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Postgraduate Research

Postgraduate Research Day Conference
Friday 16 September, 2011


The day began with presentations by Dr Alex Tickell, Director of the Postcolonial Research Group, on the work of the group, and by Dr Caroline Davis, of Oxford Brookes University, a recent PhD graduate from the department. Warm invitations were extended to all those research students with an interest in the group to contact Alex. Caroline gave an illuminating account of both the process of gaining her PhD, and some of the major challenges it presented.

All those present then had the opportunity to view the impressive posters that had been submitted, a selection of which are on view below, before the poster presentations began. Each participant spoke to their poster for a few minutes, before taking questions from the group listening. The calibre of the presentations was made evident by the richness of the subsequent discussions, which all participants found valuable.

After lunch members of the English Department ran an MA and PhD ‘clinic’, at which participants could raise items of particular concern relating to their study. MA students discussed, among other things, taking their dissertation interests and research forward to further study, and PhD students shared experience of the probationary viva.

Closing the day was a presentation by Professor Judith Hawley, from Royal Holloway, on her career as an academic. Judith, who is an eighteenth-century specialist, was interviewed by Dr Nicola Watson. Professor Hawley gave a fascinating insight into the beginnings of her research career, and its progression, including details of her publications. As she is currently Director of Graduate Studies, her expertise in this respect also proved very useful in the discussion which ensued.

It only remains for me to thank those who attended, and helped to make this such a successful venture. Feedback is strongly suggesting that future events of this kind will take place on a Saturday, so I will keep you posted. Can I also take this opportunity to remind all postgraduate students that the Directors of each of the Research Groups in the department will be pleased to hear from you about joining a Research Group that is relevant to your area of study.

Sara Haslam
Postgraduate Coordinator, English Department
26 September, 2011

A sample of poster presentations

Sophie Bankes: James Lackington: Fashioning a Life through Reading [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Helen Chambers: Joseph Conrad's reading: evaluating the Reading Experience Database [PDF, 369 KB]

Abby Fermont: ‘Women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do’ – how Brontë  engages with ‘The Woman Question’ through her emotionally starved heroines explored in Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette. [PDF, 123 KB]

Tracy Hayes: "Only the rames of a man" : investigating masculinities in the novels of Thomas Hardy [PDF, 51 KB]

Ed Mason: An investigation into Carol Ann Duffy's creation of female voices with reference to a masculine canon [PDF, 311 KB]

Jeremy McDonald: Virginia Woolf, Family, Kinship and Class [PDF, 24 KB]

Heather Richardson: Inventing History:
creative fusions of research and imagination in the writing of an historical novel
[PowerPoint, 2.6 MB]

Vincent Trott: The Myths of the First World War in Forties Literature [PowerPoint, 1.4 MB]

All images sourced under Creative Commons, except for 'Inventing History ...', courtesy of Wellcome Images.