Professor Karin Littau

Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Professor Karin Littau
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872629

  • Location

    5NW.5.13, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Wednesday 11.30-12.30



BIOGRAPHY I am Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Essex. Before joining the Department in 1998, I was Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Prior to that I taught at the University of Warwick, where I studied for my MA in English Literature and PhD in Comparative Literary Theory. I am a founding member of the Centre for Film and Screen Media, established at Essex in 2001, and was its Director from 2003-2008. I am also a member of the Centre for Bibliographical History, based in the Department of History. Since 1998 I have served on the Executive Committee of the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA). RESEARCH My research interests are in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and film, and include book and film history, reception, adaptation, and translation studies. I have published on the relations between print and screen media, and am especially interested in the effects of media technologies on the senses, perception, and cognition; and the effects of print, cinematograph, and computer on practices of reading, writing, and translation. I have written on Jane Austen, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Angela Carter, and Kathy Acker; and on films by the Lumieres, G. W. Pabst, David Cronenberg, and Ridley Scott. My work is driven by a love of theory, ranging from literary theory, and theories of editing and translation, to film theory and media philosophy. My books include Theories of Reading: Books, Bodies, and Bibliomania (2006), which was funded by the British Academy and published in Spanish by Manantial (2008); Cinematicity in Media History (2013 with Jeffrey Geiger); and A Companion to Translation Studies (2007 with Piotr Kuhiwczak). I am also co-guest-editor of three special issues of Comparative Critical Studies for the British Comparative Literature Association: Inventions: Literature and Science (2005), Cinematicity (2009), and Migration (2014). My next book is A History of Literature and Film for Routledge, which focuses on the ways in which literary writing has been reshaped by moving pictures and gives a revisionary account of literary history from the perspectives of film. I am the author of journal articles in SubStance; MLN; Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies; Forum for Modern Language Studies; Dedalus (Portuguese Comparative Literature Association); PKn: Primerjalna knjizevnost (Slovene Comparative Literature Association); Translation Studies; TTR: Traduction Terminologie Redaction (Canadian Association for Translation Studies); Theatre Research International; and of book chapters in collections such as Translation and World Literature (2018), Film Analysis. A Norton Reader (2013), New Takes in Film-Philosophy (2010), Crash Cultures: modernity, mediation and the material (2002), and Alien Identities: Exploring Differences in Film and Fiction (1999). SUPERVISION I have supervised and examined theses in the UK and EU, including a Doctor Europaeus. I welcome applications for doctoral research in any of the following areas: * literature and film * film adaptation, intermediality, transmedia * comparative literature, rewriting, and translation * history of the book, silent cinema, and new media * technology, mediality, materialism * reception studies and the history of reading * physiology of reading, embodied spectator, affect Please note that I do not supervise practice-based research in creative writing or film.


  • BA Trent

  • MA Warwick

  • PhD Warwick


University of Essex

  • Study Abroad Officer, Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies University of Essex ( 1/1/2018 - present )

  • Deputy Director of Research, Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies University of Essex ( 5/10/2015 - 10/10/2016 )

  • Director of Research, Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies University of Essex ( 26/4/2010 - 5/10/2015 )

Research and professional activities

Conferences and presentations

[Guest Speaker] "Filmic Translation and Transmediation", Bristol Seminar, Faculty of Arts, University of Bristol.

[Plenary] "Mediality in Flux", Workshop: Media in Motion, in collaboration with Konstanz University, University of Essex.

[Conference Paper] "Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Cinematic Imagination", Panel on Cinematicity in Media History, 53rd Annual Conference: Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Chicago.

[Plenary] "Translating between Media", Translating and Interpreting Across Media: Exploring the Relevance of (Inter)mediality for Language Pedagogy, Sponsored by The Higher Education Academy / AHRC, University of Manchester.

[Guest Speaker] "Myth and Translation", Translation Seminar, Centre for Co-Curricular Studies, Imperial College, London.

[Guest Speaker] "Reading in the Age of Edison", Departmental Seminar, Fachbereich Literaturwissenschaft, Universität Konstanz, Germany.

[Guest Speaker] "Subsequent Steps towards a Media History of the Book", Seminar Series - Landmarks in Book History: the Future of the Discipline, The Open University's Book History Research Group, and the Institute of English Studies, University of London.

[Conference Paper] Panel on "Embodied Reading", Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) Conference: The Book in Art & Science, Library of Congress, Washington DC.

[Plenary] "Darwin's Radio: Media and Cultural Change", Possible Worlds - A Day Conference in Honour of Dame Gillian Beer, Queen Mary, University of London.

[Plenary] "The Movie-minded Reader", Interdisciplinary Workshop: Engaging with Film: Perspectives on Cinematic Literacy, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick.

[Public Lecture] "History of Translation: from Scroll to Hypertext", City University London Events, in association with UCL and SOAS.

[Guest Speaker] "Translation and Book History", Reseach Seminars in Translation Studies, University of Edinburgh/ Herriot Watt University.

[Jury-selected Guest and Speaker] "An Archaeology of Affect: Reading, History and Gender", Who Reads? 25th Vilenica International Literary Festival, Lipica, Slovenia.

[Keynote] "Intermedial Translation", Symposium: Disordering the Disciplines: Translation and Interdisciplinarity, University of East Anglia.

[Plenary] "Medea's Gift", International Congress: Women and Translation, Asociación de Estudios Históricos de la Mujer de la Universidad de Málaga, Spain.

[Guest Speaker] "Cross-media Translation", Translation Studies Seminar, Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester.

[Guest Speaker] "Cross-media Histories - Why Book History matters to Film History, and vice versa", The History and Language of Print Culture Research Seminar, University of Salford, Manchester.

[Keynote] "The Physiology of Momentary Angels: Towards a Reception Aesthetics of Media", International Conference: Philosophy and Film/ Film and Philosophy, University of the West of England & the Arnolfini, Bristol.

[Conference Paper] "Technological Aesthesis: The Impressing Inventions of Gutenberg and the Lumières", British Comparative Literature Association XIII International Conference, Literature and Science, University of Leeds.

[Conference Paper] "The Physiology of Consumption", Unprincipled Passions: Emotion and Modernity, University of Southampton .

[Conference Paper] "Translating like/as a Woman", Conference: Gender and Translation, University of East Anglia.

[Conference Paper] "The Scattering of Languages", Paideia. XXth World Congress of Philosophy, Boston, US.

[Conference Paper] "The Power of Myth: Babel, Oedipus, Pandora", Conference on Translation and Power, University of Warwick.

[Conference Paper] "Derrida in Translation", Applied Derrida, University of Luton

[Conference Paper] "Reading Thieving Theorizing", ESSE European Society for the Study of English, University of Glasgow.

Teaching and supervision

  • Approaches to Film and Media (LT121)

  • Versions of Modernity (LT202)

  • Approaches to Text (LT204)

  • Narrative and Film (LT206)

  • Writing in Society: The Art of Communication (LT705)

  • Independent Literature Project (LT831)

  • Independent Film Project (LT833)

  • Independent Project in Film Studies (LT834)

  • Adaptation (LT928)


Chapters (8)

Littau, K., (2018). Two Ages of World Literature. In: Translation and World Literature. Editors: Bassnett, S., . Routledge. 1138641758. 9781138641754

Littau, K., (2013). Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895-1897), Lumi�re Brothers. In: Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (Second edition). Editors: Geiger, J. and Rutsky, RL., . W W Norton. 9780393923247

Littau, K., (2011). The ghost is the machine: Media-philosophy and materialism. In: New Takes in Film-Philosophy. 154- 170. 9780230294851

Littau, K. and Kuhiwczak, P., (2007). Introduction. In: A Companion to Translation Studies. Editors: Littau, K. and Kuhiwczak, P., . Multilingual Matters Limited. 1- 12. 1853599573. 9781853599576

Littau, K., (2005). Arrival of a Train at la Ciotat (1895-1897): Silent Films and Screaming Audiences. In: Film Analysis: A Norton Reader. Norton. 43- 62. 9780393979831

Littau, K., (2002). Eye-Hunger: Physical Pleasure and Non-Narrative Cinema. In: Crash Cultures: modernity mediation and the material. Editors: Arthurs, J. and Grant, I., . Intellect Books / University of Chicago Press. 35- 51. 1-84150-071-2

Littau, K., (1999). Adaptation, Teleportation and Mutation from Langelaan's to Cronenberg's The Fly. In: Alien Identities: Exploring Difference in Film and Fiction. Pluto. 141- 155. 9780745314051

Littau, K., (1996). Incommunication: Derrida in Translation. In: Applying: To Derrida. Macmillan. 107- 123. 9780333656624

Journals (27)

Littau, K., (2017). Response by Littau to the responses to “Translation and the materialities of communication”. Translation Studies. 10 (1)

Littau, K., (2017). Okumanın Teorileri: Kitaplar, Bedenler ve Bibliyomani. Çevrimdışı İstanbul. Special Issue: Edebiyatta Okurun Rolü [The Role of Readers in Literature] (6)

Littau, K., (2016). Translation and the materialities of communication. Translation Studies. 9 (1)

Littau, K., (2016). Translation's Histories and Digital Futures. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION. 10

Littau, K., (2015). "In the Beginning"... an Intermedial Babel. SubStance. 44 (3)

Bahun, S., Finburgh, C. and Littau, K., (2014). Guest Editors' Introduction to Comparative Critical Studies (special issue: Migration). Comparative Critical Studies. 11 (2-3)

Littau, K., (2012). The Dog and the Phonograph: Possible Futures in the Self-Development of Media. Comparative Critical Studies (e-CCS Online Supplement). 9 (3)

Littau, K., (2011). An archaeology of affect: Reading, history and gender. Primerjalna Knjizevnost. 34 (2)

Littau, K., (2011). Media, mythology and morphogenesis: AliensTM. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. 17 (1)

Littau, K., (2011). First steps towards a media history of translation. Translation Studies. 4 (3)

Littau, K., (2011). Artheologija afecta: branje, zgodovina in spol. PKn Primerjalna književnost. 34 (2)

Geiger, J. and Littau, K., (2009). Guest Editors' Introduction to Comparative Critical Studies (special issue: Cinematicity). Comparative Critical Studies. 6 (3)

Littau, K., (2009). Summa Phantasmagoria. Comparative Critical Studies. 6 (3)

Littau, K., (2005). Serial Translation: Angela Carter's New Reading of Pabst's Wedekind's Lulu. Comparative Critical Studies. 2 (1)

Falconer, R. and Littau, K., (2005). Guest Editors' Introduction to Comparative Critical Studies (special issue: Inventions: Literature and Science). Comparative Critical Studies. 2 (2)

Littau, K., (2000). Pandora’s Tongues. TTR : traduction, terminologie, rédaction. 13 (1)

Littau, K., (1997). Translation in the Age of Postmodern Production: From Text to Intertext to Hypertext. Forum for Modern Language Studies. 33 (1)

Littau, K., (1997). Dagmar Kift The Victorian Music Hall: Culture, Class and Conflict Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. £35.00. ISBN 0-521-47472-8.. New Theatre Quarterly. 13 (51)

GRANT, IH. and Littau, K., (1996). Deconstruction. The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory. 6 (1)

Littau, K., (1996). Reading Thieving Theorizing: Philip Hensher's Other Lulus and Kathy Acker's The Selling of Lulu. Dedalus: Revista Portuguesa de Literatura Comparada. 6

GRANT, IH. and Littau, K., (1995). Deconstruction. The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory. 5 (1)

Littau, K., (1995). Refractions of the Feminine: The Monstrous Transformations of Lulu. MLN. 110 (4)

LITTAU, K., (1994). Deconstruction. The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory. 4 (1)

Littau, K., (1993). Deconstruction. The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory. 3 (1)

Gardner, V. and Littau, K., (1993). Dagmar Kift Arbeiterkultur im gesellschaftlichen Konflikt: die Englische Music Hall im 19 Jahrhundert Essen: Klartext-Verlag, 1991. 240 p. ISBN 3-88474-154-3.. New Theatre Quarterly. 9 (35)


LITTAU, K., (1992). Hermeneutics. The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory. 2 (1)

Books (2)

Littau, K. and Geiger, J., (2009).Cinematicity (Special Issue of Comparative Critical Studies). Edinburgh University Press

Littau, K. and Falconer, R., (2005).Inventions: Literature and Science (Special Issue of Comparative Critical Studies). Edinburgh University Press

+44 (0) 1206 872629


5NW.5.13, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Wednesday 11.30-12.30