Simpson, Dr Hannah

Dr Hannah Simpson

Rosemary Pountney Junior Research Fellow (British and European Drama, 1890-present day)

Academic background

Dr Simpson completed her BA in English Literature and French at St Hilda’s College (Oxford), her MA in English and American Literature at Boston University (US), and her DPhil at St Cross College (Oxford), before joining St Anne’s College as the Rosemary Pountney Junior Research Fellow. Her current project, tentatively entitled The Unexpected Dramatist: Modernism’s Forgotten Stage Plays, explores the forgotten plays of modernist novelists Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, E. M. Forster, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Flann O’Brien, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner.

She is also currently working on two monographs: Witnessing Pain: Samuel Beckett and Post-War Francophone Theatre (Oxford University Press) and Samuel Beckett and Disability Performance (Palgrave Macmillan).


Undergraduate: Prelims Paper 1 (Introduction to Literary Theory), and FHS Papers 6 and 7 in twentieth-century and twenty-first-century literature.

Research interests

Twentieth-century literature; twenty-first century literature; Samuel Beckett; modernism; theatre and performance; war literature; literature and politics; the human body in literature; literary depictions of physical pain and disability; Northern Irish literature.

Recent Publications


Peer-Reviewed Articles


“Trying Again, Failing Again: Samuel Beckett and the Sequel Play”, forthcoming in New Theatre Quarterly, August 2021.

“Samuel Beckett and Disability Performance”, Journal of Beckett Studies 30.1, 2021, pp. 26-44.

“‘le maigre dos tourné à l’humanité’: Eleutheria, la souffrance, et son public” (French-language), Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui 32.2, 2020, pp. 176-191.

“Kinaesthetic Empathy, Physical Recoil: The Conflicting Embodied Affects of Samuel Beckett’s Quad”, Journal of Modern Literature 42.2, Winter 2019, pp. 132-148.

“Tics in the Theatre: The Quiet Audience, the Relaxed Performance, and the Neurodivergent Spectator”, Theatre Topics 28.3, November 2018, pp. 227-238.

“Samuel Beckett and the Nobel Catastrophe”, Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui 30.2, Winter 2018, pp. 337-364.

“‘Where / Do I begin and end?’: Circular Imagery in the Revolutionary Poetics of Wallace Stevens and W. B. Yeats”, The Wallace Stevens Journal 42.1, Spring 2018, pp. 46-61.

“‘Strange laughter’: Post-Gothic Questions of Laughter and the Human in Samuel Beckett’s Work”, Journal of Modern Literature 40.4, Summer 2017, pp. 1-19.

“‘Away, come away’: Moving Dead Women and Irish Emigration in W. B. Yeats’s Early Poetry”, Études Irlandaises “Embodying-Disembodying Ireland,” 42.1 Automne – Hiver 2017, pp. 45-60.

“Destabilising Decapitation in King Henry VI”, Exchanges: The Warwick Research Journal 4.1, October 2016, pp. 45-60.

“‘Now keep out of the way, Whitelaw’: Self-Expression, Agency and Directorial Control in W. B. Yeats’s and Samuel Beckett’s Theatre”, Comparative Drama 49.4, Winter 2015, pp. 399-418.


Book Chapters


“International Influence and the Theatre Auditorium: Wallace Stevens and the Necessity of Distance” invited for Wallace Stevens as World Literature, eds. Bart Eeckhout, Gül Han and Anna Jamieson. Under review with Cambridge University Press.

“Beckett’s Afterlife in Northern Irish Poetry”, Samuel Beckett’s Poetry, eds. James Brophy and William Davies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2022.

Waiting for Godot and the Fascist Aesthetics of the Body” in Beckett and Politics, eds. William Davies and Helen Bailey. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, pp. 155-176.

“‘Hurts! He wants to know if it hurts!’: Suffering Beyond Redemption in Waiting for Godot” in Beckett Beyond the Normal, ed. Seán Kennedy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020, pp. 79-89.

“Waiting for GOdoT: Samuel Beckett and HBO’s Game of Thrones” in Pop Beckett: Intersections with Popular Culture, eds. David Pattie and Paul Stewart. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019, pp. 227-246.


Editor Publications


Special issue editor, “World War II: Bodies Beyond the Battlefield”, Medical Humanities 46.2, 2020

Special issue editor, “Writing Bodily Resistance in World War II”, Twentieth Century Literature 66.1, 2020.

Special issue editor, “Global Perspectives on the Body and World War II”, The Journal of War and Culture Studies 13.2, 2020.

Theatre Review editor, The Beckett Circle, 2018 – present.


Other Publications


“Performing Northern Ireland: Stephen Rea in Cyprus Avenue and Hard Border”, commissioned for Contemporary Irish Literature, November 2020. Available at

Introductory chapters and poem annotations on W. B. Yeats, Thomas Hardy, and Wilfred Owen, Modern Literature Open Passageways textbook.

“Disability, Neurodiversity, and Feminism”, invited position statement, The Journal of Feminist Scholarship 16.1, Spring/Fall 2019, 81-83.

“A Closer Look at JML 40.4,” Journal of Modern Literature’s “Take a Closer Look” series, September 2017. Available at

“Jess Thom’s Not I: The Relaxed Performance and Tourette’s Syndrome”, The Beckett Circle, Summer 2017.