I am a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, researching modernist consciousness in the contemporary Irish novel. This includes the application of Marxist and narratological theories, and an examination of post-Celtic Tiger Irish culture, to the work of authors including Eimear McBride, Mike McCormack, Anakana Schofield and Kevin Barry. My PhD is funded by the Wolfson Foundation. I also have a wider interest in the contemporary modernist novel, including the work of Jon McGregor, Will Self and James Kelman.
I also have an academic interest in fantasy, Weird, and sci-fi literature. In 2017 I gave a conference paper on ‘Biology as (unstable) geography in the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer’ to the Placing, Spacing, Displacing conference at the University of Malta. An expanded version of this paper will appear in the Maltese journal antae in late 2017.
Two of my articles have been published on University of Edinburgh blog platform Inciting Sparks:
- The Song of a Poet: Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and the Boundaries of Literature
- City of Literature? Opposing Cuts to Edinburgh Public Libraries
I regularly vlog about my experiences as a PhD researcher on my YouTube channel. I presented a PechaKucha talk about this vlog to the 2017 ‘LLC Blethers’ event. Inciting Sparks have published a video of my presentation here.
Other academic work
Prior to my PhD, I worked with academic research, blogs, events and repositories in my role as a Digital Resources Assistant for the School of Advanced Study at the University of London (see ‘Work’ tab, above) from 2015-16. I also worked for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences web team at the University of Edinburgh as an editorial assistant, in 2015.
I previously completed an MSc in Literature and Modernity at the University of Edinburgh (with distinction). My dissertation title was ‘Stream of Consciousness in the British and Irish novel 2010-2015’, and my PhD thesis began as an expansion of this topic. It examined the influence of 1920s modernist writers such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf on the contemporary modernist fiction of Eimear McBride, Jon McGregor and Will Self. It used the theories of Colin MacCabe, Catherine Belsey and Raymond Williams amongst others to examine how such writing can subvert the implicit assumptions of prose written according to the hegemony of realist technique.
My undergraduate MA was in English Language and Literature, also from Edinburgh, in 2012. I graduated with first-class honours. My dissertation title was ‘Mirrors of Worlds: is a Secondary World by necessity an allegorical or satiric comment on the Primary World?’. It considered the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake, the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, and Phantastes by George Macdonald, and the nature of the link between the Secondary Worlds created in these texts, and the Primary World of our own reality. I also spent the third year of this degree on exchange at the University of Queensland.
I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Peake’s leading biographer, G. Peter Winnington, who added my undergraduate dissertation to his online database of Peake criticism, Peake in Print, which can be located here.
In 2012 I also received a Carnegie Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship for a six-week creative writing project, details of which can be found under the ‘Writing’ tab, above.