Hannah Westley

Assistant Professor

  • Department: Comparative Literature and English
  • Complementary Department(s): Global Communications
  • Office: 
    G-3/4 floor
  • Office Hours: 
    Tuesdays & Fridays 11h00-12h00, and by appointment

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After a BA in Modern Languages and MPhil in European Literature at the University of Cambridge, Professor Westley's interdisciplinary PhD focused on the body in self-representation over the course of the twentieth century. Her research examined how writers and artists, in the wake of the postmodern dissolution of the subject, sought out new, often surprising, multidimensional spaces for representing identity.

Following a year’s post-doctoral study on an Entente Cordiale Scholarship, Westley turned to journalism during which time she worked as a writer and editor for /The Times/,/The Mail on Sunday/ and /thelondonpaper/. On relocating back to Paris, Westley taught in the French university system before coming to AUP in 2014. Her current research follows two lines of inquiry. The first stems from her early research and focuses on representations of the body online, in particular the omnipresent ‘selfie.’ Her current work considers how these online identities interact with traditional means of self-representation and how this affects the way we understand subjectivity and narrative. Westley’s second line of inquiry is influenced by her professional experience in the field of journalism. With a particular interest in comparative cultural perspectives on the changing nature of news production and distribution today, this research examines the nature of individualized news consumption online and asks what is the role of the journalist in an age of social media, churnalism and mobile devices.



Education/Degrees

  • PhD. Churchill, The University of Cambridge, 2001
  • MPhil in European Literature. Churchill, University of Cambridge, 1998
  • BA Hons in Modern Languages. Churchill, University of Cambridge, 1997

News

Dr Westley is currently revising an article about online self-representation (or ‘selfies’) that explores the new media interplay between genres and the consequences this holds for an identity that is dispersed in the fluidity of the digital environment. The article will be published in the Journal of Comparative Critical Studies, Fall 2016.

Publications

Books
  • The Body as Medium and Metaphor, Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2008
  • Sheila Girling: the British Abstract Painter, Lund Humphries, London, 2008

Book Chapters and Catalogue Essays


Conferences & Lectures

  • "Women’s Self-Representation in the Digital Age." Conference paper given at the IMLR interdisciplinary conference at the School of Advanced Study. University of London, UK. March 2017.
  • Panel chair. "Travelling Texts and Translated Men: Migration and Postcolonialism across Disciplines." Organized by the Centre for Writers and Translators, AUP. October 2016.
  • “Narratives of the Self.” Participant on panel discussion with French novelist Edouard Louis on self-representation and narrative. Organized by the Centre for Writers and Translators, AUP. September, 2016.
  • "News Consumption Online." Conference paper on the changing genre of news, given at the BASEES conference. Cambridge University, UK. April 2016.
  • “Selfies and online narratives.” Conference paper given at the IMLR interdisciplinary conference at the School for Advanced Study, University of London, UK. February 2015.

Research Areas

Word/image relations, self-representation, journalism, new media