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Professor Fiona Doloughan

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Profile summary

Professional biography

Across my academic career to date, I have worked in various disciplinary settings: European Studies; Education; and English & Creative Writing. Yet across those somewhat different settings, my focus has always been on language/s, literature/s and writing practices. My academic home is in Comparative Literature and my PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA looked at concepts of realism in the 19th and 20th century French and English novels; I also have a Masters in Applied Linguistics from the University of Reading. Prior to joining the Open University, I taught Creative Writing for several years in the newly established Department of English at the University of Surrey. Since joining the Open University in May 2011, I have occupied a number of roles, including a brief stint as Head of Department (2015-7). 

Research interests

My research revolves around the development of the novel and on the forces (societal, cultural, technological, linguistic) shaping that development. My first monograph, Contemporary Narrative: textual production, multimodality and multiliteracies (Continuum, 2011) focussed on identifying and illustrating through a case study approach some key trends and issues in a range of 20th and early 21st century narratives through the dual lens of multimodality and multiliteracies. It treated storytelling across modes and media as well as examining the kinds of stories told by writers with access to more than one language and culture.

My second monograph, English as a Literature in Translation (Bloomsbury, 2016) picked up in effect where the first one left off, focussing on ‘narratives of translation’, that is to say narrative works produced by writers with access to more than one language and culture where issues of translation (in multiple senses) are thematised in and contribute to their creative practice.

My third monograph, Radical Realism, Autofictional Narratives and the Reinvention of the Novel (Anthem Press, 2023) treated modes of fictionality and the fact-fiction borderlands in auto/biography, memoir and autofiction with specific reference to the work of Karl Ove Knausgaard, Rachel Cusk, Jeanette Winterson and Xiaolu Guo.

I am a member of two Research Groups within the Department of English & Creative Writing, namely Contemporary Cultures of Writing and the Postcolonial and Global Literatures Research Groups.


I have supervised to completion students in Translation Studies, Creative Writing, and English Literature and am currently co-supervising (with Emma Sweeney) postgraduate research student Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone who is completing a PhD in Creative Writing. Rebekah is working on a multi-strand novel on the life and legacy of Gertrude Bell and in her quest for an alternative novelistic form is posing questions about ‘narrative imperialism’. 

I am willing to supervise students with research interests in contemporary fiction; the evolution of the novel form; and more generally in the areas of narrative production, creativity, and translation.


Teaching interests

I have written teaching materials for modules across the English curriculum: English Literature (chapters on Synge and Winterson for A335, Literature in Transition: 1800 to the present); chapters on Ali Smith for A233, Telling Stories: The novel and beyond), English language (a chapter on “Narratives of Translation and Processes of Adaptation” for E302, Language and Creativity), and Creative Writing in the context of A112, the multidisciplinary module on Cultures. Most recently, I have written materials on "Approaching Literature in Translation" for the foundation block of the MA in Literature and have contributed a chapter on Anne-Marie Fyfe’s No Far Shore to A240 Literature Matters.

Since October 2021, I have been Qualifications’ Lead for English.

Impact and engagement

I have chaired panel discussions on literature in translation at the British Library and at the MK Lit Fest and co-organized literature and creative writing events at Senate House under the auspices of the Contemporary Cultures of Writing Research Group.


[Book Review] Paul Dawson, The Story of Fictional Truth: Realism from the Death to the Rise of the Novel (Theory and Interpretation of Narrativ), Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press (2024)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
Anglia, 142(2) (pp. 397-401)

Translation, Storytelling and Multimodality (2016-11-03)
Doloughan, Fiona
Interférences littéraires/Literaire interferenties, 19 (pp. 107-122)

The construction of space in contemporary narrative: a case study (2015-03)
Doloughan, Fiona
Journal of Narrative Theory, 45(1)

Transforming texts: learning to become a (creative) writer through reading (2012-03-12)
Doloughan, Fiona
New Writing: The International Journal For the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 9(2) (pp. 182-203)

Bottling the Imagination: writing as metamorphosis in Ali Smith's Girl Meets Boy (2010-11)
Doloughan, Fiona
New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 7(3) (pp. 241-251)

Text design and acts of translation: the art of textual remaking and generic transformation (2009)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
Translation and Interpreting Studies, 4(1) (pp. 101-115)

Narratives of travel and the travelling concept of narrative: genre blending and the art of transformation (2006-06)
Doloughan, Fiona
The Travelling Concept of Narrative, 1 (pp. 134-144)

Reflections on the concept of 'voice' in translation (2005-01)
Doloughan, Fiona
In Other Words: The Journal for Literary Translators(26) (pp. 26-33)

"Reading Images, Telling Tales: Meaning-Making and the Culture of Narrativity" (2005)
Doloughan, Fiona
International Journal of Learning, 11 (pp. 1697-1701)

The language of reflective practice in art and design (2002-04)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
Design Issues, 18(2) (pp. 57-64)

Translating the self: Ariel Dorfman's bilingual journey (2002)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
Language and Intercultural Communication, 2(2) (pp. 147-152)

Radical Realism, Autofictional Narratives and the Reinvention of the Novel (2023-02-14)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
Anthem Frontiers of Global Political Economy and Development
ISBN : 9781839983375 | Publisher : Anthem Press | Published : London

English as a Literature in Translation (2015-11-19)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
ISBN : 978-1-62892-509-8 | Publisher : Bloomsbury | Published : London

Contemporary Narrative: Textual Production, Multimodality and Multiliteracies (2011-06-02)
Doloughan, Fiona
ISBN : 978-1-4411-2800-3 | Publisher : Continuum | Published : London and New York

Communication Skills and the Knowledge Economy: language, literacy and the production of meaning (2001-11)
Doloughan, Fiona
Perspectives on Education Policy
ISBN : 0-85473-643-3 | Publisher : Institute of Education | Published : London, U.K.

Radical Realism and Fictionality Modes in Contemporary Auto/Biographical Literature (2023-12)
Doloughan, Fiona
In: Gibbons, Alison and King, Elizabeth eds. Reading the Contemporary Author: Narrative, Authority, Fictionality. Frontiers of Narrative (pp. 131-153)
ISBN : 978-1-4962-3461-2 | Publisher : University of Nebraska Press | Published : Lincoln, Nebraska

Literary Translingualism and Fiction (2022)
Doloughan, Fiona
In: Kellman, Steven G. and Lvovich, Natasha eds. Routledge Handbook of Literary Translingualism. Routledge Literature Handbooks (pp. 31-42)
ISBN : 9780367279189 | Publisher : Routledge

The problematics and performance of self-translation: The case of Xiaolu Guo (2019-03-13)
Doloughan, Fiona
In: Bennett, Karen and Queiroz de Barros, Rita eds. Hybrid Englishes and the challenge of and for translation: Identity, mobility and language change. Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting (pp. 21-36)
ISBN : 978-1-138-30740-7 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York

Translation as a Motor of Critique and Invention in Contemporary Literature: The Case of Xiaolu Guo (2017-08-23)
Doloughan, Fiona
In: Gilmour, Rachael and Steinitz, Tamar eds. Multilingual Currents in Literature, Translation and Culture. Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature (pp. 150-167)
ISBN : 978-1-13-812053-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York and London

Translating culture: linguistic attachment, detachment and (self)-narration (2015-12-22)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
In: Barta, Peter I. and Powrie, Phil eds. Bicultural Literature and Film in French and English. Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature (pp. 237-247)
ISBN : 978-1-13-883286-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Multimodal storytelling: performance and inscription in the narration of art history (2010)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
In: Page, Ruth ed. New Perspectives on Narrative and Multimodality. Routledge Studies in Multimodality (1) (pp. 14-30)
ISBN : 978-0-415-99517-5 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York and Abingdon, Oxon.

The myth of the great return: memory, longing and forgetting in Milan Kundera's Ignorance (2004)
Doloughan, Fiona J.
In: Hanne, Michael ed. Creativity in Exile. Rodopi Perspectives on Modern Literature (29) (pp. 141-150)
ISBN : 90-420-1843-7 | Publisher : Rodopi | Published : Amsterdam and New York, NY, U.S.