Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
EnglishPart of Humanities
(023) 8059 3079

Dr Sarah Hayden BA, MA, PhD

Associate Professor in Literature and Visual Culture

Dr Sarah Hayden's photo

Dr Sarah Hayden is Associate Professor in Literature and Visual Culture. She leads the AHRC Leadership Fellowship project, 'Voices in the Gallery:  Reading Unseen Texts' (2019-2021), in conjunction with John Hansard Gallery and Nottingham Contemporary.

'Voices in the Gallery' investigates the voiceover as a phenomenon that exists simultaneously as art-form, literary genre and sonic intervention in the contemporary gallery space.  By bringing together ideas and perspectives from art, literature and sound studies, this project uses the voiceover as a medium by which to explore how writing operates in art practices today.

I joined Southampton in 2016, having previously held Associate Lectureships in Visual Cultures and English & Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London and lectured occasionally at University College Cork and the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.  My doctoral and postdoctoral projects at University College Cork and the Freie Universität, Berlin were funded by a Government of Ireland fellowship and awards from the Irish Research Council and DAAD.  In the summer of 2018, I was a DAAD Visiting Fellow at the n.b.k. Video-Forum and the Department of Art History at the FU, Berlin.

My research and teaching centre on modern and contemporary literature and visual culture, and especially on their intersections.  In my work, I often consider how ideas and aesthetics are translated and transformed as they pass between media, across cultural scenes and among artist groups.  Research interests include art writing, modernism, minimalism, contemporary art, avant-garde movements and experimental poetics.

I have published two monographs. The first, Curious Disciplines: Mina Loy and Avant-Garde Artisthood, is on avant-garde art movements and modernist literature. The second, Peter Roehr–Field Pulsations, is jointly authored with Paul Hegarty and is about German minimalist art from the 1960s. My next project will address voiceover in contemporary art.

I supervise critical and creative doctoral candidates and would be delighted to hear from graduate students interested in working on projects connected to modernist and experimental literature, art writing, and formally innovative poetry.

I direct the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing and organize the Entropics Experimental Poetry series.

Research interests

In January 2019, I was awarded an AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship, to carry out a research project titled 'Voices in the Gallery: Reading Unseen Texts'.  Over two years, I will be working in partnership with John Hansard Gallery and Nottingham Contemporary to explore contemporary art’s invisible (withheld) textuality, as it manifests in the voiceover. The research will generate an exhibition, workshops, talks and screenings, culminating in a book. Mediating between the imagined page, the recorded performance and the experienced sound environment, this monograph will propose an interdisciplinary poetics of the voiceover. You can read more about the project as it develops at

My first book, Curious Disciplines: Mina Loy and Avant-Garde Artisthood, was published in 2018 by University of New Mexico Press. Positioning Loy as an exemplary theorist of the artist-figure (1909-1945), this study exposes Loy’s radically critical perspective on the evolution of the international artworld in transit from Europe to the US. Tracking Loy’s theorizations of Futurist, Dada, Surrealist and ‘Degenerate’ artisthood through her poetry, prose, drama and polemics, the book culminates in an examination of her legacies in 21st-century American poetics.  Some recent reviews appeared in Modernism/modernity and American Literary History.

My second book, Peter Roehr–Field Pulsations is jointly authored with Paul Hegarty. This book is the first monograph on the German Minimalist and Pop artist, Peter Roehr, who produced highly repetitive work using mass-produced material in text, film, sound, photographs, objects and images. As well as his artistic work, Roehr was significant in his curation of international art and is now being rediscovered as a force in 1960s experimental art.

I am currently writing an article on Christopher Kulendran Thomas’s New Eelam project and co-editing a special issue on Minimalism: An Extended Arc. Other critical publications include essays on paintings by the American artist, Jasper Johns and Dada prose by Francis Picabia. In 2014, I provided the introduction and edited new archival material for the re-issue of Mina Loy’s 1930’s novel, Insel (New York: Melville House Press).

I also publish and perform as a writer. See Creative Practice

Sort via:TypeorYear



Book Chapters


Please note that I am currently on research leave.

My poems have been published and performed in the US, UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ireland and Germany, in magazines including Blackbox Manifold, para-text, Golden Handcuffs Review, Tripwire, Datableed and in various anthologies.  Four long cycles have appeared as the chapters, Sitevisit (Materials), Turnpikes (Sad Press), System Without Issue (Oystercatcher Press) and Exteroceptive (Wild Honey Press).  I am currently working on series of lecture-poems.

I also collaborate with visual artists on producing texts for installation or performance. Most recently, I contributed a voiceover and pamphlet to the exhibition ‘Atherton After Ireland: A Kevin Atherton Retrospective, with Sarah Hayden’ (September 8th-October 28th, 2018). This exhibition is part of the One Here Now: The Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, Ireland. To inaugurate our collaboration, Kevin Atherton and I also worked together on ‘In Two Minds (1978/2018)’: Interrogated, a one-night event in January 2018.

I am regularly invited to give public talks and performances at arts institutions, most recently at Nottingham Contemporary, John Hansard Gallery, A Space Studios, the National Sculpture Factory, Sirius Arts Centre and Crawford Gallery in Cork, and the Coronet Printroom Theatre, London. Recent invited poetry performances include: Cardiff Poetry Experiment (December 2018), para.text 5 launch, Iklecktik, London (June 2018), Artichoke 10, Berlin (October 2017), Peter Manson Symposium, Glasgow (October 2017), Front Horse, Nottingham (May 2017), Anathema, Bristol (February 2017), Irish Experimental Poetry IUR special issue launch, NUI, Dublin (June 2016), Royal Holloway Poetics Research Centre, London (May 2016), Prague MicroFestival, Czechoslovakia (May 2016), X-ing the Line, London (April 2016), Hi Zero, Brighton (April 2016) Spring Poetry Festival, Cork (February 2016).

Dr Sarah Hayden
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/2025

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings