I am on research leave from the University of Liverpool for the academic year 2016-17, having completed three years as Head of the Department of English. I am looking forward to developing my work on the Irish novelist George Moore (1852-1933), whose stylistically experimental and influential writing has interested me for many years. In a new book project on ‘George Moore’s Acts of Re-writing’ I am planning to apply pragmatic theory in the neo-Gricean tradition to the study of some of the ways in which Moore revised and republished a number of his major works, years or even decades after they were initially published. The major questions I hope to explore in this project are: firstly, how Moore’s specific acts of rewriting shaped and determined his creative output; secondly, how analytical paradigms developed in the discipline of linguistic pragmatics can be used to explain those processes; and thirdly what we can learn from this about the mechanisms and the significance of literary re-writing more generally.
Together with Billy Clark, I will be organising a panel at the 15th International Pragmatics Conference, in Belfast in July 2017. The panel title is ‘Pragmatic Approaches to Literary Analysis’, and the deadline for the submission of papers is 15th October 2016. The conference website can be found here.