UCL English


Research Students

Shiran Avni did her BA in English and American studies (Hons) from Tel Aviv University, and MA in ‘Issues in Modern Culture’ from UCL in 2015. Supervised by Alison Shell, her thesis title is "Ambiguity and Meaning: The Hebraism of John Donne (1574-1631)" which explores Donne's understanding of Hebrew and how it manifests in his sermons. In her dissertation, she explores how grammar school students in early modern England learnt Hebrew, and how Christian Hebraists of the time implemented their knowledge and understanding of the language. This year, Shiran published her first article titled “Biblical Echoes in Meir Wieseltier’s Hebrew Translation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth” (European Judaism), which discusses the modern Hebrew translation of Macbeth and how it affects how Israeli students perceive the play. Email: shiran.barmatz.14@ucl.ac.uk

Rana Banna graduated from Royal Holloway with a first-class degree in English in 2013. She stayed on to complete an MA in English Literature with distinction in 2014. Now conducting her doctoral research at UCL, her PhD is currently entitled ‘Word-Magic: Early Modern Linguistic Sign Theory in Shakespeare’s Late Plays’. It considers how early modern linguistic theory had not lost the occultist or religious faith that language could conjure, summon, curse, cure, or bind with oaths, and therefore sustained conceptions of a fertile semiotics whereby the word did not just refer or designate, but could also create and invoke. Despite the fact that magical-thinking withdrew from the period’s popular culture as science encroached on its imaginative territory, Shakespeare’s late plays were, ironically, those most reliant upon moments of wonder, mystery, and impossible faithfulness. Towards the end of his career – alert to this upsurge in scientific rationalism – Shakespeare exhibited a nostalgic yearning to recuperate magical-thinking in his writing. This thesis argues that Shakespeare sought to prove and preserve language’s enduring power in spite of this cultural shift, showing that words, used expertly, could still miraculously perform meaning, embodying an optimistic semiotics. Email: rana.banna.16@ucl.ac.uk

Born in Kabul, Shani Bans moved to England at the age of seven and was educated at The Holy Cross School in New Malden. She received a B.A. (Hons) in English Literature and an M.A. (Early Modern Studies) from UCL where she is currently completing her PhD thesis, ‘Optics in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries’, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Shani’s research focusses principally on ways of seeing in early modern drama. Examining Shakespeare’s ocular metaphors of infection, cognition, and perspective, her thesis investigates how the Shakespearean subject attempts to neurotically contain, control, and condition sight. Specifically, she is interested in the phenomenology of sight in Shakespeare’s tragedies and late plays: in what respect does how characters see influence what they see? More broadly, Shani’s interests include the representation of ugly women in early modern poetry, prose, and drama; early modern painting and portraiture; and early modern accounts of dreaming and insomnia. Email: shani.bans.09@ucl.ac.uk

Roland Brennan obtained a BA (Hons) in English at the University of Sydney before completing his MA in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at the University of Leiden. At UCL, he is currently completing a doctoral dissertation on Old English religious terminology. His research considers the semantics of certain Old English word-fields relating to religious ritual, structures and objects, grounding the study in a comparative perspective with other early Germanic languages, in order to re-assess the value of the Old English evidence for our understanding of the pre-Christian belief and practices of early Germanic cultures at large. Email: roland.brennan.16@ucl.ac.uk

Issy Brooks-Ward received her BA in English Language and Literature from UCL in 2015, before completing an MPhil at the University of Cambridge in 2017. Her current research focuses on the nineteenth century’s preoccupation with forms of self-help – a discourse in which both novelists and psychologists participated, along with more traditionally recognised contributors such as Samuel Smiles. Focusing on the authors George Eliot, Margaret Oliphant, and George Meredith, her thesis seeks to locate the Victorian sense of self within this context, as these writers demonstrate how the individual might be improved through the prescriptions of their own mind. The inherent duality implicit here points, however, to an essential irreconcilability latent in the divided self, problematizing the precepts of strenuous particularity and internalised regulation upon which the concept of self-help was built. Email: isabella.brooks-ward.12@ucl.ac.uk

Sam Caleb received a BA in English Language and Literature from Oxford in 2012 and an MA in modern English literature from UCL in 2013. He has returned to UCL as a PhD candidate, where his thesis considers the role of play and games in the novels of the British avant-garde of the long 1960s, with particular focus on Christine Brooke-Rose, B.S. Johnson, Ann Quin, and Alexander Trocchi. His writing on contemporary literature and non-fiction has appeared in The Oxonian Review and Review 31 among others. Email: sam.caleb.18@ucl.ac.uk

Sarah Chambré is a graduate of Cambridge University and the Open University. She completed an MA in English Literature with distinction at KCL in 2017, with a thesis on Henry James and the theatre.  Her PhD thesis at UCL, supervised by Professor Philip Horne, is entitled “Henry James and the Pastoral Imagination”. James, the archetypal cosmopolitan author, arrays in his work an abundance of gardens, parks and landscapes and employs metonyms such as benches, balconies, terraces and penny chairs, challenging the usual dialectical distinction between urban and rural. This career-spanning study examines James’s representation of the garden as a flexible and self-referential literary trope that draws on a paradigm of retreat and return, a quest for the locus amoenus and biblical connotations of the acquisition of knowledge and the Fall. Gardens with their associations of innocence, fertile plenty and tranquillity enact a symbolic interrogation of transatlantic national identity and constitute a recurrent topos in James’s oeuvre. Concurrently, James’s fiction and non-fiction juxtapose the urban drawing room with a panoply of “out-of-doors” arenas, offering a rich socio-historical, political and cultural commentary. James, ever the dramatist, engages with the liminal possibilities of the threshold, privacy and the suspension of “indoors” social norms and constraints. Email: Sarah.chambre.18@ucl.ac.uk

Harry Chancellor holds a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and an MA in Early Modern Studies from UCL. Supervised by Alison Shell and René Weis, his PhD thesis explores the different ways in which English language authors gave voice to God during the early modern period, mapping a subject that became particularly controversial because of Protestant anxieties about adding to Scripture. Considering major writers such as Nashe, Herbert, and Milton, and a range of lesser known preachers and prophets, his research marries formalist concerns of literary voice to early modern historical phenomena such as prophecy. Email: harry.chancellor.16@ucl.ac.uk

Calum Cockburn obtained his BA in English from UCL (2012-2015), before completing an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (2015-2016), also from UCL. His MA thesis considered the interplay between text and illustration in the design of late Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and its subsequent effect on the development and transmission of devotional iconography in the post-reform era. His doctoral research examines the representation of the underworld across Anglo-Saxon art and literature, with an especial focus on the iconography of the hell-mouth and infernal devourers, whose gaping jaws became a standard eschatological motif in England and Western European until the end of the Renaissance. Email: calum.cockburn.12@ucl.ac.uk

Sarah Collier received a BA in English and French from Queen Mary University of London and an MSt in Modern Languages from Oxford University, where she completed a dissertation on masculinities in contemporary Francophone narratives of the Algerian War. Returning to English for her PhD, her research explores representations of contemporary military masculinities in American narratives of the ‘war on terror’. Looking particularly at how masculinities are shaped and mediated through developments in weapons and communications technologies, her thesis considers the extent to which a new American masculinity might emerge from the space negotiated by twenty-first century man’s relation to technology. Email: sarah.collier.19@ucl.ac.uk

Vanessa Cook received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Jesus College, Cambridge and a Master of Studies degree in Women’s Studies from Oxford University. She is currently writing a doctoral thesis on Emily Dickinson and nineteenth-century psychology. Email: vanessa.cook.16@ucl.ac.uk

Siobhan Cooke completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and History of Art at the University of Melbourne and her masters in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Her writing will explore how folk mythology and traditional oral folklore, which are often considered low culture, are appropriated into the high visual and material culture of the ruling houses of Britain at times of transition or crisis, as a way of connecting the new or challenged regime emotively to the national identity. This research considers the Jacobites as a focused case study. Her project combines methodology from both History of Art and English Literature in an interdisciplinary project. Email: siobhan.cooke.17@ucl.ac.uk

Sarah Edwards graduated from Cambridge in 2019 with a BA in English Literature and an MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature. Her research identifies, and explores the work of, contemporary experimental women writers who create visually nuanced page-spaces that redefine the role of reading in a computational and digitised world, and question its relationship with feminist politics. It explores the essays, and online presence, of Lisa Robertson, Sara Ahmed, Maggie Nelson and Rachel Blau DuPlessis, alongside the proposition that texts can encourage certain social behaviours or practices that can be taken up “IRL” for feminist ends. It suggests that the visual, linguistic and interactive structures, that these writers create, give readers a space to experiment with modes of intellectual, affective and aesthetic engagement. Their page-spaces become practice-grounds for readers to explore the role of their actions within larger social structures and networks, while also challenging the need for feminist spaces in ways reflecting the changing technological and textual materialities at their disposal. Email: sarah.edwards.19@ucl.ac.uk 

Will Fleming obtained his BA (Mod.) in English Literature and Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin in 2017. The following year he completed his MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture at UCL, where he wrote his dissertation on Irish experimental poetry in the context of the “British Poetry Revival” of the 1960s and ‘70s. Under the supervision of Matthew Sperling, his doctoral thesis will be an expansion upon this project, focusing on five Irish small presses whose collective operations together span the last half-century. By blending archival research and close comparative literary study, this thesis seeks to unearth hidden alliances between poets and presses across the British Isles, and in turn reveal resultant shared poetics hitherto unexplored. The aim is to chart the development of a tradition of Irish poetic experimentalism within—as opposed to alongside—a British Isles context. In March 2019, Will delivered an abridged version of his MA dissertation to the American Conference for Irish Studies in Boston. His first peer-reviewed article, also based on the research undertaken for his MA thesis and focusing on the Dublin-based small poetry press New Writers’ Press, was published in a special issue of the academic journal Humanities entitled “The Circles of Contemporary Irish Poetry” in 2019. While at Trinity College, Will edited the campus literary magazine, Icarus, and has had poetry published in a number of Irish magazines. Email: will.fleming.17@ucl.ac.uk

Karel Fraaije is a doctoral student in the English Department. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he first came to London as a Harting Scholar in 2014. After completing his bachelor’s at the University of Leiden, he returned to UCL for a master’s degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. His current research, which is sponsored by the London Arts and Humanities Research Council (LAHP), focusses on recovering the literary background of a select number of magical poems from early medieval England. These poems, often called ‘metrical charms’ in the technical literature, attest to a range of peculiar early medieval ideas concerning the power of spoken and written words: the Anglo-Saxons did not only resort to poetic techniques to commemorate dead kings or to glorify Christ, they also used them to cure skin ailments, exorcise malicious folkloric entities, recover stolen livestock, and prevent bee swarms from escaping. In the past, it was not uncommon for scholars to understand the latter practices as reminiscent of a pre-Christian mentality, and some researchers have even suggested that the metrical charms were handed down to us mostly on account of the ‘blank misunderstanding’ of medieval scribes (Grattan and Singer, 1952). Karel’s thesis challenges the validity of such dismissive assertions and uses a comparative perspective to demonstrate the pervasive influence that incantatory principles exerted on the literary culture of Anglo-Saxon England. Email: karel.fraaije.14@ucl.ac.uk

Sara Gazo obtained her BA and MA in English Literature from the State University of Milan. Her dissertations were entitled respectively ‘Charles Dickens and the Great Exhibition’ and ‘Master of Two Worlds: Dickens, Dream, and the Uncanny’. Before joining UCL, she worked as an independent researcher. In 2016, she published a paper in Dickens Quarterly previously presented at the 2014 Dickens Symposium, ‘Dickensian Dreamscapes’. Her PhD researches Dickens’s relationship to dream and dreaming, both in his life and work. In her dissertation, she argues that not only did Dickens actively engage with the Victorian discourse of dreaming; he also formulated his own dream theory, extending it to dreamlike experiences and states of altered perception. Email: sara.gazo.16@ucl.ac.uk

Dai George holds a BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Bristol and a creative writing MFA from Columbia University, New York. Supervised by Mark Ford, his PhD thesis is a critical history of poetry and syntax from modernism to the present day, charting the evolving definitions, practical approaches and aesthetic disputes that have grown up around this controversial subject. A published poet and critic, Dai writes about contemporary poetry in a variety of forums, including Poetry Review, Boston Review and Poetry London. His first collection is The Claims Office (Seren, 2013) and he is an editor at the online journal Prac Crit. Email: david.george.15@ucl.ac.uk

Sarah Gibbs completed an MA in English at Queen’s University and a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree at McGill University in Canada. Her doctoral dissertation at UCL examines George Orwell’s engagement with interwar print culture, and his portrayal of local and international information communities. Her research combines concepts and methodologies from literary scholarship, philosophy, and library and information studies to discern how the ‘Tory-Anarchist-Turned-Socialist’ author of Nineteen Eighty-Four conceived of the relationship between knowledge and power. She is the organizer of UCL's first Orwell conference, which is scheduled to take place in May 2019. Email: sarah.gibbs.17@ucl.ac.uk

Alex Grafen is researching the Whitechapel Boys, a fairly loose grouping that has been brought to bear on several writers and painters who grew up in the Jewish East End in the early twentieth century, including David Bomberg, Mark Gertler, John Rodker and Isaac Rosenberg. He is examining their interactions with different literary-artistic factions in London, particularly through little magazines, and charting how the terms of their inclusion in those factions altered with shifting attitudes towards Jews in England. Alex is one of the organisers of the Literary London Reading Group and is a recipient of the Margulies Prize for Yiddish. Email: alexander.grafen.16@ucl.ac.uk

Luca Guerneri obtained his BA and MA from the University of Bologna, the latter with a thesis on Seamus Heaney’s poetics partly written during a long stay at the National University of Ireland, Galway. After spending many years working as an English teacher in Italian upper secondary schools and literary translator he has returned to university for his PhD. Poetry has always been his main interest and as a translator he has edited collections by Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Simon Armitage and Jamie McKendrick. The subject he wants to explore is the operation that went under the name of '1994 New Generation Poets', a group of British poets selected by publishers, writers and critics and anthologized in a special issue of the Poetry Review. The contradictory political and theoretical contexts in which the whole event was conducted, the possible formal narratives shared by those poets and the legacy left to younger authors represent the main focus of his research. Email: gian.guerneri.18@ucl.ac.uk

Jess Hannah holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago. Her project considers the problem of literary ontology in late-modernist British novels by Muriel Spark, Sam Selvon, Brigid Brophy, and other writers. Her thesis contends that novels such as The Driver's Seat, The Lonely Londoners, and In Transit are illustrative of a pervasive anxiety specific to their literary-historical moment about the relationship between narration and the constitution of subjecthood. In particular, it explores the ways in which narrative modes such as free indirect style might be understood in relation to concepts like intimacy, opacity, privacy and surveillance. Email: jessica.hannah.18@ucl.ac.uk.

Denise Rose Hansen received her BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from the University of Westminster and her MA in English Studies from the University of Copenhagen, awarding her the title of candidata magisterii. Her MA thesis was entitled “The Novel As a Technology en garde: Reading Ben Lerner and Ali Smith in the Age of Digital Media”. Her writings on art and literature have appeared in the International Journal of the Book, 3:AM Magazine, Avidly – L.A. Review of Books, Copenhagen Post, Curator, among other publications, and have been recognised by the London Writing Scholarship (2010), the Books, Publishing & Libraries Graduate Scholar Award (2016), and the Books, Publishing & Libraries International Award for Excellence for Volume 15 (2018). She has presented at the University of British Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, most recently on Ben Lerner and Julián Herbert and the role of art and the self-conscious artist in autofiction. Before coming to UCL, she was EA to Prof Christian Fuchs in the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS) where she managed the International Research Fellowship Programme and the WIAS events programme which brought prominent thinkers such as Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt and Jodi Dean to London. She also worked on publishing and translation projects and was the Managing Editor of tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique 2016-2018. Her PhD thesis offers a detailed and interdisciplinary study of the relationship between 1960s British experimental literature and the visual arts. Through archival research of letters, notebooks and manuscripts, she will illuminate how sixties novelists (J.G. Ballard, Alan Burns, Ann Quin) translated paradigms encountered in conceptual art, pop art, modern sculpture, cubism and surrealism into formal and narrative novelistic innovations. Email: denise.hansen.18@ucl.ac.uk

Yingyue He completed her MA in English Linguistics at UCL after obtaining a BA in English Language and Literature at Dalian University of Technology (DUT) in China. She is now conducting her doctoral research on pragmatic borrowing in English. The main focus of the study contains pragmatic functional forms, such as discourse markers, interjections, expletives, tags, vocatives, and adverbs with discourse-functional meanings. Additionally, the project aims to investigateon the degree of parallelism of a borrowed form in its Source language and in Recipient language, and a counterpart item in the RL indicating a similar discourse function if there is. Email: yingyue.he.17@ucl.ac.uk

Miriam Helmers focuses her PhD on figurativeness in Charles Dickens, researching a potential connection between his unique style of figurative comparison and embodied "make-believe" in performances of Dickens (performed readings and adaptations). She holds an MA in English Language from the University of British Columbia (2019) and a BA in English from the University of Toronto (2011), both in Canada. After teaching for two years at a high school in Toronto, she completed a BDiv in Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy (2016) before returning to Canada and to her first love of English literature to pursue a career in academia. Her other interests include all things theatrical and pedagogical, the history and structure of the English language, Old English, biblical exegesis, and ecclesiastical Latin. Email: miriam.helmers.19@ucl.ac.uk

Stephen Hills received his BA in English and Comparative Literature from Goldsmiths College and his MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture from UCL. His PhD – ‘Pavlov’s Dogs in the Press, Literature and Cybernetics’ – explores the popular and intellectual responses to Ivan Pavlov’s science during the twentieth century. Focusing on H. G. Wells, Rebecca West, Aldous Huxley, Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and a coterie of British cyberneticists, the project argues that Pavlov's work – in part by implying that words, like test-tubes of canine saliva, were measurable units of behaviour – prompted new literary and narrative forms. Email: stephen.hills.13@ucl.ac.uk

Naomi Hinds holds a BA in English Literature and Language, and an MA in English Literature: 1850 – present, both from King’s College London. In her thesis  ‘Cycles of Waste in Victorian London’  she will be exploring how the increased concern about excrement, and the circulatory routes that it should take through the city went on to infect the language of contemporary literature. Focusing on the works of Edwin Chadwick, Charles Dickens and John Hollingshead in particular, she will be examining how they navigate (and circumnavigate) the matter of bodily waste and its place in urban space. Email: naomi.hinds.18@ucl.ac.uk

Matthew Holman is a PhD candidate at UCL, where his thesis is entitled ‘Frank O’Hara Abroad: Curatorship, Cosmopolitanism and the Cold War’. By probing the under-developed disciplinary contiguity of poetry to curatorial practice, this research looks to reassess how we see the life and work of Frank O’Hara. Before UCL, Matthew was an F. R. Leavis Scholar at The University of York, where he completed an MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture. In 2017/18, Matthew studied under a Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentship at the John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, where he worked on a research project entitled ‘Frank O’Hara East and West’ and led the module ‘American Avant-Gardes in Literature and Visual Culture’. Over the next academic year, Matthew will participate on the UCL-Yale Collaborative Exchange Program, conduct archival and collections-based research in New York under a Terra Foundation for American Art travel grant, and spend time at the Archives of American Art in Washington DC under the AHRC International Placement Scheme. His writing has appeared in Oxford Art Journal, Oxford Poetry and he regularly writes reviews for Apollo: The International Art Magazine. Email: matthew.holman.15@ucl.ac.uk

Asha Hornsby received her BA in English and History at Exeter University (2011-14) and her MA in English Literary Studies from Durham (2015). Her thesis considers the relationship between late nineteenth-century literary culture and experimental science: why and how did literary writers participate in the Victorian vivisection debates, and in what ways did physiological research influence works of fiction? Email: asha.hornsby.15@ucl.ac.uk

Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou completed a BA in English Literature at the University of Cambridge, Lucy Cavendish College, and an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London (in collaboration with the British Museum). Her thesis explores the representation of the body in the writing of Mary Wollstonecraft and her circle. She asks to what extent Wollstonecraft’s conception of the body was shaped by the prevailing philosophies and corporeal theories of the mid-late eighteenth century. Does Wollstonecraft’s formulation of the body conform to that found in, say, Whyttian neuro-physiology, Hartleian psychophysiology or Lavaterian physiognomy? Or does she contradict these scientific and pseudoscientific models when putting forward her own bodily ideal? Email: hannah.hutchings-georgiou.16@ucl.ac.uk

Dana Key completed both her second BA and MA at UCL after a first career in finance. Her MA dissertation explored the sources and contexts of Thomas Dekker’s pamphlet The Seven Deadly Sinnes of London (1606). Her PhD research is concerned with drama over the period 1385-1625 and explores whether the abstract personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins in late medieval morality drama were the antecedents of the urban character types of the Jacobean London city comedies. Email: dana.kovarik.12@ucl.ac.uk

Kate Kinley received a BA in English Language and Literature from UCL in 2018, and subsequently an MPhil in Renaissance Literature from Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 2019. Supervised by Helen Hackett, her research now interrogates how contemporary sociopolitical upheavals, coupled with mathematical advancements, increasingly destabilised the relationship between ‘place’ and ‘space’ in seventeenth century drama. Her research also draws upon urban development and architecture, observing how transformations in London’s cityscape manifested in the design of adjacent physical and imagined stage-spaces. Her thesis adopts a psychogeometrical approach to seventeenth century drama, exploring how angles, buildings, and plots are imagined to cohere or collapse; how spatial unities are gradually dismissed in favour of a more anti-Euclidean structural disorder. Email: catherine.kinley.19@ucl.ac.uk

Emily Klimova completed her MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCL in 2012. She is completing her dissertation on music in late medieval romance. Her area of interest is the crossing point between medieval literature and musicology, particularly relating to minstrels, notation and the role of music in shaping narrative. Her work examines how the idea of affective music was used in literature to promote contemporary social ideals. She is also interested in encoded musical performances within medieval romances and the construction of authorial identity through poetry. Email: e.klimova.11@ucl.ac.uk

Arendse Lund completed a BA in English at UC Berkeley, with a Minor in Medieval Studies, and her MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCL. Her doctoral thesis, ‘Law as Literature in the Vernacular Codes of Anglo-Saxon England’, argues for the development of a legal language specific to Old English. She is a LAHP (AHRC) student. Email: arendse.lund.15@ucl.ac.uk

Akihiro Machimoto completed a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and an MA in British Area Studies in the University of Tokyo. He was awarded a Research Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in 2014-2016, before coming to UCL to do a PhD. His doctoral thesis addresses the interconnection between the Victorian tradition of cultural criticism from Thomas Carlyle to Oscar Wilde and the school of British Idealism represented by such Oxonian philosophers as T. H. Green and Bernard Bosanquet, which was the dominant mode of philosophy in Britain roughly from the 1880s to the First World War but vanished from the cultural memory of the country afterwards, not least due to the rise of analytic philosophy, the popular and scholarly association of Idealism with German militarism, and the ascendancy of ‘Leavisite’ literary criticism with a claim to cultural hegemony. Email: akihiro.machimoto.16@ucl.ac.uk

Alice Maltby-Kemp graduated with a BA (Hons.) in History from the University of Warwick in 2010 before receiving an MA in Religious, Social and Cultural History 1500-1750 in 2011. After leaving university she worked in archives and records management whilst studying for a MSc Econ in Archive Administration via distance learning from Aberystwyth University which she received in 2018. Her thesis is an LAHP-funded collaborative PhD Studentship between UCL and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) entitled ‘Shakespeare and the Stratford-Upon-Avon Antiquarians’. This thesis is primarily supervised by Professor René Weis of UCL and Dr Paul Edmondson of the SBT with Dr Chris Stamatakis as secondary. The project aims to systematically explore the archival collections of antiquarians who worked to create the discourse of Shakespearian scholarship and the local history of Stratford-Upon-Avon from the 18th century through to the 20th century for new insights into their research and collections, local history and Shakespeare biography. Email: alice.maltby-kemp.18@ucl.ac.uk

Fraser McIlwraith holds a BA in English from UCL (2018) and an M.St. in English 1550-1700 from the University of Oxford (2019). His doctoral thesis, titled ‘Ludic Rhetoric: Serious Play in Tudor England’, considers shifting notions of play in renaissance culture as they occur in sixteenth-century rhetoric, poetics, and pedagogy. From the Erasmian lusus ingenii to the ‘ink-wasting toy[s]’ of Sir Philip Sidney, his research examines the manifold ways in which literary texts throughout the period are approached by both readers and writers as opportunities for play. Reading humanist mock-encomia alongside a wide variety of related forms, including paradoxes, centos, and familiar letters, he aims to reconsider the status of play and pastime during a century in which the role of fiction was highly contested. Authors to be discussed in detail include, amongst others, Thomas Wilson, Roger Ascham, George Gascoigne, and Thomas Nashe. Email: fraser.mcilwraith.15@ucl.ac.uk

Eva-Charlotta Mebius obtained a BA in English Literature with minors in Art History and Psychology from Stockholm University, and an MA in Comparative Literature from UCL. Her PhD thesis explores the apocalyptic imagination in British literature and art in the long nineteenth century. She recently received the Stephen Copley Research Award from the British Association for Romantic Studies. She was an Exchange Scholar at Yale University in Spring 2018. Her work on Charles Dickens’s appreciation for the apocalyptic poet Thomas J. Ouseley appeared in Dickens Quarterly (September 2017), and another article is forthcoming in The Dickensian. She is currently curating an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art. Email: eva-charlotta.mebius.13@ucl.ac.uk

Adelais Mills received her BA in English Language and Literature from St. John's College, Oxford (2011-14), and her MPhil in English Literature: Criticism and Culture from Pembroke College, Cambridge (2014-15). Her doctorate at UCL is an enquiry into the meaning of responsible writing and the writing of responsibility in the early to mid-career fiction and criticism of Henry James. Email: adelais.mills.16@ucl.ac.uk

Niall Ó Cuileagáin received a BA in Creative Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2014, before going on to complete the English: Issues in Modern Culture MA at UCL in 2016. Throughout this time, his work has focused primarily on modernist and contemporary Irish literature. His PhD is provisionally entitled ‘Beyond the Pale: James Joyce and Rural Ireland’. This thesis seeks to explore how Joyce, often presumed to be a writer whose works deal only with urban life in Dublin, was also influenced by the Irish Literary Revival’s obsession with the rural west of Ireland. It will examine Joyce’s many literal and literary forays into the countryside and will problematize the received notion of Joyce as a purely metropolitan writer of the European modernist strain. In doing so it will build on recent regional approaches to modernist literature as well as ecological readings of Joyce. Email: niall.culligan.15@ucl.ac.uk

Rolake Osabia graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in English and American Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons) in 2017. She then went on to complete an MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture at UCL in 2018. Her research project focuses on the notion of isolation juxtaposed with kinship concerning Black Womanhood in contemporary works by Black women writers such as Yrsa Daley-Ward, Diana Evans, Helen Oyeyemi, Somalia Seaton, Zadie Smith and Winsome Pinnock. Her MA thesis explored the concept of escapism versus the political when examining the primary functions of literature by Black women, and her PhD thesis aims to further expand on the question of whether the pursuit of escapism is feasible in works by writers whose identities are politicised. Email: rolake.osabia.17@ucl.ac.uk

Luke Prendergast received his BA in English Language and Literature and his M.St in English (1550-1700) from the University of Oxford. His doctoral thesis focuses on Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590-96) and Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621-51) to explore a tradition of therapeutic reading across the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and how this relates to medical thought of the period, readerly practice and the development of humanist rhetorical culture. Email: luke.prendergast.16@ucl.ac.uk

Elizabeth Rawlinson-Mills has a BA in English from the University of Cambridge (2004-2007), where she also completed an MEd (2009), and an MA in English Literature from the University of Bristol (2013). Her doctoral dissertation is entitled ‘Poetry in the public sphere: newspaper poems of the South African War (1899-1902)’. Her research is concerned with the place of poetry in the day-to-day lives of ‘ordinary’ people, and with the role and status of the poet, and involves thousands of poems published first in British and international newspapers. Email: elizabeth.mills.13@ucl.ac.uk

James Reath holds a BA in English Literature & History from Queen Mary, University of London and an MA from McGill University. His MA dissertation read BLAST  the pugnacious journal of Vorticism –  alongside William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity. His doctoral dissertation is titled ‘Anexact Culture’. The project translates the Husserlian concept of ‘essential inexactness’ into cultural theory and blurs the parameters that typically circumscribe modernism. Weaving recent developments in ‘weak theory’ and ‘fuzzy studies’, Anexact Culture aims to uncover five types of essential inexactness animating the work of a range of writers and artists attuned to labile formalisms and early twentieth-century philosophies. The project is supervised by Dr Julia Jordan and funded by LAHP. Email: james.reath.18@ucl.ac.uk

Will Rees received a BA and an MA in philosophy from the University of Sussex, and then an MA in literature from Goldsmiths. He spent a year at the University of Chicago before coming to UCL to complete his doctoral research. His Wellcome-funded project, tentatively titled “Studies in Hypochondria”, is a cultural and literary history of that phenomenon. By examining the medical, psychiatric and popular discourses of the fin de siècle, and its literary texts, he seeks to cast light on how during this period the hypochondriac of Renaissance medicine was reinvented as a figure of modernity. Away from academia, he writes for the TLS and is a founder of the literary publisher Peninsula Press. Email: will.rees.19@ucl.ac.uk

Max Riviera holds a BA in English and Drama (2018; First Class and Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievements) from Queen Mary University of London, and an MA in Early Modern Studies (2019; Distinction) from UCL. His doctoral thesis, sponsored by the London Arts and Humanities Research Council (LAHP), focuses on the early modern epyllion and seeks to investigate the reasons that made this literary genre so popular, and yet so short-lived. Particularly, Max’s research considers the ways in which the leading Elizabethan poets - like Shakespeare, Marlowe, Marston, Lodge, and Beaumont - that wrote epyllia in the last decade of the sixteenth century chose to re-adapt classical myths that already permeated the early modern literary imagination and, by intertwining sexuality and rhetoric in their retelling of Ovidian tales of desire, skeptically investigated not just the mechanisms and limits of the classical education promoted by the English education system, but also the very shortcomings of Humanism. Email: massimiliano.riviera.18@ucl.ac.uk

Heather Scott is currently completing her PhD at UCL in the Department of English Language and Literature. She earned a BA with a major in English and minors in Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Regina, Canada, and then undertook an MLitt in Victorian Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her PhD thesis examines the rise of the Victorian garden cemetery in London, which was born as a solution to improve sanitation while providing ample burial space that would discourage the prevalence of body snatching and create a park-like space for leisure. Throughout the 1830s and 1840s, seven large garden cemeteries formed in a circular pattern on the outskirts of central London. The Victorians, today, dwell within the walls of these carefully constructed cities of the dead. Email: h.scott.11@ucl.ac.uk

Daisuke Suzuki completed his BA in Law at Waseda University in Japan and worked as an English teacher after his first career as international sales. Before joining UCL, he obtained his MSc in TESOL and Applied Linguistics from the University of Stirling and MA in Linguistic Science from Kwansei Gakuin University in a double degree programme in 2019. His doctoral study explores the pragmalinguistic aspects of requests in student-faculty e-mails written in English by university students who have different nationalities. The main focus of the investigation is on the epistemic stance such as modal auxiliary verbs. In addition, the project aims to build a corpus using these collected data with pragmatic annotation. Email: daisuke.suzuki.19@ucl.ac.uk

Alberto Tondello arrived in the UK in 2010 to undertake his studies in English Literature. He graduated from Queen Mary, University of London in 2013, and was awarded his MA from Oxford University in 2014 with a comparative project on Samuel Beckett and Italo Calvino. After teaching English in Switzerland for three years, Alberto is back in the UK to work on James Joyce and inanimate matter at UCL. His current research aims at analysing the innovative ways in which Joyce shows human knowledge to be constituted in relation to objects. Joyce’s panoply of styles unsettles the rigid dichotomy between object and subject which lies at the basis of Western metaphysics and consumerist society, thus dramatising and problematising commonplace notions of our relations to objects. Email: alberto.tondello.17@ucl.ac.uk

Hannah Tran received her BA from UCL in 2016, and her MPhil from Cambridge in 2017. Her dissertation analyses the paradox at the heart of William Hazlitt’s philosophy of habit and its consequences for his social, literary, and political thought. Hazlitt, like other Romantic thinkers, believed in imagination as the motivating faculty of the mind. Habitual associations have a narrowing effect on the imagination, leading to self-interest and conservatism; yet affections formed by habit also form the basis for every disinterested act of imaginative sympathy, without which the imagination becomes an empty tool of abstract speculation. The thesis will examine Romantic cruxes such as the the experience of subjectivity, the creative process, and the individual’s relation to the community through the lens of habit, custom and prejudice, re-evaluating the role of such unconscious forces in their shaping. Email: hannah.tran.13@ucl.ac.uk

James Waddell completed his BA in English at Pembroke College, Oxford (2016; First Class). After working at The Economist for a year, he completed an MPhil in Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University (2018; Distinction). He was awarded the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize in 2019, for his essay on the history of privacy. He continues to write about books and arts for The Economist, as well as for the Times Literary Supplement and others. His PhD research, funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (AHRC), investigates early modern anxieties about distraction and shortened attention spans, with particular regard to popular romance narratives. Romance reading was a principal target of anti-distraction discourse in this period, and was accused of inducing devious mind-wandering, absorbed reverie, and lax attention to worthier materials. Romances were also maligned for being intrinsically distracted, with their absent-minded protagonists and digressive narrative strands. Focussing on Spenser, Sidney, Nashe and Wroth, James’s research examines how literary form was mirrored and moulded by Renaissance metaphors of mind, their ethical valences, and their psychosomatic manifestations. Email: james.waddell.19@ucl.ac.uk

Anthony Walker-Cook joined the department in 2017 after completing his BA (2016; First Class) and MA (2017; Distinction) at Durham University. His project seeks to re-evaluate the relationship between women poets and classical material during the first half of the eighteenth century. Though traditionally denied a classical education, eighteenth-century women’s writing is surprisingly permeated with the classics and, despite the prolific influence of Graeco-Roman works on eighteenth-century fiction, little work has been done on detailing how and why women writers used antiquity in their work. In improving our understanding of how women writers used classical material, Anthony’s project will enable a more detailed consideration of eighteenth-century classicism and develop the current understanding of the role of classical learning in literature of the period. Other research interests include Renaissance, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century drama, the work Frances Burney and Sarah Fielding, and contemporary British fiction (especially Jonathan Coe). Anthony’s thesis is supervised by Dr Paul Davis and Professor Helen Hackett and is funded by an AHRC scholarship. He is Theatre Editor for London Student. Email: anthony.walker-cook.17@ucl.ac.uk

Christy Wensley received her BA in English from Columbia University in New York City, and her MPhil in American Literature from University of Cambridge. Her undergraduate honors thesis and MPhil dissertation addressed issues of gender, aesthetics, and empathy in Henry James’s major phase novels. She has presented papers on these and other Jamesian topics, including work on Henry James and James Baldwin at 2018’s Queer Modernism(s) II: Intersectionality conference at Oxford. Her PhD, 'The "Hidden Slave" in Henry James' asks how we discover within James’s deliberately obscure style his ‘hidden’ subjects in direct relation to American slavery, the Civil War and postbellum (and ongoing) segregation and oppression of Black Americans. Her thesis proposes a deeper search into James’s relation to what continues to be a defining and damaging legacy of America’s economic, social, and political conditions: from his more overt references to slavery and the Civil War in the autobiographies, in his confrontation with his own and the nation’s nostalgic aesthetics and segregated states in The American Scene, to the metaphorics of slavery and blackness that are concealed within his fiction, particularly the uncomfortable meeting between his depictions of traumatized, idealized white femininity or queer masculinity and the realities of African American experience. Email: christy.wensley.16@ucl.ac.uk

Jacob Wiseman received a BA in English (2017; First Class) from the University of Oxford, where he also earned an MSt in English 1550-1700, (2019; Distinction) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. His doctoral research explores the intersections between biblical and literary cultures in early modern England. He has research interests in imaginative engagements with scripture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as poetics, material cultures and the history of Hebrew scholarship. His doctoral work is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and supervised by Prof. Alison Shell. He welcomes any inquiries regarding his work and interests. Email: jacob.wiseman.19@ucl.ac.uk

Tymek Woodham is a final year PhD student at University College London. His thesis is titled ‘Writing Agency: The Material Imaginations of Charles Olson, Langston Hughes and Frank O’Hara,’ which explores how these poets use material processes as inspirations for experimental poetic form, and how this linkage of material process and form contributes to anxieties surrounding individual and collective agency in the politically fraught topographies of post-war US culture.

Zhen Wu completed a Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology at City University of Hong Kong and a MA in English Linguistics at UCL. As a PhD student he works on a synthetic grammatical analysis on English non-headed phrases. Targeting at the theory of the Fusion of Function (Huddleston and Pullum, 2002), the project explores the possibility of reconstructing headless phrases as ‘fused’ structures, which includes a critical evaluation of the FF theory by exploring its nature, comparing it to other well-developed frameworks and re-examining the phrasal and sentential structures it is applied to. Email: zhen.wu.16@ucl.ac.uk

Ai Zhong received her BA in English Language and Literature from Fudan University before coming to UCL to study for the MA in English Linguistics. Her doctoral research investigates the language contact between English and Chinese, which involves lexical borrowings, pidgins, Chinese Englishes (or Chinglish), and other types of Chinese contributions to the English lexicon. The major focus of this research is on the transmission processes and linguistic products between these two distinct languages. Email: ai.zhong.14@ucl.ac.uk

Sarah-Jean Zubair holds an MA in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University (New York) and a BA in English from the University of Victoria (Canada). Her research centres upon motifs of disturbed sleep and liminality in Romantic poetry, focusing in particular on the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Drawing upon eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century philosophy and medical sciences, she aims to deconstruct the relationship between disturbed sleep and poetic form, and examine the connectivity between liminal states of consciousness and imagination in the Romantic psyche. Email: sarah-jean.zubair.17@ucl.ac.uk