Dr Sophie Seita, Queens'



Biographical Information

I am a Junior Research Fellow at Queens’. I read English at Magdalene, Cambridge, followed by an MPhil in Criticism and Culture (with a thesis on Kathy Acker and Christine Brooke-Rose), also at Cambridge. In 2016, I received my PhD from Queen Mary University of London (under the supervision of Andrea Brady). Between 2013 and 2014 I was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, and between 2015 and 2016 I held the same position at NYU where I taught two courses on ‘Print, Typography, and Form’ in the Media Studies department. During my PhD, I was involved with the Blue Mountain Project at Princeton (a research and digitisation project), and with the British sound archive, Archive of the Now. At Cambridge, I recently co-hosted the second RAPAPUK (Race&Poetry&Poetics in the UK) conference (26-27 Oct 2018) and am one of the convenors of the 'Re-' Interdisciplinary Network at CRASSH.

In my creative practice, I work with language on the page, in performance, video, and translation, often responding to and writing through older literary, archival, and philosophical materials and ideas, with a commitment to collaboration, formal difficulty, and queer politics (www.sophieseita.com).

I have received a Vice-Chancellor's Public Engagement Award, a Beinecke Fellowship at Yale, a Princeton University Library Research Grant, a Charles D. Abbott Fellowship (Poetry Collection, SUNY Buffalo), a Queen Mary Principal’s Studentship, a Hölderlin Scholarship, the John Kinsella and Tracy Ryan Poetry Prize, a writing residency at The Guesthouse (Cork, Ireland), a collective mini-residency at Raven Row (with Gorgonia), as well as scholarships, grants, and awards from NYU, Queen Mary University of London, Lambeth City Council, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (multiple), the Judith E. Wilson Fund (multiple), the Cambridge Humanities Research Grant Scheme (twice), Cambridge Humanities Starter Fund, Columbia University’s Gatsby Foundation, the Arts and Culture Fund (QMUL, London), PEN America, and Asymptote.

Contact: sts31 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk

Research Interests

My research focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Anglophone avant-garde writing, art, and poetics; literary communities; print culture and periodical studies; contemporary experiments with performance writing, feminist and queer performance art, artistic collaborations, mixed media art, and practice-based research. My monograph Provisional Avant-Gardes: Little Magazine Communities from Dada to Digital (Stanford University Press, 2019 [forthcoming]) is a diachronic study of provisional avant-garde communities through the medium of the magazine, which rethinks received views of avant-garde ‘movements’ and their respective historical, social, and aesthetic boundaries, in chapters that compare proto-Dada (~1914-1929), proto-conceptual (~1965-1975), proto-Language and queer New Narrative (~1971-1989), feminist (~1983-2009), and contemporary digital communities (2010-2017). I’m particularly interested in aspects of a magazine’s production (including print technology and materiality), distribution (e.g. readings, mailing lists, social media), and reception, as well as wider theoretical questions about hospitality, feminism, sexuality, race, and canonicity, and what it means to be ‘avant-garde’ today. The crosscurrents between formal experimentation, materiality, and community-formation will also inform my second creative-critical project on contemporary performance practices, tentatively called Literary Live Art. I also have an interest in experimental translations (across languages and media), multilingualism, and Latin American art and writing. I'm currently writing Lessons of Decal, a book of lyric essays about form and feminism.

I supervise students for both Part I and Part II of the English Tripos, including Practical Criticism, Lyric, American Literature, Contemporary Writing, and Literature & Visual Culture. I also supervise dissertations across these areas.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I would be glad to work with M.Phil students on any topics covered by my research interests.

Selected Publications



  • ‘My Little Enlightenment Plays: A Lecture Performance’, Counter-Signals, 3 (Spring 2019). [forthcoming]
  • ‘The Politics of the Forum in Feminist Avant-Garde Magazines after 1980’, jml: Journal of Modern Literature, 42.1 (Fall 2018), pp. 163-182.
  • ‘Tom Raworth’s Little Magazines: Outburst, Before Your Very Eyes!, and Infolio’, Critical Quarterly, 59.2 (Summer 2017), 11-33. 
  • The Blind Man Sees the Fountain: New York Dada Magazines in 1917; An Introduction’, introductory essay to the centenary facsimile reprint of The Blind Man (UDP, Fall 2017) [ca. 8000 words] One of The New York Times's Best Art Books of 2017.
  • ‘Thinking the Unprintable in Contemporary Post-Digital Publishing’, Chicago Review, 60.4 (Fall 2017), 175-194. 
  • ‘Lodging & Dislodging the Little Magazine: A Google Document Conversation in Fifteen Parts’, commissioned article, co-written with Danny Snelson, for the print and digital magazine Hotel (April 2017).
  • Two collaborative texts, co-written with a group of feminist poets, for a forum on 'Sexism and Sexual Assault in Literary Communities': 'No Manifesto' (pp. 221-232), and a hand-out from the NYC-based feminist collective Enough is Enough (pp. 201-203), Chicago Review, 59.1 (2015).
  • ‘The Ethics of Attention in Peter Larkin’s “Leaves of Field”’, Cordite Review, 44 (Summer 2013), online.

as editor

  • Centenary facsimile edition of The Blind Man (Ugly Duckling Presse/Beinecke Library, 2017). The boxed set includes my introductory essay as a separate booklet, a letterpress poster of The Ridgefield Gazook, and an offset printed poster for The Blind Man's Ball, designed by Beatrice Wood. Named one of the Best Art Books of 2017 by The New York Times.

book chapters

  • ‘Contemporary Experimental Translations and Translingual Poetics’, in Reading Experimental Writing, ed. by Georgina Colby (Edinburgh University Press, August 2019) [forthcoming].
  • Co-authored with Irmtraud Huber, ‘Authentic Simulacra, or, The Aura of Repetition: Experiencing Authenticity in Tom McCarthy’s Remainder’, in The Aesthetics of Authenticity: Medial Constructions of the Real, ed. by Wolfgang Funk and Irmtraud Huber (Transcript, 2012).


  • ‘Mistakes Like Passport Stamps’, review of Eric Bulson's Little Magazine, World FormTimes Literary Supplement, 13 February 2018, p. 16.
  • Review of Gabriel Rockhill’s Radical History & The Politics of Art (2014), in Modernism/modernity, 22.4 (November 2015).
  • ‘Grace Notes for Bernadette’, review of Bernadette Mayer’s republished Sonnets (Tender Buttons Press, 2014), in Lemonhound (March 2015), online.
  • ‘A Review of Marc James Léger’s Brave New Avant Garde: Essays on Contemporary Art and Politics’, Studies in Theatre and Performance, 33.3 (September 2013).


  • ‘A “Xerox Coup d’Etat”:  Sophie Seita Interviews Kevin Killian about Editing Mirage and Mirage #4/Period[ical]’, Poets House (15 October 2018), originally published by CLMP: Front Porch Commons (September 2015).
  • ‘On Alembic’, Interview with Ken Edwards and Robert Hampson, Mimeo Mimeo, 9 (2014); republished online on Jacket2 (January 2018).

literary publications

  • My Little Enlightenment Plays: A Lecture Performance, a risograph artist book/chapbook, designed by Jack Henrie Fisher, forthcoming from Other Forms in Apr 2019.
  • Transpositions, a collaborative artist book with Jasmine Brady. Edition of 7. Part of a commission funded by the Wellcome Trust on queer kinship, corn, and reproductive technologies. Commissioned by Reproc Soc for the exhibition Reproductivities, in collaboration with an exhibition at the New Hall Art Collection.
  • Subsisters: Selected Poems, translation from the German of Uljana Wolf (New York: Belladonna, 2017).
  • Les Bijoux Indiscrets, or, Paper Tigers (Gauss PDF, 2017), performance text. 
  • Meat (Houston, TX: Little Red Leaves, 2015).
  • i mean i dislike that fate that i was made to where, English translation of Uljana Wolf and winner of the 2014 Wonder Prize (New York: Wonder, 2015).
  • Fantasias in Counting (Buffalo: BlazeVOX Books, 2014).
  • 12 Steps (Cambridge: Wide Range Chapbooks, 2012).
  • Translations of Uljana Wolf in Currently & Emotion, ed. by Sophie Collins (Test Centre, 2016).
  • Numerous magazine publications in the UK, US, Germany, and Ireland, such as London Review of BooksPEN America, The White Review, Cambridge Literary Review, and others.

other work

  • Performance of Emilia Galotti's Colouring Book of Feelings, at Art Night London (Oxo Tower, Jul 2018), Torn Page (New York, May 2018), Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (May 2017), and Parasol Unit (Jul 2017).
  • Performance of Les Bijoux Indiscrets, or, Paper Tigers, at Issue Project, Brooklyn (Dec 2016), and La MaMa La Galleria (Mar 2017), and Bold Tendencies, Peckham (Sep 2017). Video here.
  • Performance of Don Carlos, or, Royal Jelly, at Company Gallery, NYC, Apr 2016. The piece was longlisted for the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers.
  • ‘Some Disintegrating Loops, for Raphael’, in Raphael Sbrzesny’s Service Continu 7/7 (artist book) (Spector Books, 2017).
  • Interviews with me about my work have appeared in 3:AM (May 2017) and Bomb (October 2017).
  • As editor: Cordite Review: A British & Irish Issue, co-edited with Matt Hall, 49.1 (March 2015). Online: cordite.org.au/content/poetry/irishenglish/
  • Invitations to read poetry, perform, or present other creative work in the UK, US, Ireland, and Germany, e.g. Entropics (University of Southampton, Feb 2017), Hannah Barry Gallery (London 2016), Center for Fiction (NYC 2016), Goethe-Institut (NYC 2016), Philalalia book fair (Philadelphia 2015), Segue Reading Series (New York 2015); Flying Object (Hadley, MA 2015); The Montpelier (London 2015); ‘The Avant: Contemporary Arts Festival’, Tactic Gallery, Cork, Ireland (2014); SoundEye Festival (Cork, Ireland 2014 and 2016); The Serpentine Gallery (London 2014), Buffalo Poetics Program (2013), Neue Töne Open Festival (Stuttgart, Germany 2012), among many others.