Dr Michelle Alexis Taylor

BA Yale, AM PhD Harvard


Dr Michelle Alexis Taylor is the Joanna Randall-MacIver Junior Research Fellow in Anglophone Literature. As an undergraduate, she studied English at Yale, where she was awarded the Lloyd Mifflin Prize for an Outstanding Senior Thesis in English. She received her A.M. and Ph.D. in English from Harvard. Her first book project, In Rooms of Their Own, demonstrates how the amateurism of twentieth-century coterie formations, material cultures, and literary practices complemented and competed with the period’s push towards literary professionalism and institutionalization. In addition to her academic research, Dr Taylor enjoys writing for public-facing venues such as The Point Magazine and The New Yorker.


My second book project, tentatively titled Historical Presence: Archival Thinking in Modernist Literature, will consider how the expansion of the institutional archive prompted modernist writers to rethink the relationship between their public and private writing. These writers — such as Hope Mirrlees, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, and Melvin Tolson — were among the first to write with at least part of their careers under the shadow of institutional posterity, with the sense of the monetary value that might be attached to their ephemera and the culture of posthumous celebrity that would develop around their work. In many ways, their archival anxieties and imaginations must resemble our own, as we grapple with both the extensiveness and, paradoxically, the precariousness of the many digital archives of our own lives.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

“(In)discreet Modernism: T. S. Eliot’s Coterie Poetics,” College Literature (Special Issue: “Poetry Networks,” eds. Kamran Javadizadeh and Robert Volpicelli), 47.1 (2020), 34-64.

“Discomfort,” in “Reading The Waste Land with the #MeToo Generation,” cluster edited by Megan Quigley, Modernism/modernity Print plus platform, 7 March 2019. https://modernismmodernity.org/forums/posts/discomfort

“Coterie in the Archive” in Modernist Archives: A Handbook, eds. Jamie Christopher Callison, Anna Svendson and Erik Tonning (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2022)

With Elyse Graham, “Eliot and the Digital Humanities,” in Eliot Now, eds. David Chinitz and Megan M. Quigley (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2022)