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Wei Zhou

LAHRI Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Areas of expertise
Modernism; T. S. Eliot; modern and contemporary poetry; classical reception; critical theory
Clothworkers South Building, University of Leeds Campus
Arts, Humanities and Cultures
Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute

I completed my PhD in English at the University of Leeds in 2022 with recognition for Research Excellence. I specialise in modernist studies, particularly T. S. Eliot and classical reception in modernist literature. My PhD thesis entitled ‘Modernist Nostos in The Waste Land and Four Quartets’ explores the classical trope of nostos (‘homecoming’) in T. S. Eliot’s major poems. I have contributed to the James Joyce Broadsheet. My recent article ‘“Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck”: Shipwrecked Nostos in a Ulyssean Palimpsest in The Waste Land’ has been accepted for publication by Forum for Modern Language Studies. I am currently a contributor to the ‘British Poetry Pre-1950’ section of the Year’s Work in English Studies.


As a LAHRI Postdoctoral Research Fellow, I am working on my monograph Homecoming in T. S. Eliot’s Poetry. The monograph offers the first extensive study on the trope of homecoming (nostos) that originated in Homer’s Odyssey, in Eliot’s poems. Homecoming in T. S. Eliot’s Poetry argues that Eliot’s representation of homecoming in The Waste Land and Four Quartets is embedded in the Ulyssean tradition in fusion with his lived experience and family history. By examining these poems written at different stages of Eliot’s career, including the draft of The Waste Land, this book reveals the poet’s continuous interest in using the trope of nostos to negotiate his sense of home and belonging in the context of the two world wars. In the book, I demonstrate that Eliot’s poetic formulation of a modernist nostos is responsive to various forms of home that are characteristic of urban life and transatlantic experience, and indicative of the fundamental condition of being and dwelling. The book also opens a conversation with postcolonial poetry of home and homecoming by exploring the aesthetic features and thematic resonances of Eliot’s nostos in a selection of rewritings of the Odyssey.

I am currently part of the organising committee of the 2023 Northern Modernism Seminar entitled ‘Yorkshire Modernisms’. The research seminar aims to bring together papers on writers and artists from the modernist period who have taken Yorkshire as a nodal point in their work and fostered creative connections through and within its boundaries. With a special focus on the meetings, collaborations, conversations, and knowledge sharing that took place here, this seminar explores how Yorkshire’s place, time, landscape, and community played a part in the production of modernisms and build a broader picture of how style, form, and mode of output have worked in tandem with place.

Apart from undertaking research projects, I have taught on a range of undergraduate modules, including ‘Poetry’, ‘Drama’, ‘British Literature’, ‘American Literature’ and ‘English for Speakers of Other Languages’ (ESOL). My teaching at the University of Leeds has been recognised by the Higher Education Academy, of which I am an Associate Fellow. Before joining Leeds as a postgraduate researcher, I taught at the Guizhou University of Finance and Economics (China), where I also undertook responsibilities as a translator and an interpreter at conferences and events. I worked as an interpreter at the public engagement event ‘John Ferguson in Concert’ organised by the Guizhou University of Finance and Economics and the US Peace Corps in collaboration with American Voices. I have recently joined the Scholar Programme of the Brilliant Club as a Tutor to design and deliver a tutorial based on her PhD research to pupils at non-selective schools.


  • PhD English
  • MA English Language and Literature
  • BA English

Professional memberships

  • The Higher Education Academy
  • British Association for Modernist Studies
  • British Comparative Literature Association
  • T.S. Eliot Society (UK)
  • The International T. S. Eliot Society
  • Modern Languages Association



In preparation

Monograph: Modernist Nostos in T. S. Eliot’s Poetry. c.90,000 words



‘T. S. Eliot and the Return of the Soldier: Re-gendering Nostos in The Waste Land’, CoSMo: Comparative Studies in Modernism (submitted on 16 December 2022). 4,837 words

‘“Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck”: Shipwrecked Nostos in a Ulyssean Palimpsest in The Waste Land’, Forum for Modern Language Studies (accepted for publication). 8,241 words.


Short article: ‘Eliot’s Criterion and “Ulysses”’, James Joyce Broadsheet, 123 (October 2022), p. 6.


‘Review of Virgil and Joyce: Nationalism and Imperialism in the Aeneid and Ulysses, by Randall J. Pogorzelski’, James Joyce Broadsheet, 118 (February 2021), p. 3.

‘Review of The Classics in Modernist Translation, edited by Miranda Hickman and Lynn Kozak’, James Joyce Broadsheet,116 (June 2020), p. 3.


Surplus Value in the Semiotic Exchange Between “Araby” and its Chinese Translation’, in Intercultural Communication and Regional Economic Development, ed. by Ping Zhao and Liyin Liu (Beijing: Guang Ming Daily Press, 2015), pp. 132–40

‘Female Visual Subjectivity and Its Repressive Hypothesis’, Academic Exploration, 188. 7 (2015), 107–11

‘“Jouissance Lost” and “Jouissance Regained”: A Lacanian Analysis of Meursault in The Stranger, Apprendre le français, 175. 4 (2011), 28–32

‘On the Artistry and Theme in “In a Station of the Metro”’, Journal of Guizhou University (Social Science), 29(Special Issue) (2011), 142–45

Conference and seminar papers

23 Sep 2022 ‘Encountering Stetson: Cosmopolitan Belonging and Spiritual Return After the Great War in The Waste Land’, in the peer seminar ‘Eliot on Peacemaking, War, and Reconstruction’ at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the International T. S. Eliot Society, St. Louis, MO, United States

23 – 25 Jun 2022 ‘“The darkness shall be the light”: Subterranean Homes and Spiritual Homecoming in “East Coker”’, Hopeful Modernisms: The Conference of the British Association for Modernist Studies, University of Bristol

18 – 20 May 2022 ‘The Return of the Soldier: Reframing Heroic Nostos in the Space of Femininity in The Waste Land’, 1922/2022 – Total Modernism: Continuity, Discontinuity, and the Experimental Turn, University of Turin, Italy

22 Oct 2020 ‘“The Dry Salvages”: The Spectral Return of the Unfinished Nostos in the Draft of The Waste Land’, The School of English Postgraduate Research Seminar, University of Leeds

6 Dec 2019      ‘Modernist Nostos in Dialogue: T. S. Eliot’s Notes to The Waste Land and Valéry Larbaud’s Lecture on James Joyce’s Ulysses’, New Work in Modernist Studies 2019, University of Liverpool

17 – 18 May 2019       ‘The Waste Land in Paul Muldoon’s “American Standard”’, Modernist Legacies and Futures, NUI Galway, Ireland

1 Dec 2018      ‘Why False Teeth Matter: Deterritorialising Economy, Desire and the Return of the Soldier in The Waste Land’, New Work in Modernist Studies 2018, University of Glasgow

15 Dec 2017    ‘Diasporic Homecoming in the Poetry of T. S. Eliot’, New Work in Modernist Studies 2017, University of Leeds