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About the Centre

The study of the life and works of the English novelist and short-story writer Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) is a research speciality at St Mary's University through its Centre for Joseph Conrad Studies. It is pursued in several activities but principally through the management and editing of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad, in course of publication by Cambridge University Press.

The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad

In 2008, the Syndics of Cambridge University Press appointed as General Editors of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad Dr J H Stape and Prof Allan H Simmons. With these appointments, responsibility for The Cambridge Edition passed from the Institute for Bibliography and Editing at Kent State University, Ohio, to the Centre for Joseph Conrad Studies at St Mary's University, Twickenham, London. Following John Stape’s death in 2016, Dr Alexandre Fachard of the Université de Genève, Switzerland, was invited to serve alongside Prof Allan Simmons as co-General Editor of the edition.

Stape and Simmons were tasked with reviving an edition that, begun four decades ago, had yielded just five volumes. Since the transfer of the edition to St Mary’s, twelve volumes have gone to press, most recently The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ (2017) and The Rover (2018).

Joseph Conrad's fiction is a staple of Modern Literature courses in universities around the world, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Sustaining this, an international community of Conrad scholars is served by Societies, journals and annual conferences dedicated to the life and works of this author. Yet there has been no corrected collected edition of Conrad's work to support this activity since that produced, often in unedited or poorly edited form, in the 1920s.

The objective of The Cambridge Edition is to produce the first complete and textually correct edition of Conrad’s writings that will serve this and future generations of scholars, and maintain the standards associated with Cambridge University Press.

Each volume will involve establishing a corrected text from the surviving original source materials. Thus, manuscripts, typescripts, proofs and, where it can be shown that Conrad had a hand in corrections, serial versions and first and second editions will be examined in order to generate texts that are denuded of house-styling and editorial and compositorial additions unsanctioned by the author.

Preparation of the edition will entail scholarship of the highest order. To meet this requirement, an international team of established scholars has been recruited and, so as to foster and sustain healthy scholarship, this will be supplemented by post-graduates whose textual work has already marked them out as textual scholars of the future.

The Centre has hosted a number of successful colloquia on Conrad textual studies, where editors and contributors to volumes discuss their research findings.

The Conradian: The Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK)

The Conradian is acknowledged as the journal of record in the field of Conrad studies and one of the major journals of English literary Modernism.

This scholarly journal dedicated to the life and work of Conrad is published twice annually. During the past decade the journal has won accolades for its consistently well-edited contents and for its handsome appearance.

Having served as its General Editor for over two decades, Allan Simmons now serves as its Advisory Editor.

Conrad at St Mary’s

The work of the Centre for Joseph Conrad Studies is supported and enhanced by the contribution of Dr Kim Salmons, a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Dr Mary Burgoyne, a former student and now Visiting Fellow.

St Mary’s University received a ringing endorsement from the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014) for its academic research in a number of departments.

Updates from the Centre

  • Professor Allan H. Simmons, the Director of the Centre for Joseph Conrad Studies, is the recipient of the Ian P. Watt Award for Lifetime Achievement in Conrad Studies. The citation issued by the Executive Committee of the Joseph Conrad Society of America is available here
  • The Seal of Approval by the Committee of Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association of America has been awarded to A Set of Six (2021) edited by Allan H. Simmons and Michael Foster, with Introduction and Notes by Owen Knowles and Allan H. Simmons