Langstaff, Holly

Holly Langstaff

Stipendiary Lecturer in French

Website/social media accounts

Academic background

Holly went to a comprehensive school near Newcastle upon Tyne before studying French and German at the University of Cambridge. She moved to the University of Warwick for her PhD. She has taught at Oxford since 2018 and at St Anne’s since 2020.


Modern French literature and translation at all levels

Research interests

Holly is interested in modern and contemporary literature and thought.

Her monograph Art and Technology in Maurice Blanchot (Edinburgh University Press, 2023) reappraises the influential French thinker Maurice Blanchot’s writing from the 1940s to his late work in the 1980s, demonstrating how Blanchot’s exploration of the question of technology remains decisive throughout his career. The book situates Blanchot’s fictional and critical work in the context of his thinking of art as techne — the Greek root of ‘technology’ meaning both craft and art — as it develops out of Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. The book is freely available online thanks to the gold open access publishing scheme OpenUP.

Holly is working on a new project on representations of the working class in modern French literature.

Outreach and Public Engagement

Alongside her research and teaching, Holly runs several outreach and public engagement initiatives connected to her wider interest in literary translation. She manages the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, a book prize which celebrates writing by women translated from any language into English. She runs the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators at the Queen’s College Translation Exchange, a creative translation initiative for secondary schools in which over 15,000 students participated in 2023 at the Queen’s College Translation Exchange. She is Co-Director, with Ros Schwartz, of Bristol Translates Summer School.

Holly was a judge for the Oxford Weidenfeld Prize in 2021 and 2022 and she was chair of the judging panel in 2023. She previously helped to coordinate the Prismatic Jane Eyre for Schools project, run by OCCT and the Stephen Spender Trust



Publications: Monograph: Art and Technology in Maurice Blanchot (Edinburgh University Press, 2023)

Article: ‘Uncontrollable Mechanisms: Maurice Blanchot’s Inorganic Writing’, French Studies, 73.3 (July 2019), 401-15

Review of A World in Ruins: Chronicles of Intellectual Life, 1943 by Maurice Blanchot, trans. by Michael Holland, Modern and Contemporary France, 26: 1 (2018), 103-04