Waqas Mirza

PhD Candidate & Teacher (Modern French Literature & Translation)

Academic Representative for Lincoln College MCR & Co-Organiser of the Lincoln Leads Seminar Series


I completed a BA in French and English Language and Literature at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, where I also completed an MA in the same subject with a specialization in dramaturgy and theatre history.

My PhD thesis explores an essential component of Samuel Beckett’s artistic process, that is the act of translating his own works. It compares both the English and French versions of Samuel Beckett’s trilogy with the aim of examining how self-translation affects the representation of the character’s mind and consciousness. I am applying this critical approach to reveal the differences in the way the mind is represented in both versions of the three novels: Molloy, Malone Meurt, and L’Innommable.

On a broader note, my research interests are in the fields of 20th century French and English literature, poetry, cultural studies, African American Studies, hip hop studies, the representation of the mind and consciousness in the arts, literary bilingualism and self-translation.



I am currently teaching undergraduate tutorials at Oxford on Samuel Beckett and Modern French literature as well as seminars on Translation from and into Modern French. I am also the Graduate Teaching Assistant for French at Lincoln College, Oxford.

Between 2009 to 2016, I taught different courses in Switzerland. These include: classroom teaching and private tutoring of French and English languages and literature to secondary/high school and college students in the Swiss public system; teaching French as a foreign language to unemployed adults in a private institution for continuing education.


Lincoln Leads

As MCR Academic Representative for 2018-2019 & 2019-2020, I organise the Lincoln Leads seminars which take place on Thursday evenings during Hilary Term at Lincoln College, Oxford. Each panel features an alumnus/na, a Fellow, and a graduate student of the College, who respond to a topical question linked to their research or professional experience. The aim of the series is to showcase the exciting and diverse research connected to Lincoln College, and to open-up this research to non-specialist audiences.

Video recordings of last year’s panels (including Lincoln Leads in Music, where I deliver the introduction as a mini-rap performance).


Paper, Talks & Conferences

  • ‘ “Only Poets Know the Truth About Us”: From James Baldwin to Kendrick Lamar : Peace Love and Self-Knowledge as Resistance’, at the 2018 Hip Hop Studies Conference: Show and Prove, (University of California Riverside, Los Angeles), on December 7th-9th 2018.

  • ‘ “A Poet To Some, A Regular Modern Day Shakespeare”: Eminem’s Commercial and Artistic Success’, at the 2018 Hip Hop Studies Conference: Show and Prove, (University of California Riverside, Los Angeles), on December 7th-9th 2018.

  • ‘The Self Translation of Personal Pronouns in Samuel Beckett’s Trilogy’, at the 4th Annual Conference of the Samuel Beckett Society: Transdisciplinary Beckett, (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitan, Mexico City), on November 7th-10th 2018.

  • ‘ “Et si le beat est lourd, je l’adoucie à la poésie”: Le succès commercial et artistique de MC Solaar’, at the 20th Annual Conference of the ADEFFI: Etats présents, états futurs French and Francophone Studies in the 21st Century, (University College Dublin, Dublin), on October 19-20th.

  • ‘The Self Translation of the Representation of the Mind in Samuel Beckett’s Trilogy’, at the International Samuel Beckett Conference: Literature and translation, (University of Estramadura, Spain) on April 12th-13th 2018. Funded by the Graduate Travel Grant (Department of Medieval and Modern Languages, Oxford).

  • ‘Memory Manipulation and Personal Identity: Beckett, Nolan and Gondry’ at the 2018 American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting (University of California Los Angeles, USA), on March 29th — April 1st 2018. Funded by the Graduate Research Fund (Lincoln College, Oxford) and the Fiedler Memorial Fund Travel Grant (Department of Medieval and Modern Languages, Oxford).

  • ‘Why Does Literature Outlive its Moment?’, at the Lincoln Leads in Literature (University of Oxford) on March 1st 2018 .

  • ‘The Self Translation of Mental Verbs in Samuel Beckett’s Trilogy’, at the Creative Multilingual Identities Conference 2018, (University of Reading) on February 2nd 2018 .

  • ‘The Self Translation of Mental Verbs in Samuel Beckett’s Trilogy’, presented at the French Graduate Seminar (All Soul’s College) on October 17th 2017.



Other than teaching, I have also worked as a translator for the past three years:

  • Transcription and translation of 17th century documents for the Pitt Rivers Museum.

  • Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint Pierre, Project for Perpetual Peace in Europe in The Idea of Europe: Enlightenment Perspectives. Texts selected by Catriona Seth and Rotraud von Kulessa. Translated by Catriona Seth et al. (June 2017).

  • 2015-2017: Translator for Lombard Odier & Cie.


Creative writing

Poetry published in the University of Geneva’s English journal Noted :


Other activities

Theatre and opera reviews published on the University of Lausanne’s Atelier Critique website:

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