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Dr Sarah Hayden BA, MA, PhD

Lecturer in 20th and 21st Century American Literature and Culture

Dr Sarah Hayden's photo

Dr Sarah Hayden is an AHRC ECR Leadership Fellow on the 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 Freie Universitaet, 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 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 Callery and Nottingham Contemporary to develop a crossdisciplinary account of vocalized interventions (voiceovers) in artists' moving image practices today.

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.  This book was recently reviewed in Modernism/modernity.

My second book, Peter Roehr–Field Pulsations is jointly authored with Paul Hegarty. This book is the first monograph on the German 1960s artist who combined Pop with Minimalism. The first edition appeared in Spring 2018; a German translation will be published in Autumn 2018.

Other critical publications include essays on the work of Djuna Barnes’s 1936 modernist novel Nightwood, 21st-century 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

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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 elsewhere.  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.

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).

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 John Hansard Gallery and A Space Studios in Southampton, the National Sculpture Factory, Sirius Arts Centre and Crawford Gallery in Cork, and the Coronet Printroom Theatre, London.

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

Room Number: 65/2025

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