Ms Hayley Toth

Ms Hayley Toth

PhD Candidate

Summary: Postcolonial and world literatures; theories of reading; book history and reception studies; interlingual and cultural translation; spatial theory

Location: School of English

My doctoral thesis, provisionally entitled, ‘Contemporary postcolonial literature, affect, and reader-response,’ is concerned with the relationship between readers and texts by formerly colonised, diasporic and migrant peoples. I coordinate Wolfgang Iser’s reader-response theory (1978; 2000) with theories of postcolonial reading, and studies in book history to develop an innovative reading model that simultaneously acknowledges the materialities and textualities of reading. By registering the divided affective labour of reading, my thesis aims to foreground the ethical imperatives of reading as well as its political potential for the transformation and recalibration of the relationship between readers and texts.

Largely theoretical, my thesis includes four extended analyses of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, Xiaolu Guo’s A Concise Chinese English Dictionary for Lovers, Brian Chikwava’s Harare North, and Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West.

Other Research Interests:

  • Critical and cultural theory
  • Quantum fiction, speculative fiction
  • London fiction, representations of London
  • Cartography
  • Digital humanities: specifically, geographic information systems (GIS)


  • Toth, Hayley G. (2018, forthcoming) 'The Bloomsbury Introduction to Postcolonial Writing New Contexts, New Narratives, New Debates by Jenni Ramone. Modern Language Review.
  • Toth, Hayley G. (2017) 'No Longer Young and Not Yet Old' London: Spatio-Temporal Ambivalence in Hanif Kureishi's Something to Tell You, Identity Papers: A journal of British and Irish Studies, 3(1). ISSN 2058-6205. Available from:

Conference Papers:

  • Planetary Reading, or Making Friends with the Text at Northern Comparative Literature Network: 'Of Borders and Ecologies,' Birmingham City University, October 2017
  • Urban Embodiment in Xiaolu Guo's A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers at EACLALS Triennial Conference: 'Performing the Urban: Embodiments, Inventories, Rhythms,' University of Oviedo, April 2017
  • Re-articulating 'the journey' in Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses: "make it something we can use" at 'Global Literature and Culture Postgraduate Forum,' University of York, November 2016
  • “Delectable Transgressions” and the Neither/Nor in Hanif Kureishi’s Something to Tell You at 'Self and Society,’ University of Huddersfield, June 2016
  • “Delectable Transgressions” and the Neither/Nor in Hanif Kureishi’s Something to Tell You at ‘Masculinity and the Metropolis,’ University of Kent, April 2016

Conference Organisation:

  • I co-organised, alongside Nicholas Gardiner, the University of Huddersfield’s annual English Literature and Creative Writing Postgraduate Conference, entitled ‘Self and Society,' 2016

Teaching Responsibilities:

  • Writing Critically (Level 1), 2017/18
  • Postcolonial Literature (Level 3), 2018/19


  • Inga-Stina Ewbank Scholarship, University of Leeds, 2016-20
  • White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) Student-Led Forum (SLF) Award for 'Quilting Points presents Sara Ahmed: Complaint as Feminist Pedagogy' as part of Quilting Points, 2018
  • Arts, Humanities and Cultures Faculty Interdisciplinary Research Support Award for Quilting Points, 2017
  • EACLALS Triennial Grant, 2017
  • Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship, University of Huddersfield, 2015-16
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Academic Community, 2015
  • Highest Overall Mark (English Language & English Literature, BA), 2015

Other Activities:

  • Co-director of the Quilting Points interdisciplinary reading group and seminar series (2017/18), culminating in a public address by Sara Ahmed.
  • Co-Leader of Harehills Bibliotherapy Reading Group, as part of the Reading with Refugees and Asylum Seekers initiative (2016/17).