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Dr Johanna Malt

Dr Johanna Malt

Jo MaltReader in French Literature & Visual Culture

Vice-Dean (People and Planning) for Languages & Literatures

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1830 
 Department of French 
King's College London
Room 4.45 Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE 


I am a graduate of Cambridge University, where I studied for my BA and PhD and was a lecturer at Christ’s College before coming to King’s in 2000.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Literature and visual art
  • Surrealism
  • Art theory
  • Twentieth-century French literature
  • Avant-gardes

My research interests are in 20th- and 21st-century literature, visual art and theory. I am the author of a book on surrealism and politics and am currently writing another on casts, imprints and traces in modern and contemporary art. I offer research supervision in the fields of modern French literature (particularly modernism and the avant-garde), critical theory and text-image relations.

For more details, please see my full research profile.

Selected publications
  • Obscure Objects of Desire: Surrealism, Fetishism, and Politics (Oxford: OUP, 2004)
  • ‘On Not Saying, Not Knowing and Thinking About Nothing: Adorno, Dionysius, Derrida and the Negation of Art’, Paragraph 41:2 (forthcoming July 2018).
  • ‘The Edge of the Self: Casting and Moulding the Body in Modern and Contemporary Sculpture’ in Spur der Arbeit: Oberfläche und Werkprozess, eds. Magdalena Bushart and Henrike Haug (Weimar: Böhlau, 2018).
  • ‘Cy Twombly: Sign, Meta-Sign and Sense’, Sillages Critiques 21 (2016).
  • ‘The Blob and the Magic Lantern: On Subjectivity, Faciality and Projection’, Paragraph 36:3 (2013) Winner of the Paragraph Anniversary Prize.
  •  ‘Leaving Traces: Surface Contact in Ponge, Penone and Alÿs’, Word and Image 29:1 (2013).

My teaching focuses mainly on 19th- and 20th-century French literature, including a final-year course on Proust and an MA module on inter-war avant-gardes in France. I also teach translation.

Expertise and public engagement

I am happy to speak on surrealism and on aspects of modern French literature and visual art. I was a judge of the 2012 Scott Moncrieff prize for translation into English from French:

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