Professor Michèle Barrett is a noted social theorist, a distinguished Virginia Woolf scholar and an expert on aspects of the social and cultural history of the First World War.

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      A selection of Michèle Barrett’s books; see detail pages for more information.

Current Research Projects

Michèle  has recently undertaken a project focusing of Virginia Woolf’s research notes for her husband’s 1920 study Empire and Commerce in Africa, held in the Leonard Woolf Papers at the University of Sussex.  An article on Virginia Woolf’s neglected contribution to the research for this book was published in Woolf Studies Annual 19 in 2013.  Michèle  presented a paper on Woolf’s ‘Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid’ which included a discussion of this archival work at the international conference ‘Shock and Awe: One Hundred Years of Bombing from Above’ (LSE and Goldsmiths, November 2011).

Michèle’s War Graves project analyses attitudes spoken and implicit in the commemoration of soldiers of different race and religions. It includes her articles ‘Subalterns at War: First World War Colonial Forces and the politics of the Imperial War Graves Commission’ (2011) and ‘White Graves and Natives’ (2014).

An article written in collaboration with Peter Stallybrass exploring the dynamic relationship between writing and print in a small family archive combines Barrett’s abiding interest in the memorialisation of the First World War with archival research and was published in History Workshop Journal 75/76 2013.

Film on Virginia Woolf Research

Here is a Faculti Media film of Michèle discussing her recent article on Virginia Woolf’s scholarly research work for her husband Leonard Woolf, published in Woolf Studies Annual 19.

Sample of Virginia Woolf’s research notes:
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War Graves Talk

Michèle gave this talk on the work of the Imperial War Graves Commission at the Institute of English Studies, Senate House in February 2009. The session was chaired by Rehana Ahmed, and there was a discussion after the talk; the audio below is in two segments.