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Dr Jeannette Baxter

Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Literature , Community Arts Engagement
Research Supervision:

Jeannette is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature with research and teaching expertise in many areas, including Anglo-American and European literary and visual surrealisms, literatures of exile and migration, literary and visual responses to war (from WWI to present conflicts), and the relationship between modern and contemporary literature and fascisms.

Jeannette has various research leadership roles, including:

Email: [email protected]


Jeannette is developing her research with contemporary artists, academic partners, research networks, schools, community groups, heritage organisations and third parties.

For example, Jeannette is Director of New Routes, Old Roots, an arts-based action research group that works with students, artists, museums, heritage and community groups across the Eastern Region to explore issues of refugee migration, heritage and marginalisation through the arts.

Jeannette is currently working on a number of NROR community-arts and activism projects, which are underpinned by her own research, and produced by action research communities, which she also leads. Recent projects include:

A Day of Welcome (2018-), an annual day of solidarity and learning in schools that aims to build a culture of welcome and understanding for refugees and asylum seekers in the Eastern Region and beyond.

Since 2018, this project has engaged hundreds of thousands of students across the UK. All activities and lessons are co-produced by community heritage researchers and local educators, led by Jeannette.

A Day of Welcome is produced in partnership with Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary and with support from Refugee Week, Amnesty International UK and UNHCR.

Mile Cross 100 (2022-2024), a multi-partner project funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund in collaboration with the Common Lot theatre company. Mile Cross is the oldest purpose-built social housing estate in England and now one of the most economically deprived areas in the country, commonly associated with child poverty, crime, and drugs. Mile Cross 100 engages this contemporary reality whilst supporting the Mile Cross community to actively research and celebrate its 100-year history in collaborative and creative formats, including an exhibition, a play, a choir and processions. The project involves 60 community researchers and more than 200 community volunteers.

Havens East (2019-2020), a multi-partner community arts & heritage project that uncovered the lost stories of Basque Child Refugees in 1930s Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Key partners included Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary, Basque Children of 1937 Association, Key Stage History & Heritage, Norwich City of Sanctuary, Cambridge City of Sanctuary, Refugee Week, and UNHCR.

This National Heritage Lottery-funded project was co-created with 32 community researchers across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Anglia Square: A Love Story (2018-2019), a National Heritage Lottery-funded project in collaboration with The Common Lot theatre group (Norwich) that responded to, and recorded, the contemporary and historical changes to an iconic, yet marginalised, area of Norwich's urban landscape.

This multi-partner, participatory research, music and theatre project was co-produced by over 120 adult and child community researchers and more than 400 community volunteers.

All Mouth No Trousers (2018), a theatre production exploring Norfolk’s ‘lost’ Radical Female Culture.

The project was co-produced with an all-female team of 18 community researchers, writers and performers, and has since taken on new life in the form of Rosie's Plaques, a guerrilla art project that shines a spotlight on the absence of women from blue plaque heritage.

Island (2018), a National Heritage Lottery funded project in partnership with the Silver Darlings arts that explored the ‘long’ migration history of Great Yarmouth.

Island was co-produced by 24 community researchers, led by Baxter, and over 80 community artists led by Silver Darlings. The project culminated in a week-long interactive exhibition at Great Yarmouth Library.

Come Yew In: A Proud History of Strangers (2017-2018) an award-winning play and community outreach project that celebrated 700 years of migration to Norwich.

The project involved over 700 community participants, including community researchers, writers and performers of all ages and from all walks of life.

Spoken Languages
  • English
  • German
Research interests
  • The relationship between modern and contemporary literature and fascisms
  • The relationship between literature, history, politics and the visual arts (post-1900), especially Surrealism in its global perspectives
  • Modern and contemporary literatures of migration and exile
  • Historical acoustemology (the sounding of history in literature and the visual arts)
Areas of research supervision
  • modern and contemporary literature and fascisms
  • Anglo-American and European literary Surrealisms
  • Literatures of migration and exile
  • J G Ballard
  • Holocaust writing
  • Modernism and contemporary literature

Jeannette has a number of PhD projects on topics including:

  • J G Ballard in relation to various fields, including film, neuroscience, digital culture
  • Digital Labour in Contemporary Literature
  • Futures of work in C20th Science Fiction (VC Scholarship)
  • Heritage, Climate Change and Resilience in Syrian Refugee Communities (VC Scholarship)
  • XR Storytelling and Forced Displacement (VC Scholarship)
  • Neurodiversity in Children’s Picturebooks
  • Enhancing Social Inclusion of Migrant Pupils (VC Scholarship)
  • PhD, University of East Anglia (2006)
  • MA (Studies in Fiction), University of East Anglia
  • BA (Hons) Modern Languages, University of Keele
Memberships, editorial boards

Jeannette's memberships, advisory and editorial boards include:

  • Nov 2022. Research advisor and guest on BBC Radio 4 ‘The Exploding Library’ on Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled.
  • 2022-on-going. Essex Renewal Project. Project commissioner and member of the ‘Social Justice’ and ‘Young People and Education’ sub-groups.
  • Board of Directors, The Common Lot Theatre Company, Norwich with responsibility for Research & Innovation and Theatre of Sanctuary Development (2020-)
  • Advisory Board/Steering Group Member for ‘Sharing Suffolk Stories’: German Jewish refugees in Newmarket in WW2. Project led by Suffolk Archives (2020-)
  • Advisory Board/Steering Group Member for Norwich City of Sanctuary (2019-)
  • External examiner for BA English Literature, University of East Anglia (2019-)
  • Member, International Society for the Study of Surrealism (2018-)
  • Member, Museums and Universities Partnership Initiative, Norfolk (2016-2017)
  • Editorial Board, Critical Engagements (2015-)
  • Series Editor, Contemporary Critical Perspectives (London: Bloomsbury, 2008-)
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

University prizes

Anglia Ruskin Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Impact (2023)

Anglia Ruskin Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Impact (2018)

Research and Community Engagement grants (since 2016)

National Heritage Lottery Fund, 2022-2024. Collaborative bid for Mile Cross 100 with The Common Lot Theatre Company (Norwich). £98,000.

Competitive Selection: AHCR/Institute for Government: ‘Engaging with Government’. Fully funded CPD Programme.

Global Challenges Research Fund, 2020-2021. Investigating heritage-led resilience to conflict, scarcity and climate change with Syrian refugees in Jordan. A multi-partner, collaborative bid with ARU researchers, the University of Petra, and ECO. Pilot award: £9,995.

National Heritage Lottery Fund, 2019-2020. Havens East: Uncovering the Lost Heritage of Basque Child Refugees in the Eastern Region. £54,600.

National Heritage Lottery Fund, 2018-2019. Collaborative bid for Anglia Square: A Love Story with The Common Lot Theatre Company (Norwich). £51,800.

National Heritage Lottery Fund, 2017-2018. Collaborative bid for Island: Discovering Great Yarmouth’s Migration Heritage with Silver Darlings. £10,000.

Norwich Town Close Estate Charitable Trust, 2016. Collaborative bid for ‘Come Yew In’ with The Common Lot Theatre Company (Norwich). £26,000.

Selected recent publications

Books (published since 2008)

Baxter, J., James, D. (Eds), 2014. Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Andrea Levy, with an essay and introduction (London & New York: Bloomsbury). ISBN-10: 1441160450; ISBN-13: 978-1441160454.

Baxter, J., Henitiuk, V., Hutchinson, B. (Eds), 2013. A Literature of Restitution: Critical Essays on W. G. Sebald, with an introduction and essay (Manchester: Manchester University Press). ISBN 9780719088520.

Baxter, J., Wymer, R. (Eds), 2011. Visions and Revisions: Essays on J. G. Ballard, with an introduction and essay (London: Palgrave). ISBN 9780230278127.

Baxter, J., 2009. J. G. Ballard’s Surrealist Imagination: Spectacular Authorship (Farnham: Ashgate). ISBN 9780754662670.

Baxter, J., 2008. Contemporary Critical Perspectives: J. G. Ballard, with an introduction, interview and essay (London: Bloomsbury), ISBN 9780826497260.

Selected peer-reviewed articles (forthcoming and published since 2012)

Baxter, J., 2022. British Surrealism at War. In Watz, A. (Ed), 2022. A History of the Surrealist Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Baxter, J., 2021. Recasting the Human: Leonora Carrington’s Dark Exilic Imagination. In Watz, A. (Ed), 2021. Surrealist Women Writers (Manchester: Manchester University Press).

Baxter, J., 2017. “Men in Fascism”: Visions of the New Man in the Work of Wyndham Lewis and the B.U.F. Press. In Feldman, M., Dagnino, J., Stocker, P. (Eds.), 2017. The New Man in Far Right Ideology and Practice, 1919-1945 (London: Palgrave).

Baxter, J., 2017. Self-Translation and Holocaust Writing: Leonora Carrington’s Down Below. In Boase-Beier, J., Davies, P., Hammel, A., Winters, M. (Eds.), 2017. Translating Holocaust Lives (London and New York: Bloomsbury), pp. 221-240. ISBN 9781474250283.

Baxter, J., 2016. Sounding Surrealist Historiography: Listening to Concrete Island. Literary Geographies, 2(1). Open Access Journal. ISSN: ISSN 2397-1797

Baxter, J., 2016. Fascism and the Politics of Nowhere in Kingdom Come. In: Brown, R., Duffy, C., Stainforth, E. (Eds.), 2016. J.G. Ballard: Landscapes of Tomorrow (Amsterdam: Brill), pp. 141-155. ISBN 978-04-31385.

Baxter, J., 2016. Post/Colonial Perspectives: Surrealisms, Fascisms and the Persistence of Colonialism in Angela Carter’s 1970s Writings. In Flajsarova, P., Flajsar, J. (Eds.), 2016. Anglophone Culture Across Centuries and Borders (Searching for Culture EU-funded Innovation of Cultural Studies Project) (Olomouc: University of Palacky Press), pp. 37-50. ISBN 978-80-244-4732-2.

Baxter, J., 2016. The Persistence of Surrealism: Memory, Dreams and the Dead. In Groes, S. (Ed.), 2016. Memory in the Twenty-First Century: New Critical Perspectives from the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences (London: Palgrave), pp. 51-58. ISBN-10: 134956642X

Baxter, J., 2015. Accident and Apocalypse in the Writing of Alan Burns. In Parkinson, G. (Ed.), 2015. Surrealism, Science Fiction and Comics (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press), pp. 155-173. ISBN 978-1-78138-143-4.

Baxter, J., 2014. Exquisite Corpse: Un/Dressing History in Fruits of the Lemon and The Long Song. In: Baxter, J., James, D. (Eds.), 2014. Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Andrea Levy (London & New York: Bloomsbury), pp. 79-74. ISBN-10: 1441160450; ISBN-13: 978-1441160454.

Baxter, J., 2013. Surrealist Vertigo in Schwindle Gefühle. In: Baxter, J., Hutchinson, B., Henitiuk, V. (Eds.), 2013. A Literature of Restitution: Critical Essays on W. G. Sebald (Manchester: Manchester University Press), pp. 77-93. ISBN 9780719088520. 

Baxter, J., 2012. Encountering the Holocaust in J. G. Ballard's Post-War Short Stories. Textual Practice, 26(3), pp. 379-398.

Community publications

Baxter, J., 2020, Havens East: Uncovering the Lost Histories of Basque Child Refugees in 1930s Norfolk and Cambridgeshire (National Heritage Lottery Funded).

Baxter, J., 2019. Collaborative Communities Exhibition, 2019, Arriving: Objects & Discoveries: Cross-Generational Exchanges on Migration. (Being Human Funded).

Baxter, J. et al., 2019. Anglia Square: Love Letters (National Heritage Lottery Funded).

Baxter, J., Floyd, S (eds), 2018. Come Yew In! The Songbook. A book of original songs and music created by citizen researchers, local writers and musicians.

Creative/critical publications

Baxter, J., Ballard, F. 2016. Ballard/Baxter/Ballard: In Conversation, a creative/critical collage. In Magrath. R. (Ed.), 2016. Deep Ends: The J. G. Ballard Anthology (Toronto: The Terminal Press), pp. 8-21. ISBN 978-0-9940982-5-2.

Baxter, J., 2013. Critical Dictionary: Or My Idea of Fun (A Surrealist Intervention). March 2013.

Recent presentations and conferences

Jeannette's presentations, keynotes, and public talks and lectures since 2014 include:

Nov 2022. ‘Building a Culture of Welcome in Schools and Communities: Introducing A Day of Welcome’. Invited session. Hub for European Refugee Education. University of Nottingham.

June 2022. ‘Day of Welcome & Impact’ session for The Centre for Cultural Capital Exchange in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University.

April 2022. ‘Developing and Delivering Partnership Projects’ special session. UK Migration Network event organised by the Migration Museum.

March 2022. ‘Suffolk Stories of Refugee Migration’ special session for teachers. National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket.

‘Public Art and Refuge: Changing Minds’: in conversation with Ian Wolter about his artwork ‘The Children of Calais’. Refugee Week, June 2021.

‘Havens East: The Lost History of Basque Child Refugees in 1930s East Anglia’ with Dr. Edward Packard and the Chelmsford Amnesty International Group. Refugee Week, June 2021.

‘Revisiting Wartime Literature: Surrealism, Anti-Fascism and The Aerodrome’. Public Lecture at the IKON Gallery, Birmingham. August 2019.

‘Forms of Fascism and Anti-Fascism: The Case of Hugh Sykes’ Davies’ Petron’, Virus of Hate: Responses to Fascism in Psychoanalysis, Surrealism and Modernism, Modernist Centre (University of Sussex) at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, January 2019.

‘Dark Novel Surrealisms/Anti-Fascisms: Exquisite Corpse’, Surrealisms (Inaugural Conference of the International Society for the Study of Surrealism’, Bucknell University (PA), October 2018.

J. G. Ballard: ‘This is the Way, Step Inside’, public talk followed by panel discussion with the filmmakers Jason Wood, Simon Barker and Harley Cokeliss, London Short Film Festival, ICA London, January 2018.

 ‘Inner Space: J. G. Ballard in the Seventies A Symposium. Invited public lecture and panel member with Iain Sinclair (novelist) and Fay Ballard (Artist). British Library, London. March 2016.

‘The Drowned World’, an exhibition of drawings and critical writings in collaboration with Phil Goss and Fay Ballard, 8-11th May, 2015, Aldeburgh Look-Out Tower, Suffolk.

‘Alligators in the Hall’, an exhibition of drawings and critical writings in collaboration with Phil Goss and Fay Ballard, 22-27 July, 2015, Centre for Recent Drawing, London.

‘Fascism and Shopping: Empire and Capital in J. G. Ballard’s Contemporary Surrealisms’, Global Realisms, University of Kent, April 2015.

‘Post/Colonial Perspectives: Surrealisms, Fascisms and the Persistence of Colonialism in Angela Carter’s 1970s Writings’, Searching for Culture (Interdisciplinary Innovation of Culture studies), Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, October 2014.

'Men in Fascism': Visions of the New Man in the Work of Wyndham Lewis and the B.U.F. Press; invited paper at 'The Fascist New Man Conference', CFAFPFs, University of Teesside, September 2014.

'Sounding the Surrealist Archive: Listening to Concrete Island', invited paper at ‘Archiving the Future: J.G. Ballard's Concrete Island Forty Years On’, University of York, July 2014.

'Fascism and the Politics of Nowhere in Kingdom Come', keynote lecture at 'Landscapes of Tomorrow: J.G. Ballard in Space and Time', University of Leeds, May 2014.

Media experience