhD students working in the following areas: modernism (broadly, but particularly Samuel Beckett); interdisciplinary approaches to literature and neuroscience; medical humanities; psyshcoanalysis and literature; modernism and critical theory; literature and ethics; literature, temporality and affect.
Please feel free to email if you would like to discuss your prospective project informally.
2017 Umas Jin, 'Virginia Woolf and Neuroscience'
2015 Imola Nagy-Seres, first supervisor, ‘Empathy in Contemporary Fiction’
2015 Ana Tomcic, first supervisor, ‘Sexuality, Psychoanalysis and Drive in Modernist Women's Writing’ (South, West and Wales AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership)
2014 Emma Geen, second supervisor, ‘Stories in the Skin’ (South, West and Wales AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership)
2014 Jackie Hopson, first supervisor ‘The Psychiatrist in Fiction’
Students supervised to completion
2018 Rachel Murray, co-supervisor, 'The Modernist Exoskeleton: Wyndham Lewis, D H Lawrence, HD, Samuel Beckett' (AHRC-funded) (Bristol/Exeter)
2017 Joshua Powell, first supervsor, 'Perception, Affect, Imagery: Beckett and Psychological Experimentation' (Exeter)
2015 Hannah Proctor, first supervisor, ‘Russian Revolutionary Psychology’ (AHRC funded) (Birkbeck)
2015 Laura Seymour, co-supervisor, ‘Shakespeare and Neuroscience’ (Birkbeck)
2015 Elizabeth Micakovic, first supervisor, ‘T S Eliot’s Voice: A Cultural History’ (AHRC funded) (Exeter)
2014 Robert Kiely, first supervisor, ‘Beckett and Mysticism’ (Birkbeck)
2014 Isabelle Zahar, co-supervisor, ‘Discourses of Love in the Western Canon’ (AHRC funded) (Birkbeck)
2013 William Kherbek, co-supervisor, ‘John Ashbery and Cognitive Poetics’ (Birkbeck)
2013 Sean Roberts, first supervisor, ‘Beckett and Levinasian Ethics’ (Birkbeck)
2012 Jamie Wood, first spervisor, ‘The Eye Under the Duck-board: English Modernism, The First World War and the Body’ (Birkbeck College, AHRC funded)
2012 Cathryn Setz, co-supervisor, ‘Transitive Birds: Non-mammalian Animals and Late Modernist Aesthetics in transition, 1927–1938’ (Birkbeck College, AHRC funded)
2010 Melissa Bradshaw, co-suprvisor, ‘Plath, Bishop and Psychoanalytic Discourses of Suicide’ (Birkbeck College, AHRC funded)
2006 Richard Cope, ‘Beckett’s Three Dialogues and Contemporary Painting’ (Southbank University)
I have teaching interests in modernist, postmodernist and contemporary fiction; medical humanities; modernity and the contemporary; poststructuralism; philosophies of temporality, ethics and affect; psychoanalysis; neuroscience and language.
In 2017-18 I am teaching a level 3 option: Cultures of Neuroscience.
After studying for a BA in English and European Literature at Warwick University, I completed an MA in the Theory and Practice of Modern Fiction at Exeter University in 1996. Following this, I studied for a PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London, which I completed in 2003. From 2003-7, I was a lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, and was then awarded an RCUK Fellowship in Science, Techology and Culture (2007-13). In 2013, I became Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature.
During my time at Birkbeck I became increasingly interested in Medical Humanities and worked with my colleague Joanne Winning to set up a new MA in Medical Humanities, taught in association with the Kent, Sussex and Surrey NHS Deanery. In 2013, I was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Literature at Exeter University and am now Professor of Modern Literature and Medical Humanities.
I am part of the first generation of my family to sudy at university.