Dr Elinor Taylor
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I joined Westminster in 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow in English and was appointed as a lecturer in 2017. I studied at the University of Manchester (BA Hons, Philosophy) and the University of Salford (MA Literature, Culture & Modernity; PhD, English). I also hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (Westminster, 2017) and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Before joining Westminster I taught at the University of Salford and Liverpool John Moores University.
I currently teach at undergraduate level on 'Keywords for Literary Studies' (level 4), 'The Novel' (level 5), and the English Literature tutorial modules at levels 4 and 5. I also supervise dissertations at level 6.
At MA level, I am module leader for the core modules 'Themes and Problems in Modern and Contemporary Fiction' and 'Materialities, Institutions and Contexts' on the MA in Modern and Contemporary Fictions, and supervise MA dissertations.
I have previously taught modules, at Westminster or elsewhere, on American literature, modernism, literary theory, creative writing, working-class fiction, and interwar women's writing.
My research to date focuses on cultural relationships with the political left in Britain, and is motivated by an attempt to reconnect currents in creative and critical practice to modes of political commitment. My first book, The Popular Front Novel in Britain, 1934-1940, was published by Brill in 2017. Aiming to prise open an image of the 1930s as a moment of failed engagement between writing and political activism constructed by post-war anti-communist discourse, this book reconstructs the relationship between British novelists and the ‘Popular Front’ strategy endorsed by the Communist International in 1935, identifying the novel as a key site in which the politics of anti-fascist alliance were rehearsed. Central issues under examination include the role the novel played in cultural anti-fascism; how the novel and its politics were theorised; how British fiction plays out the ‘national turn’ instituted by the Comintern in 1935; and how fiction associated with this formation relates to wider international bearings, especially the heritage of literary modernism and the codification of socialist realism in the Soviet Union.
My wider research interests encompass creative and theoretical relationships between Marxism, modernism and realism; the theory of the novel; and the relationships between culture and work.
I have given invited talks on my research at, most recently, Pushkin House, the Institute of Advanced Studies, Kellogg College (University of Oxford), and Swansea Museum.
I am a member of the executive committee of the Raymond Williams Society (https://raymondwilliams.co.uk) and a regular contributor to its journal, Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism, as well as contributing to journals including Radical Philosophy, Socialist History, North West Labour History and the TLS.