Dr Jeannette Baxter

Associate Professor

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Literature , Community Arts Engagement

Research Supervision:Yes

Jeannette is an Associate Professor in English Literature with research and teaching expertise in many areas of 20th-century and contemporary fiction, including literary and visual responses to war (from WWI to present conflicts), literatures of exile and migration, Anglo-American and European literary Surrealisms, the relationship between modern and contemporary literature and fascisms, and the medical humanities.

[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.

Since 2018, this project has engaged 60,000 students in Norfolk alone. 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.

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)
  • Medical humanities (Surrealism and neuroscience; J G Ballard and Medicine; WWI and neurasthenia; Surgery in the WWI Visual Arts; literature and medical ethics)

Areas of research supervision

  • Literatures of migration and exile
  • modern and contemporary literature and fascisms
  • Anglo-American and European literary Surrealisms
  • J G Ballard
  • Holocaust writing
  • Writing WWI
  • 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
  • Nigerian literature and magic realism
  • World War I & life-writing
  • Surrealism, Literature and Animation
  • The exilic imagination
  • Contemporary Literature and the Digital


  • 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 and editorial boards include:

  • 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 (2018)

Research and Community Engagement grants (since 2016)

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:

‘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 inAngela 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