I joined the Open University in 2001, having taught previously at King’s College London, the University of Roehampton, and the University of Chester. A graduate of the University of Liverpool, I gained a degree in English Language and Literature and an MA in Victorian Literature from the university, and worked as a Research Assistant on editions of Percy Bysshe Shelley's and Matthew Arnold's poetry. My PhD was conferred by King's College, London in 1997. While at the University of Chester I studied for a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, awarded in 2000.
I am a founder member of the Ford Madox Ford Society, of which I am currently Chair.
There are three inter-related strands to my research profile: the work of novelist, critic and editor Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939); scholarly editing, which I undertake as a member of the Book History Research Group at the Open University; and the literature of the First World War.
In Ford studies, I was part of the team which produced the definitive critical edition of Ford's First World War tetralogy Parade’s End (1924-28), published by Carcanet Press in 2010-11. I edited volume 3, A Man Could Stand Up-. Filming of the BBC/HBO serialisation of Parade’s End (dir.Susanna White), which was scripted by Tom Stoppard, began in 2011, and a high point of that year was a visit to the set, to watch the filming of the golf scene in episode 1. Further related editing projects include Ford’s classic modernist text, The Good Soldier. Follow this link to read my introduction. Currently, I am co-editing the Ashgate Research Companion to Ford Madox Ford, a work which will help to shape the research agenda in this field for a new generation of scholars, and I am a member of the Editorial Board of International Ford Madox Ford Studies, which in 2015 took the form of a volume of essays celebrating the centenary of The Good Soldier's publication, a volume which I co-edited.
My work as an editor is currently focused on Evelyn Waugh, as part of Oxford University Press's massive publishing project: The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh. I am editing the novel Helena, which Waugh described as a favourite among his novels - the Daily Express agreed with him, calling it his 'best novel yet' (12 October 1950).
Nineteenth and twentieth-century cultural, social and political issues are at the heart of my research. I have written on Ford’s treatment of railway pathologies, for example, and of sexuality, as well as on his representations of the experience of war. Follow this link for an extract from a book chapter on railway pathologies and how they figure in Ford and in the work of his contemporaries.
My focus on Ford's war fiction also translates into a broader interest in the literature of the First World War. I have published work on Modernism and the First World War, for example, in the Edinburgh Companion to British and American War Literature. A recent article examines the representation of alcohol in literature of the First World War, and I recorded a podcast on alcohol, First World War literature and the YMCA in a series on wartime attachment in Dublin in June 2015. http://environments-of-care-1912-22.webnode.com/events/ Follow the link to listen https://soundcloud.com/ucd-humanities/sara-haslam-contested-ground-alcohol-attachment-and-the-hut-habit-at-war. Online, my piece 'Glory, farce and despair: the many Stories of World War 1' was published by The Conversation on 12 February 2014. Bibliotherapy is my current focus in war studies, and I am engaged in archival research following the story of books at war, and textual healing in its many forms.
My publications also include studies of Thomas Hardy, Henry James, the Brontës, Joseph Conrad, and life writing.
I peer review for a number of journals and academic and trade publishers, and the AHRC's Peer Review College.
My teaching commitments include A335 Literature in Transition, for which I have written teaching material on Ford's The Good Soldier; and A230 Reading and Studying Literature, where my teaching units focused on James Joyce's collection of short stories, Dubliners. I co-edited The Twentieth Century, pictured above left, for Bloomsbury while A230 was in production and was also deputy module team chair. I have also written teaching material for other current and recent modules across all levels of the curriculum, including A215 Creative Writing; A150 Voices and Texts; EA300 Children’s Literature, and A300 Twentieth-Century Literature: Texts and Debates. I was Chair of the Start Writing suite of modules, including Start Writing Fiction (A174), and Start Writing Poetry (A175) from 2008-2012 and wrote teaching material for Start Writing Essays (A172). While serving as Director of Research Degrees in the Faculty (2012-14) I also wrote teaching material supporting the progress of our PhD students.
While at the University of Chester, I produced a CD-ROM on the poetry of Thomas Hardy – follow the link for a taster. This CD-ROM includes the Complete Poems and numerous audio and video extracts. It is on sale from the University of Chester (at £10). If you are interested in purchasing a copy, email me and I will send you the details.
Recent and current research students have undertaken studies of Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, and the literature of the First World War. Informal PhD enquiries are welcomed, but please also refer to the Postgraduate section of our departmental website for further relevant information.
I was an academic consultant and an interviewee for the Culture Show Special, ‘Who on Earth was Ford Madox Ford?’ (BBC2, 1 September, 2012). At an open session of the Parade’s End conference, held in London in Sept 2012, I chaired a question-and-answer session with Susanna White, director of the Parade’s End adaptation, and Rupert Edwards, producer of the Culture Show Special. I was also the academic consultant for a second Ford-related BBC project, ‘The World of Parade’s End’ (BBC2, 24 August, 2012), and co-authored a magazine article in the Spectator on the BBC/HBO adaptation (18 August, 2012). I delivered a talk on Ford Madox Ford as part of the South Bank ‘The Rest is Noise’ Festival on 3 February 2013, and a public lecture on Ford at Stony Stratford library on 19 March 2013.
In September, 2015 I gave the keynote lecture at a conference on Ford and H.G. Wells's war writing. Guardian journalist Sam Jordison joined us for the event and I interviewed him about his book project on Wells, as well as his experience of running an online reading group on Ford's novel. In 2016, my major external engagement was with the BBC, in my role as academic consultant for the OU on Sally Wainwright's new drama, To Walk Invisible, which is about the life and work of the Brontë sisters. A documentary film on Ford’s life and work for which I was interviewed is now in final stages of production in the United States (It Was the Nightingale: the Unreliable Story of Ford Madox Ford, dir. Paul Lewis at Subterracon Films). The film will have its official launch in 2017.
I am an Editorial Board member of International Ford Madox Ford Studies.
My external research networks include the Medical History of the First World War network and WAR-Net, an interdisciplinary network for scholars working on war representation, as well as the Ford Madox Ford Society.
The Ford Madox Ford Society recently formed a North American chapter.
IFMFS Editorial Board members are drawn from the UK, the US, and mainland Europe.
|Book History and Bibliography Research Group||Group||Faculty of Arts|
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Lead||01/Sep/2015||30/Apr/2016||BRITAC British Academy|
I have received a 5k BA/Leverhulme Small Grant for my research project: ‘The Bridge to Joyceland and Beyond: Ford Madox Ford in the Twenty-First Century’ which will involve archival work at two libraries in the US. Cornell University houses the most significant collection of Ford’s manuscripts and papers, and there I will be accessing materials related to his early life and work as I prepare a proposal for a volume of his fairy tales and develop a database of his letters. During a second trip, to the New York Public Library, I will document Ford’s final book collection, donated to the library in the 1990s. Considering how well-connected Ford was in the 1920s and 1930s, I shall be looking for significant dedications as well as marginalia as I prepare an essay on the collection for the inaugural issue of the new Ford Society Journal.