Joanna Rzepa is Lecturer in Literature. Before joining Essex in 2019, she held the post of Thomas Brown Assistant Professor in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies, Trinity College Dublin. She also taught at the University of Warwick and University College London.
Joanna completed her PhD in English and Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick. In 2015-2016 she was an early career fellow at the Warwick Institute of Advanced Study, and in 2016-2017 she held an Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the Trinity Long Room Hub, Arts & Humanities Research Institute.
Her research and teaching interests include comparative literature and cultural theory, modernism and twentieth-century literature, book history and print culture, literature and religion, cultural and intellectual history, literature and politics, cultural memory, Holocaust writing and testimony, and literary translation. Her articles have appeared in 'Modernism/modernity', 'Comparative Critical Studies', 'Translation Studies', and other leading journals.
Joanna's monograph, "Modernism and Theology: Rainer Maria Rilke, T. S. Eliot, Czesław Miłosz" (Palgrave Macmillan 2021) is the first book-length study to examine the interface between literary and theological modernisms. It provides a comprehensive account of literary responses to the modernist crisis in Christian theology from a transnational and interdenominational perspective. It offers a cultural history of the period, considering a wide range of literary and historical sources, including novels, drama, poetry, literary criticism, encyclicals, theological and philosophical treatises, periodical publications, and wartime propaganda. By contextualising literary modernism within the cultural, religious, and political landscape, the book reveals fundamental yet largely forgotten connections between literary and theological modernisms.
Her second book project, "Translating Auschwitz: The Holocaust and the Politics of Representation", is situated at the juncture of comparative literature, cultural history, and translation studies. It provides a cultural-historical evaluation of the role of translation in the international circulation and reception of Holocaust writing, taking Polish Holocaust literature and its reception in the UK, US, and Ireland as a case study.
In 2020, Joanna won the Martha Cheung Award for Best English Article in Translation Studies by an Early Career Scholar funded by the Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, for her article on the translations of Jan Karski's 'Story of a Secret State' (published in 'Translation Studies', 11.3, 2018).
Joanna would welcome PhD applications in the following areas:
• comparative literature
• twentieth-century print culture
• Holocaust writing
• literature and religion
• literary translation
University of Essex
Lecturer in Literature,
Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies,
University of Essex (1/1/2019 - present)
Thomas Brown Assistant Professor,
School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies,
Trinity College Dublin (2017 - 2018)
Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow,
Trinity Long Room Hub: Arts and Humanities Research Institute,
Trinity College Dublin (2016 - 2017)
Early Career Fellow,
Institute of Advanced Study,
University of Warwick (2015 - 2016)