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Aneesh Barai


Teaching Associate

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223 767600


  • BA(hons) English (Oxon)
  • MSc Literature and Modernity (Edin)
  • PhD Comparative Literature (QMUL)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • International Virginia Woolf Society
  • British Association of Modernist Studies
  • British Comparative Literature Association

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After working as a Teaching Associate in English and Comparative Literature at Queen Mary for four years, Aneesh has just begun as a Teaching Associate for the Faculty of Education here. He will be contributing to third-year and Master’s courses on children’s literature, as well as to first- and second-year introductory courses on literature, theory and film. In 2014, he completed a 6-month post-doctoral project as a research assistant for Dr Kiera Vaclavik at Queen Mary, on the AHRC-funded project “Addressing Alice: The Emergence of an Icon, 1865-1900”. His work for this focused on archival research into amateur performances and fancy dress of Alice in the late 19th century.

He completed his PhD at Queen Mary in 2014, titled “Replacing Rousseau’s Ideal Childhood: Place and Space in English Modernist Children’s Literature and Its French Translations”, and over this Summer will submit a book proposal for its publication. In the thesis, he discussed works for children written by T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein and Walter de la Mare. His Master’s dissertation was on narrating sexual identity in the post-modern myths and fairy tales of Jeanette Winterson and Ali Smith.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Comparative children’s literature
  • Modernist children’s literature
  • Contemporary fantasy literature and theories of education
  • Fantasy film
  • Place and space; ecocriticism
  • Translation and adaptation
  • Post-modern fairy tale, gender and sexuality

Current Research Project(s)

  • How to Train Your Wizard: Ideas of Education in Contemporary Fantasy Novels
  • Repositioning Rousseau: English Modernist Children’s Literature and Its French Translations

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  • Postgraduate
  • Undergraduate
    • 1st year: International Literature, Introduction to Film Theory and Criticism, Literary Criticism, Modern Prose, Poetry and Poetics
    • 2nd year: Film, Culture and Identity
    • 3rd year: Children and Literature

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Principal and Recent Publications

Book chapter:

Barai, A. (2015). Speaking the Space Between Mother and Child: Sylvia Plath, Julia Kristeva, and the Place of Children’s Literature, in Space and Place in Children’s Literature, 1789 to the Present, ed. Maria Sachiko Cecire, Hannah Field, Kavita Mudan Finn and Malini Roy. Ashgate.

Book reviews:

Barai, A. (2014). Book review: ‘Be a Good Soldier: Children’s Grief in English Modernist Novels’, by Jennifer Margaret Fraser (2014), The Modern Language Review, 109 (4), pp. 1075-76.

Barai, A. (2013). ‘Re-visioning Historical Fiction for Young Readers: The Past through Modern Eyes’, by Kim Wilson (2013), Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 38 (1), pp. 103-05.