Laura McAleese, Msc

Research Assistant


Performative Presentation, Author-Reader Relations – The Role of the Book Festival in Contemporary British Literature and Book Trade

This project aims to provide the first comprehensive study of a literary festival. Focusing on the Edinburgh International Book Festival, I will develop a set of categories which will enable a systematic analysis of all literature festivals. I will use these categories to conduct my field research on-site to record in greatest possible detail the aspects of preparation, execution and post-festival organization of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. After that I will travel to other major and minor festivals to question and revise the previously established categories in order to develop a definitive set of tools for the analysis of literature festivals in general.
Furthermore, I will pay special attention to the individual formats of book presentations and discussions in order to capture the creative potential of these performative moments. I argue that the process of transforming a published text into live performance adds a dimension to the work in relation to the author, the event’s host and the audience which cannot be reproduced with exactly the same qualities in future performances of the same texts. I will observe events by established authors of written works such as A.L. Kennedy, Jackie Kay or Carol Ann Duffy and also of poets with a spoken word background such as Kate Tempest and George The Poet.

Since 2014: Freelance translator and editor at Technical University of Munich and Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich

2014 to 2015: Master of Science, „Literature and Modernity – 1900 to the Present “at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

2013 to 2014: Tutor for courses in English Literature and Research Methods at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich

2009 to 2014: Bachelor of Arts in Anglistics and Art, Music and Theatre Studies at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany

e-mail Laura McAleese