New staff profiles for academic year 17/18

Below is a list of all new staff profiles that we have created for the academic year 2017-2018.

If you are a member of College of Arts and Law academic staff and don't yet have a public profile, please contact the web team (artswebteam@contacts.bham.ac.uk).

You can also view a simplified version of this list without the research interests.

Dr Nicholas Attfield

Dr Nicholas Attfield

Lecturer in Music

Department of Music

I would welcome applications from students interested in the following research areas: the symphony in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; opera (particularly German-language opera) in the same period; music and politics in the Weimar Republic and Third Reich.

Dr Peter Auger

Dr Peter Auger

Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

Department of English Literature

In my doctoral thesis and numerous shorter pieces, I examined case studies in the reception history of James VI and I’s favourite poet, Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas (1544-90). This evidence supports the argument made in Du Bartas’ Legacy in England and Scotland that Du Bartas’ extraordinary renown led his works to provide a vital model for popular religious and epic verse to which Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Anne Bradstreet, John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson and many other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poets writing in English responded.

My current research challenges earlier anglocentric readings of the French influence on English literature to present a more inclusive view of Franco-British poetic activity during James VI and I’s reign. I am developing an approach to reception studies that emphasizes how social and cultural settings shape literary activity, uses archival and historical research to inform literary appreciation, and investigates cultural links between England, Scotland and continental Europe conscious of how they help us reflect on present-day relations between those territories.

Other research interests include women writers (especially the early American poet Anne Bradstreet), literary imitation and reading practices, manuscript studies and religious writing.

Dr Charlotte Bendall

Lecturer

Birmingham Law School

Charlotte’s doctoral thesis explored how civil partnerships and same-sex marriage can help to challenge social and legal constructions about the gendered nature of roles in relationships.  More specifically, it looked at how legal professionals negotiate gender in their interactions with their lesbian and gay clients in the context of financial relief on relationship breakdown, and whether they have attempted to apply the traditional norms of masculinity and femininity (i.e. breadwinning versus homemaking) to this new scenario.  It additionally examined the conceptions of equality applied, particularly concerning the stress that has been placed on sameness between same- and different-sex relationships, and asked how reflective lesbians and gay clients perceive such claims to be of the way that they conduct their relationships in reality.

Charlotte has recently commenced work on a new project, funded through the Socio-legal Studies Association’s Research Grant scheme, comparing the legal approach to financial relief against the financial practices of modern day couples ‘on the ground’.  The research aims to explore both the ways in which money is being held physically (i.e. individually or as a couple), and the partners’ perceptions of that money.  This is to ensure that family law reflects the society within which is operates, and that it takes into account new ways of living.

Dr Jakub Beneš

Dr Jakub Beneš

Lecturer in Modern European History, 1800-1950

Department of History

So far my research has focused on the popular—even populist—appeal of ideologies such as nationalism and socialism. Why did nationalism seem attractive to industrial workers who considered themselves to be socialists? How did socialist revolution appeal to conservative-minded peasants? Such questions are important for understanding modern central and eastern Europe, my geographic area of focus, but also seem relevant to other parts of the world. I have explored these questions primarily through cultural history, looking at the shifting meanings and perceptions that framed political views and actions. I am also increasingly interested in how the experience of war opened new political and cultural horizons for ordinary people.

My first book, Workers and Nationalism: Czech and German Social Democracy in Habsburg Austria, 1890-1918 (Oxford University Press, 2017) looks at the culture of the workers’ movement in Prague, Vienna, Brno and elsewhere and how it evolved alongside the democratization of elections and during the First World War. It received the 2017 Barbara Jelavich Prize from the Association of Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies. The book forms part of my broader interest in the history of socialism, which I am pursuing with a chapter for the new Cambridge History of the Habsburg Monarchy and a co-edited interdisciplinary volume called Socialist Imaginations.

My current research project is focused on rural unrest during the collapse of the Habsburg Empire in 1918 and how this forgotten episode reverberated in east central European society and culture through 1945. At the center of this inquiry is a loose movement of army deserters and radical peasants called ‘Green Cadres’ that existed across the region, but possessed no conventional political representation. I have published my initial findings in articles in Past & Present and Contemporary European History (forthcoming). 

Dr Gianna Bouchard

Dr Gianna Bouchard

Senior Lecturer

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts

My research focuses on exploring specific medical discourses and practices, such as anatomical dissection, in order to analyse contemporary performance practice. My work has examined constructions of power and knowledge, visuality, spectatorship and theatricality in the work of ORLAN, Marissa Carnesky, Kira O’Reilly and the Bodyworlds Exhibition, for instance, and has been published in a number of journals and edited collections, including Performance Research and Contemporary Theatre Review. In February 2016, my co-edited book Performance and the Medical Body (with Dr Alex Mermikides) was published by Bloomsbury Methuen.

I am currently working on a monograph titled Performing Specimens: Biomedical Display in Contemporary Performance, to be published in 2019 by Bloomsbury Methuen. This explores the staging and the display of the ‘body as specimen’ in contemporary performance practice and within wider visual culture. I have recently completed a book chapter for Live Art in the UK: Contemporary Performances of Precarity, on the live artist Martin O’Brien, which explores some of these issues around specimenhood.

Dr Sheldon Brammall

Dr Sheldon Brammall

Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

Department of English Literature

My research focuses on early modern poetry, and particularly its relationship to classical and European contexts. So far, I have undertaken two major lines of research, both centred upon the early modern reception of Virgil.

The first resulted in my monograph, The English Aeneid: Translations of Virgil, 1555-1646 (EUP), as well as an on-going series of articles. In this line of research, I have concentrated on a run of thirteen translations of at least a full book of the Aeneid that appeared from the accession of Elizabeth until the Civil Wars. This remarkable series of translations constituted a sustained dialogue about the poem that extends across the entire century. Since the monograph appeared in 2015, I have continued to research early modern translation, recently working on translation theory, an edition of an unprinted manuscript translation from the Civil Wars, as well as chapters on Gavin Douglas and John Dryden.

The second line of research has been the basis of my Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship over the past three years, ‘The Appendix Vergiliana and the Renaissance Art of Discernment’. In this project, I am looking at poems that were attributed to Virgil during the Renaissance, but which we today no longer consider authentic. Early modern canons of classical authors sometimes differ remarkably from our contemporary ones, and Virgil is a case in point. The Appendix Vergiliana is a large collection of poems that were attributed to Virgil from antiquity through the early modern period. The collection includes an epyllion about a gnat’s journey to the underworld, a metamorphosis narrative about the Megarian princess Scylla, and a collection of shorter pieces (epigrams, curses, autobiographical poems, erotic verse). Modern studies of Virgil tend to ignore these works because we no longer consider them authentic, but to a Renaissance reader they represented a significant portion of Virgil’s early output. My project is to write this other Virgil back into our understanding of Renaissance poetry, and to explore the steps by which the modern Virgilian canon was formed. The poets and scholars I am studying range from Angelo Poliziano and Pietro Bembo to Edmund Spenser and John Milton. I am especially concerned with how the Appendix can reshape our understanding of literary careers and personal literary styles in the early modern period. The research will produce a second monograph in the upcoming years. 

Dr Joanna Bucknall

Dr Joanna Bucknall

Lecturer

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts

My primary research interests are in the following areas: production and reception theory of experimental contemporary performance; specifically, immersive, one on one, micro performance & participative dramaturgies. I am interested in explicating the nature of risk and investment in such dramaturgies and the implications of that upon the nature of the audience’s role. Practice as research (PaR) in performance that interrogates the nature of the audience in liminal spaces through liminoid acts and invitations. PaR theory, specifically the documentation of PaR through performative and intermediality. I am also concerned with exploring performative ways to document and archive a variety of localised histories and heritage. I have been working as a practice –based scholar since 2006 and in that time, I have produced PaR projects with both of my companies.

At present, I am developing and securing funding for an international immersive performance network, (IPN) in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and Dr Adam Alston at the University of Surrey.

VEX is currently developing an ethical performance game called Corpus Quod in collaboration with ArtReach UK.

I am writing my first monograph for Palgrave Macmillan titled: The Role of Serious Play in Immersive Theatre and Micro-Performance: Liminoid Invitations & Liminoid Acts.

Dr Luke R. A. Butler

Lecturer

Birmingham Law School

The overarching theme of Luke’s research concerns the phenomenon of “government by contract” and the role of (what he terms) “government contract law” within it. One strand of this research is procurement law. Luke is interested in the genealogy and taxonomy of procurement law and regulation, comparative procurement law, international public procurement regulation and theoretical accounts of the field within the framework of public management. Luke has authored Transatlantic Defence Procurement: EU and US Defence Procurement Regulation in the Transatlantic Defence Market (Cambridge University Press), a leading comparative analysis of the role of procurement regulation as a barrier to international trade liberalisation. A second strand is the regulation of contract management. Luke is currently pioneering research in the specialist field of contract pricing in Regulating Defence Acquisition in the UK: Single Source Defence Procurement (Hart, forthcoming), a first work on the regulatory framework emerging under the Defence Reform Act 2014 and Single Source Contract Regulations. Luke has also published on other regulatory forms of the phenomenon, such as rail franchising. A third strand of research concerns regulation in cognate areas, most recently the licencing and cross-border transfer of goods in the fulfilment of government contracts. Much of Luke’s research relies on a developed understanding of, and engagement with, industry to ensure its authenticity. 

The Rt Hon. Liam Byrne

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill
Distinguished Honorary Fellow, Edward Cadbury Centre

Department of Theology and Religion

Liam’s policy and academic interests include:

  • Economic history
  • Inclusive Growth
  • Enterprise and Innovation
Foreign affairs; fighting extremism and UK-Asia political and economic engagement.

Dr Meghan Campbell

Lecturer in Law

Birmingham Law School

Meghan Campbell pursues several harmonious strands of research. Her research investigates how the normative content and accountability mechanisms of human rights can break entrenched cycles of gender disadvantage. At the same time, she has been active, particularly on digital platforms, in examining how human rights and courts can positively contribute to realizing education for all learners. Her future projects will examine comparative dialogic approaches to human rights in the UK and assess how the human rights framework can respond to the complex causes of poverty.

Dr Alexander M. Cannon

Dr Alexander M. Cannon

Lecturer in Music

Department of Music

Dr Cannon’s research over the past decade has investigated the changing nature of traditional music practice in southern Vietnam. He primarily studies the genre đờn ca tài tử, a ‘music for diversion’ also called the ‘music of talented amateurs’. Currently, he is completing a monograph that examines notions of creativity used by Vietnamese musicians to sustain interest in traditional music and to rejuvenate debates concerning the Vietnamese identity in an increasingly cosmopolitan and globalised Vietnam. Tentatively titled Raising Vibrant Truths: Competing Creativities in Southern Vietnamese Traditional Music, he argues that creativity, rather than a casual descriptor of talent, emerges from competing structures of historical trajectory, power, and authority. His next research project evaluates the impact of intangible cultural heritage policies from the Republic of Vietnam, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on local music practice in southern Vietnam.

Dr Megan Cavell

Dr Megan Cavell

Birmingham Fellow

Department of English Literature

My research has focused on literary representations of material culture, constructed objects and textiles, as well as theoretical approaches to non-human animals and the natural world. My first book, Weaving Words and Binding Bodies: The Poetics of Human Experience in Old English Literature, explored the Anglo-Saxon literary fascination with constructive processes and constrictive practices, emphasising the ways in which Old English texts depict everything from material objects and human/animal bodies to abstract concepts as shaped things.

My current interdisciplinary animal studies project, provisionally entitled Fearing the Beast: Animal Identities in Early and High Medieval England, examines the disregarded histories of non-human animals. By engaging with written, visual and material sources, it will explore how medieval writers depicted predatory encounters between a range of human and non-human species, from spiders to wolves. Exploring issues of fear and inter-species conflict, this study is particularly timely given debates over the reintroduction of predator species across Europe.

Dr Anna Cermakova

Dr Anna Cermakova

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

My main research interests are in corpus linguistics and particularly in corpus stylistics. I am currently working with Professor Michaela Mahlberg on a EU-funded project GLARE that looks at gender in children’s literature from a cognitive corpus stylistic perspective.

I am also interested in literary translation, contrastive corpus based linguistics and lexicology.

Sarah Chader

Sarah Chader

Assistant Language Tutor in French Studies

Department of Modern Languages

Dr Tanzil Chowdhury

Research Associate

Birmingham Law School


His doctoral research focussed on developing a novel account of antipodal types of legal judgment. Specifically, it focussed upon how the adjudicative process determines factual construction and argued that the resultant construction is, at least in part, contingent upon temporality. The thesis begins by rejecting the subsumption thesis of judgment that states laws simply subsume facts that they ‘correspond to’. It then argues that time shapes consciousness. Extending this, the thesis posits that adjudication’s temporality shapes its factual construction. Temporality therefore effects the construction of the legal persons, the legal event and ascriptions of legal responsibility.

In addition, Tanzil is also working on critically examining War Powers in the UK. His future research adopts a genealogical approach to chart the development of the UK's 'war prerogative' powers, specifically, deployment decisions under UK constitutional law. It seeks to explain how they have constituted and are constituted by formulations and re-formulations of British imperial power.

Dr Michell Chresfield

Dr Michell Chresfield

Lecturer in United States History

Department of History

My current research examines how Americans of Native, Black, and White descent have used social science, medicine, and the law to negotiate multiracial identities during the regime of Jim Crow. I am currently working on a book based on this research titled, "What Lies Between: Social Science, Medicine and the Prehistory of Multiracial America."

Dr Alice Corr

Dr Alice Corr

Lecturer in Modern Languages

Department of Modern Languages

I specialise in comparative Ibero-Romance linguistics and dialectology, with a focus on the morphosyntactic variation of Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, Catalan and other understudied Romance varieties which descend from the Latin as originally spoken in the Iberian Peninsula. My research documents the grammatical patterns of these languages, and asks what the structural differences between these closely-related languages can reveal about the mental representation of grammar.

My PhD investigated the extent to which conversational turn-taking and signposting in dialogue is in some sense ‘hardwired’ into the grammatical core of human language, taking variation between members of the Ibero-Romance language family as a testing ground, whereas my most recent project (funded by a Drapers’ Company Research Fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge) examines what —beyond geography and genetics— distinguishes the Ibero-Romance branch from other Romance language families, and whether, in fact, we can even talk of an ‘Ibero-Romance’ grammar in terms of these languages’ linguistic properties alone.

My theoretical interests include clause structure; utterance syntax; the syntax-pragmatics interface; complementizers and complementizer systems; auxiliary selection; word order; the status of left-peripheral elements; the notion of subjecthood and ‘expletives’; case marking in Romance; the null subject parameter and typology.

I am also interested in the documentation of understudied and endangered (Ibero-Romance) languages as well as the development of empirically-sound, qualitative methodologies for generative research. I am currently collaborating with colleagues in the UK and Catalonia on initiatives promoting the teaching and learning of theoretical linguistics in secondary education, particularly in the modern foreign language (A-Level) classroom.

Dr Lorenzo Costaguta

Teaching Fellow in U.S. History

Department of History

My research interests include ideas of race and ethnicity, labour history, radicalism and migration studies. My first monograph, under completion and provisionally titled The Origins of Colorblind Socialism: Race and Class in the American Left, 1876-1899, places American socialism in a global and transnational dimension, demonstrating how the foreign origin of early American socialists influenced their conception of race and ethnicity, and in turn contributed to shape American debates on progress, civilisation and modernity during the Gilded Age and beyond.

Currently, I am developing a research project on ideas of race in the Second International (1889-1914). The Second International had a fundamental role in favouring the active exchange of ideas among workers across the world. Founded in 1889 as a loose federation of socialist parties and trade unions, it gathered workers coming from Europe, the U.S., parts of South America, Asia and Africa. While race was rarely discussed as a distinct issue, socialists debated closely aligned notions, such as colonialism, immigration and imperialism. By focusing on a group of countries that actively participated in the International (Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S.) and by extending the analysis to their colonies, this project will produce the first study of transnational ideas of race in the global working class.

Dr Ben Curry

Dr Ben Curry

Lecturer in Music

Department of Music

My research focuses upon musical meaning and music analysis. In the study of musical meaning I have worked extensively on the philosophy and semiotic theories of Charles Sanders Peirce. This work has developed into a broader concern with philosophical approaches to meaning and ways of rethinking music’s place within networks of psychological, social and historical forces.

My work on musical meaning has shaded into the study of music analysis and much of my work in this area has concerned late eighteenth-century music. I have produced more thoroughly analytical research on the patterns and practices of blues music. In this work I have adapted recent analytical technologies to bring new light to the blues while attempting to remain sensitive to the complex socio-cultural contexts that articulate this fascinating body of music.

Professor Ewa Dąbrowska

Professor Ewa Dąbrowska

Professor

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

My research is focused around three main themes:

1. Formulaic language

I am interested in the role that lexically specific units (fixed phrases and frames with slots that can be filled with novel lexical material) play in first language acquisition as well as adult production and comprehension. In a series of studies based on various child corpora, I show that children's grammatical knowledge is best captured by means of such units, that the units can be derived from the input that children are exposed to, and that children become syntactically productive as they generalize over lexically specific units which share both formal and semantic characteristics. In another project (funded by the AHRC), which combined corpus and experimental methods, I argue that this also applies to complex syntactic constructions such as questions with long distance dependencies. This is important because most syntacticians believe that such constructions require complex syntactic machinery built on linguistically specific innate representations.

            In more recent work, I have argued that adult informal conversational speech is also based on lexically specific units and the psychological reality, or otherwise, of corpus-based measures of collocation strength. My current research in this area explores collocations as an area of particular difficulty for second language learners and the role of collocational information in acquiring word meaning.

2. The nature of linguistic generalizations

A number of studies, including some of my own, have argued that syntactic productivity relies on stitching together stored chunks. I have also shown that learners don't necessarily represent generalizations that are demonstrably present in their language. This tension between linguists' descriptions (driven by principles of economy) and what speakers know about the grammar of their language (formulas and low-scope patterns) raises some interesting questions: How do speakers manage to behave as if they have extracted a generalization when in fact they haven't? Even more puzzlingly, how did the patterns come into being, how do they survive, and what is their ontological status? This, and the research on individual differences described below, has led me to the realization that languages belong to communities, not individuals: that is to say, individual speakers “own” only parts of their language and a new interest in the social and cultural processes that shape language, and how they interact with cognitive processes – something which I would like to pursue in future research.

3. Individual differences in linguistic knowledge

            Most linguists assume, either implicitly or explicitly, that all native speakers of a language converge on (more or less) the same grammar. In a series of studies I demonstrated that is not the case: there are, in fact, considerable individual differences in speakers' knowledge of various areas of grammar, including quantifiers, passives, subordination, and some aspects of inflectional morphology. Many, though not all, of these differences are education-related. Those that are all show a characteristic pattern: highly educated speakers perform at or near ceiling, while less educated speakers show vast individual differences, with performance ranging from ceiling to chance (and sometimes below chance).

            While most of my early work was devoted to demonstrating the reality of individual differences, in more recent projects I focus on exploring their causes. I have also expanded my interests to comparing native speakers and adult L2 learners, and examining differences in grammatical knowledge in the context of speakers' knowledge of vocabulary and collocational patterns.

Dr Kaya Davies Hayon

Teaching Fellow

Department of Modern Languages

My first monograph, Sensual Cinema: The Body in Contemporary Maghrebi Film, provides the first sustained analysis of representations of the body in contemporary Maghrebi and Maghrebi-French films since the new millennium. It draws on the corporeal phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and work on the body by theologians and feminists from the Maghreb and the Middle East to argue that films featuring Maghrebi(-French) people privilege the body as a site for the articulation of subjectivity and self-other relations.

Building upon, but also departing from my first monograph, my current project analyses representations of belly dance in French and Maghrebi films and artworks since the colonial era. It traces connections between Western theories of kinesthetic empathy and research into the Arab concept of tarab (or musical ecstasy) to identify crucial points of intersection between Eastern and Western ideas on dance, spectatorship and performance. 

Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

Teaching Fellow in English Literature

Department of English Literature

My primary specialism is in late twentieth-century and twenty-first-century North American and British fiction, and my research takes place at the intersection of literary studies and philosophy to interrogate the way in which contemporary narratives construct time and history. I am currently working on my first monograph, which explores the contemporary post-apocalyptic novel through the lens of postmodern theories of historiography and narratological analyses. By introducing the notion of critical temporality, I aim to offer a new critical model for our cultural obsession with the end. My specialism in post-apocalyptic fictions and, more broadly, utopias/dystopias is also evolving into a keen interest in the fiction of the Anthropocene, on which I am co-editing (with Dr Daniel Cordle, Nottingham Trent University) a special issue of C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writing.

Dr Alba del Pozo

Dr Alba del Pozo

Teaching Fellow in Spanish

Department of Modern Languages

My research focuses on in the cultural images of science in the Hispanic world, particularly during the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century. I am interested in the representations of the body, gender and sickness in the Spanish culture and literature. More specifically, I have studied how notions of ‘hysteria’ and ‘degeneration’ were often applied to femininity and masculinity in a variety of cultural and literary products.

I am currently investigating the relationship between science and popular culture in the early twentieth century. I am interested in medical spaces of leisure, such as spas, anatomical exhibitions or popular spectacles of magnetism, and how are they shaped in cultural imageries.

Dr Eleanor Dobson

Dr Eleanor Dobson

Lecturer in Nineteenth Century Literature

Department of English Literature

My first monograph (currently under consideration for publication) examines literature and culture in the ‘golden age’ of Egyptology, scrutinising the mutual influences of Egyptology and literary cultures across the closing decades of the nineteenth century and the opening decades of the twentieth, in the wake of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. In this project I conceive of a culture that at once encompasses Egyptological writing, popular forms of fiction, as well as works of ‘high modernism’, from the writings of archaeologists such as Howard Carter, through to the fiction and poetry of figures as diverse as H. Rider Haggard, Marie Corelli, Sigmund Freud, H. P. Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde and H.D. It also brings into conversation the physical books published by authors and Egyptologists alike, establishing the complex relationships between these objects as products of Egyptological study and the objects of Egyptological study themselves: artefacts often housed in museums, and sometimes in the private collections of these very authors.

I am also interested in science of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly when it is seen to intersect with contemporary ideas about the supernatural or occult. I have published on the intersection between electromagnetic radiation and texts with ancient Egyptian subject matter, establishing the quasi-alchemical ways in which depictions of electrical phenomena and X-rays are presented as emblematic of magical lore of the ancients, and, simultaneously, the pinnacle of modern scientific understanding. I am currently researching other scientific areas in which these parallels can be traced: in psychology, and in the development of photographic technologies.

Forthcoming publications address photographic technologies, spiritualism and psychical research in Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, supernatural fiction set in Egyptian hotels, and the imagery of jewels and precious materials in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Dr Andrew Duncan

Dr Andrew Duncan

Teaching Fellow in Military History

Department of History

My research interests include the British Army of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly military education. I am also interested in the scientific and organisational development of military medical care over that period, as well as how the army understood and acted upon contemporary notions of professionalism. 

Dr Jamie Edwards

Teaching Fellow in Renaissance and Early Modern Art

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies

To date, my research has focussed on visual culture in the sixteenth-century Netherlands. My Ph.D. thesis examined more closely innovative approaches to pictorial narration that were pioneered by Netherlandish artists in the 1500s, and sought to shed light on why Netherlandish history painting, as practiced by artists such as Herri met de Bles and Pieter Bruegel, developed with a character that is often so strikingly at odds with other European traditions, but especially the Italian tradition of the ‘historia’. Underlining this examination is an interest in early modern art theory, including those later elaborated by Karel van Mander (1548 to 1606), who provided a retroactive theoretical examination of sixteenth-century Netherlandish art as part of his Het Schilder-boeck, first published in 1604. I also sought to position Netherlandish visual traditions and their wilful propagation by artists including Bruegel in the context of debates about literary and artistic vernaculars, and examined the extent to which the development of a “Netherlandish visual vernacular” can be related to blossoming contemporary endeavours aimed at establishing and asserting Netherlandish cultural and political identity at precisely the moment that the Netherlands began its Eighty Years’ War for liberation from Habsburg Spain. More broadly, I am interested in audience and reception studies, text-image relations (especially the notion of visual exegesis) and iconography in the narrower sense. I am also interested in the art of Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450 to 1516), and, in particular, Bosch’s legacy in the later sixteenth century. 

Tanguy Entringer

Tanguy Entringer

French language assistant (Lecteur)

Department of Modern Languages

Dr Elliot Evans

Dr Elliot Evans

Lecturer in Modern Languages

Department of Modern Languages

My research interests lie in 20th and 21st Century literature, visual art and theory, particularly the intersections of feminist, queer and transgender theories. My work has focused on questions of the body, gender and sexuality: my thesis being concerned with the question of how to approach the material body within the context of contemporary French queer works, particularly those by Paul B. Preciado, Monique Wittig and the performance artist ORLAN. I am currently working on the visual representation of HIV/AIDS by artists in France and North America.

Cristina Fernández Recasens

Cristina Fernández Recasens

Catalan Language and Culture Teaching Fellow

Department of Modern Languages

As a student of the PhD programme in the didactics of literature and interdisciplinary arts pedagogy at the University of Girona, my research is focused on the teaching of poetry. I am exploring the possibilities that offer the connections between words and movement. I have designed several didactic proposals which include both poetry and body movement and have been working with students of different ages and backgrounds. My poetic creativity workshops aim to be opportunities to explore art without prejudices and without boundaries.

Events and conferences

  • Congreso Internacional Filosofía de la danza, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2017). Workshop “Bailando palabras. Del movimiento a la palabra y de la palabra al movimiento”.
  • Faber Residency.  Arts, Sciences and Humanities Residency of Catalonia (2017). Research residency, a thematic stay about dance.
  • BIBAC Conference, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge (2016). Presentation: “Dancing words. A didactic experience”

Arnaud Fresnel

Arnaud Fresnel

Language Tutor in French

Department of Modern Languages

Dr Isabel Galleymore

Dr Isabel Galleymore

Lecturer in Creative Writing

Department of Film and Creative Writing

I am a poet and critic publishing on contemporary poetry, environmental writing and ecocriticism, with a focus on interdisciplinarity. Critical works of mine have focused on metaphor, anthropomorphism and comedy with regard to environmental theory and literature. My current creative-critical research is interested in posthumanism, empathy and the methodologies used by environmental psychology.

Dr Matthew Geary

Dr Matthew Geary

Teaching Fellow in Twentieth-Century Literature

Department of English Literature

My research has a maternal bias and focuses on the role of the mother as central to the development of not only the child but also art, text, and culture. Noting that for the last thirty-five years the critical search for the mother has been almost entirely 'daughter-centric', I am especially concerned with the mother-son relationship as a continuing 'taboo topic'. My work reconsiders literary representations of mother-son relationships, mother-son ambivalence, the maternal and the maternal body, mothering and motherhood, and the elaboration of a maternal poetics in the works of male modernist and postmodernist writers in light of recent advancements in maternal theory, gender theory, psychoanalytic theory and feminist theory. Further, it proposes a new theory of allegory brought closer to the maternal body than previously stated. I am interested in new perceptions of modernist masculinities, particularly in the works of T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, and W. H. Auden.

Currently, I am completing a monograph Eliot and the Mother and have several articles on T. S. Eliot in preparation. I am researching ideas of transcendence and immanence in relation to the body in the work of T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Robert Lowell, and John Ashbery. I am also working on a collaborative book Eliot Agonistes with Milton with Dr Islam Issa of Birmingham City University (AHRC New Generation Thinker for 2017).

As a result of my archival research and findings on T. S. Eliot, I received acknowledgement in the critically acclaimed The Poems of T. S. Eliot, Volumes 1 and 2 edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue (Faber 2015).

Dr Fernando Gómez Herrero

Dr Fernando Gómez Herrero

Teaching Associate

Department of Modern Languages

Historical interactions between the Americas and Europe, with a focus on the Hispanic world expansively understood; legacies of the Early Modern/Colonial period (1500-1800); Colonial Studies and Postcolonial Theories; Cultural Studies and Subaltern Studies; Philosophy of History; Historiography; Literary Theory; Aesthetics; Politics; North-South relations between the Americas and Europe, inter-American and inter-European relations, including Britain; history of pan-Americanism; European Studies; the "Global South," the “West-and-the-rest” template; Hispanic / Latin/o presence in the U.S.; intersections between Anglophone and Hispanophone societies; general avatars of the "humanities" (or the liberal arts); Area Studies; aesthetics and politics; “literacy” in the past and now, etc.  

Professor Rebecca Gould

Professor Rebecca Gould

Professor and Professorial Research Fellow, Islamic World and Comparative Literature

School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

My primary expertise is in the literatures and cultures of the Caucasus, for which I have been awarded an ERC Starting Grant, research grants from the The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the American Councils for International Education, and the International Research & Exchanges Board, and fellowships from the Van Leer Institute (Jerusalem), the Forum for Transregional Studies (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), and the Institute for Advanced Study (Central European University). In addition to my scholarship on Persian, Arabic, Russian, and Georgian literatures past and present, I maintain an active interest in the intersections of anthropology, comparative literature, and social theory. 

My current book project, tentatively entitled, The Obligation to Migrate: Forced Migration and Muslim Memory in the Caucasus, is presented in this lecture, given at New York University in 2017.

Interviews with me are available at:

My public writings are available at:

Dr Jason Grafmiller

Dr Jason Grafmiller

Lecturer in corpus-based sociolinguistics

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

My research aims to better understand the nature of syntactic variation in the context of natural language use. Most recently I have been investigating grammatical alternations in World Englishes, e.g. the particle placement alternation (I picked the book up ~ I picked up the book). Other areas of interest include: the interaction of syntactic, semantic and other cognitive factors in stylistic variation across registers and genres; the nature of so-called "end-weight" effects in word order variation; and the role of semantic features (esp. agency and animacy) in argument realization and transitivity alternations.

Professor Jack Grieve

Professor Jack Grieve

Professorial Fellow in Corpus Linguistics

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

My main research interests are in corpus linguistics, sociolinguistics, and dialectology. I am especially interested in grammatical and lexical variation in the English language across time, space and communicative context. I also develop methods for quantitative linguistic analysis and authorship attribution.

Dr Nicholas Hardy

Dr Nicholas Hardy

Birmingham Fellow

Department of English Literature

My main research interests lie in what was known as 'criticism' in the late Renaissance and early Enlightenment; its relationship to humanistic, literary and religious culture; and its larger implications for the history and nature of the humanities. My recently published first book, Criticism and Confession: The Bible in the Seventeenth Century Republic of Letters, examined the convergence of humanist classical scholarship and theology in late Renaissance Europe, and the ways in which it shaped and reflected Protestants' and Catholics' views about the composition, historical context and manuscript transmission of the Bible.

My next book-length project will complement and extend Criticism and Confession by exploring the influence of continental humanism on vernacular religious writing, concentrating in particular on the King James Bible of 1611. It will present previously undiscovered sources for the genesis of that translation, and offer a fresh study of its reception by seventeenth-century readers. By showing how lay and clerical readers took up the methods of late humanist scholarship, I hope to highlight a previously overlooked dimension of Protestants' engagement with the Bible, and challenge longstanding assumptions about the theological and cultural consequences of the Reformation.

Other recent and forthcoming publications include book chapters on the early modern reception of the Roman Epicurean philosopher-poet, Lucretius, and on Dryden and the writing of 'literary history' in the late seventeenth century; and a collection of essays, co-edited with Dmitri Levitin, about the relationship between scholarship and confessional identity in the early modern period.

Professor Alexandra Harris

Professor Alexandra Harris

Birmingham Professorial Fellow

Department of English Literature

Much of my research has been focussed on Modernism, especially the work of Virginia Woolf, but I have written about literature from the tenth century to the present and am always interested in forms of continuity and revision across time. 

Professor Karen Harvey

Professor Karen Harvey

Professorial Fellow and Professor of Cultural History

Department of History

I am a cultural historian of the British long eighteenth century, with a special interest in gender. I have ongoing interests in the body and sexuality, masculinity, print culture (both visual and textual) and material culture. I also work on contemporary representations - both historiographical and popular - of the eighteenth-century past, including those in films and museums.

I am currently finished a book on the social history of Mary Toft, who took part in a hoax in 1726, during which Toft appeared to give birth to 17 rabbits. The project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is about the experiences and emotions of Toft and the people around her. It also situates the case in the context of early-eighteenth-century politics. This will be published by Oxford University Press. A second edition of my collection, History and Material Culture is forthcoming). My most recent monograph is The Little Republic (OUP, 2012). This reconstructed men's experiences of the house, examining the authority that accrued to mundane and everyday household practices and employing men's own concepts to understand what men thought and felt about their domestic lives. As part of this project, I developed an interest in the connections between space, manuscript practices and print which led directly to me becoming the first Academic in Residence at Bank Street Arts, housed in a row of late-Georgian buildings. Other projects include a collaborative project with archaeologists on the material body and an individual research project on changes in the ways that gender and class identities were ‘embodied’ in the eighteenth century.

I am committed to the public understanding of the History and public engagement in this area. I have developed relationships with many public partners in projects that support teaching, disseminate current research and lead to co-produced research between academics and other groups. One recent project was with Sheffield Visual Arts Group and Museums Sheffield. 'Art and Craft in Sheffield: Our history in 100 Objects'. This was an exciting community-led project that engaged a wide range of audiences with the object collections in the city. Combining research on material culture with the knowledge and memories of community participants, the project ended with a display in Museums Sheffield's Weston Park Museum. Both these projects were funded by the 'Researching Community Heritage' project which has supported many successful applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund from local community groups. As part of this project, I worked with staff and residents at Roundabout, a charity for homeless youth, on their refurbished eighteenth-century hostel. Hostel residents produced displays and a short film about the hostel, having visited archives and other historic sites. I have supervised several AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards, and am currently in the supervisory team for 3 PhD students working between the University of Sheffield and Chatsworth on the history of servants: From Servants to Staff: The Whole Community in the Chatsworth Household 1700-1950.

Dr Sophie Hatchwell

Teaching Fellow

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies

My research centres on visual culture in Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a particular focus on intersections between text and image, and display and art writing. Recent projects have looked at the development and reception of Neo-Romantic figurative art and illustration in Britain during the Second World War (funded by a Barnes-Graham Research Support Grant), the commercial performance of 20th century British art at auctions (in association with Piano Nobile Gallery, London), and conceptions of viewing practices in Edwardian art writing (adapted from my PhD).

My current research on art text, image and display is orientated around two avenues of enquiry, art historical and pedagogic. The former considers the dissemination of modern art in interwar Britain at a regional level. The latter considers the impact of digital technology on the reading and understanding of art history in higher education.

Anneliese Hatton

Teaching Fellow in Portuguese

Department of Modern Languages

I am currently researching the configuration of subaltern identities in contemporary Portuguese Literature, namely in the novels of contemporary author valter hugo mãe. This entails reconceptualising the concept of subalternity itself in order to apply it to plurality of nations without restricting it to the realm of postcolonial studies.

Christiane Hoyer

Christiane Hoyer

DAAD-Lektorin

Department of Modern Languages

I’m interested in ways of integrating literary texts into language teaching, theories of language acquisition and intercultural differences.

Professor David James

Professor David James

Professorial Research Fellow

Department of English Literature

My latest research has been concerned with how the affective dynamics of fiction and life-writing illuminate the social and ethical possibilities of narrative form. The book arising from this, Discrepant Solace: Contemporary Writing and the Work of Consolation (forthcoming with Oxford University Press), draws together the poetics of emotion and the politics of style to examine a somewhat neglected and often-disparaged constellation of affects. When we think about what consolation means for literary experience we often do so via the rewards of reading: vicariously entering fictional realms of distress from which we’re relieved in reality to be spared; finding respite in imagined lives thanks to the compelling distractions their depiction may afford. Writers from recent decades, I argue, tell a different story about solace, an affective phenomenon that can appear both desirable and duplicitous. By engaging with figures as diverse as Julian Barnes, Joan Didion, Sonali Deraniyagala, David Grossman, Kazuo Ishiguro, Doris Lessing, Helen Macdonald, Cormac McCarthy, Marilynne Robinson, Denise Riley, W. G. Sebald, and Colm Tóibín, among others, I set out to show how style both registers and reflects on its own ability to compensate plot yet without pretending to remedy the very crises or damage it evokes. Throughout the book I suggest that contemporary literature’s most animating consolations derive from unlikely idioms and genres, as narratives driven by the pathos of bereavement, deprivation, and personal or environmental catastrophe also produce their own dynamic if seemingly discrepant modes of mitigation and redress – proving how agilely fiction and memoir today both intensify and scrutinize form’s propensity to be an antagonist of loss. 

For some years now, my activities in scholarly editing as well as my own criticism have moved comparatively across modernist studies and world Anglophone literature, generating opportunities for these fields to have useful conversations with each other. A product of such conversations, Modernist Futures (Cambridge University Press, 2012) charted the reanimation of modernist aesthetics in contemporary American, British, and world Anglophone fiction. In this book I argue that we can discern the political consequences of such reactivations without diluting the historical specificity of modernism’s global movements and moments. To realize this hypothesis, I mobilize critical vocabularies that not only do justice to the formal particularity of writers such as J. M. Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, and Michael Ondaatje, but also recognize how they build into their work a contemplation of the very condition and mission of literary innovation as such. Modernist Futures highlights the implications of pursuing comparative approaches to modernism’s critical presence in contemporary writing, arguing that we can pay closer attention to aspects of technique without detracting from fiction’s social engagements. The book thus invites us to rethink the assumptions behind the way we both conceptualize and historicize those modernist impulses that contemporary novelists alternately adopt, refuse, and reform – methodological questions about the very periodization of modernism which I subsequently addressed in an essay co-written with Urmila Seshagiri for PMLA on ‘Metamodernism’ (January 2014).

I continue to write on the cultural and historical multiplicity of postmodernism, and on alternative critical models for reading the contemporary. Key examples of my work in this area have appeared in volumes such as The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature, ed. Yogita Goyal (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Postmodern/Postwar–and After: Rethinking American Literature, ed. Jason Gladstone, Andrew Hoberek, and Daniel Worden (University of Iowa Press, 2016). The Cambridge History of the English Short Story, ed. Dominic Head (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), The Contemporaneity of Modernism, ed. Michael D’Arcy and Mathias Nilges (New York: Routledge, 2015), and Time: A Vocabulary of the Present, ed. Amy J. Elias and Joel Burges (New York: New York University Press, 2016).

Collaborative projects in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature have resulted in a number of edited volumes. Produced concurrently with Modernist Futures, my collection The Legacies of Modernism (Cambridge University Press, 2012) brought together an international cast of scholars working on British, American, and postcolonial literature to historicize the response of postwar writers to modernism’s stylistic, ideological, and intellectual possibilities and continuities. Other editorial ventures have included two journal special issues: the first, with Andrzej Gasiorek, for Contemporary Literature (53.4) on ‘Fiction since 2000: Post-Millennial Commitments’ (2012); and the second, with Nathan Waddell, for Modernist Cultures (8.1) on ‘Musicality and Modernist Form’ (2013).

My most recent work as an editor includes The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction since 1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which will hopefully remain a genuinely useful resource for students and teachers alike, and the scholarly collection Modernism and Close Reading (Oxford University Press, 2018). This new book builds on my longstanding interests in the critical genealogies and theoretical transformations of reading. It hosts a group of world-renowned critics to examine the institutional histories and disciplinary futures of close reading at a time when modernist studies is expanding in unprecedented methodological directions.

Dr Claus Jurman

Lecturer in Egyptology

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

My research activities focus on history, arts and society of Egypt during the first half of the 1st millennium BC – a time when Egypt was subjected to different kinds of foreign rule and saw an influx of non-Egyptian population groups and foreign influence on an unprecedented scale. Several of my recent studies deal with the cultural dynamics of an ethnically and culturally diverse and very complex society. Among the topics which I am currently researching is the emergence and evolution of the phenomenon commonly referred to as ‘Late Period archaism’. The results of a comprehensive study on the city of Memphis during the so-called Libyan period (c. 1100–750 BC) will be published as a monograph (“Memphis in der Dritten Zwischenzeit”, Widmaier Verlag) this winter.

Other topics of recently completed or ongoing research include aspects of the chronology of the 25th Dynasty, the textual representation of individuals and objects within tomb decoration of the Middle Kingdom as well as the history of German and Austrian Egyptology in the first half of the 20th century.

At present I am preparing a research project focussing on social and cognitive aspects of writing culture and the synchronous use of different scripts in 1st millennium Egypt.

Dr Ioanna Katapidi

Dr Ioanna Katapidi

BRIDGE Research Fellow (Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Economic Development)

Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage

My main research interest lies on the idea of heritage as a social construct. I am particularly interested in the way people perceive and ‘construct’ heritage, especially in living heritage places.

Local communities are at the core of my research exploring their importance in the identification and interpretation of heritage in order to a) understand what heritage is about, for who and why, b) the role of heritage values in leveraging economic and social benefits and c) contribute to conservation and management heritage policies capable of enhancing the economic and social sustainability of places with heritage sources.

In addition, conducting my own research and participating in a number of heritage related conferences, sparked my interest in expanding my knowledge on the following topics:  heritage-based economies and tourism, heritage and place identity, heritage and sustainable development.

Given the focus of my thesis on Greek traditional settlements, I had also the opportunity to explore heritage in the light of economic crisis and the actions towards or against conservation policies triggered by economic crisis.

Being a BRIDGE fellow provides me the opportunity to get involved in projects in both IIICH (Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage) at University of Birmingham and CHAMP (Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy) at the University of Illinois, US.

I am currently involved in an AHRC funded project named ‘World Heritage FOR Sustainable Development’. The aim of the project is to establish and build an international network that will explore various pathways by which sites already inscribed on the World Heritage List in the developing world can be sensitively mobilised so as to contribute to the fulfilment of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ultimate focus of the project will be to share innovation and best practice with and between developing nations with World Heritage Sites. It will draw upon extant research and professional engagement relating to all World Heritage sites in order to interrogate and distil working principles, issues and practice.

In addition, I will get involved in ‘The Mythic Mississippi Project’ which is a research project, educational laboratory and development initiative offered by the University of Illinois. This is a long-term multi- and interdisciplinary project exploring a dozen places of major significance in the State of Illinois.

Key issue in both projects is the involvement of different stakeholders and communities in the interpretation and management of heritage. Such an involvement aims to have direct public impacts and contribute to shaping more effective and welcome conservation policies and practices.

Dr Katya Krylova

Dr Katya Krylova

German Teaching Fellow

Department of Modern Languages

My research is highly interdisciplinary and lies in the areas of modern and contemporary Austrian literature, film, visual culture, and memory studies. The legacy that Austria's past continues to exert on its present constitutes my principal research interest. I am the author/editor of three academic books. My first book, Walking Through History: Topography and Identity in the Works of Ingeborg Bachmann and Thomas Bernhard (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013), was the winner of the 2011 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in German Studies. I was also the recipient of the 2010 Sylvia Naish Research Student Lecture prize for my doctoral work, awarded by the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London. My second book, entitled The Long Shadow of the Past: Contemporary Austrian Literature, Film, and Culture (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2017), was published in June 2017. The monograph undertakes close readings of key contemporary Austrian literary texts, films, and memorials, which treat the legacy of Nazism and the Holocaust, examining what these reveal about the evolving memory culture in contemporary Austria. I am also currently completing an edited volume (entitled New Perspectives on Contemporary Austrian Literature and Culture) that arises from an international conference on Contemporary Austrian Literature, Film and Culture (CALFAC 2015), which I organised at the University of Nottingham in April 2015. This will be published by Peter Lang Publishing in early 2018.

In addition to the above-mentioned books, I have published 14 papers in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, and given 39 conference/seminar papers at international and national conferences and seminars. Since 2009, I have regularly conducted archival research in Austria. I have worked with Ingeborg Bachmann's literary estate in the Austrian National Library (during my PhD work), and carried out biographical research on the Austrian modernist writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal at the University of Vienna archives (during my work at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography, Vienna, 2010-2012). During the course of my Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2012-2015), I undertook two further research visits to Vienna, Austria, in order to carry out research at the Austrian National Library and the Documentation Centre for Modern Austrian Literature, and to interview writers and filmmakers.

Dr Aneta Mancewicz

Dr Aneta Mancewicz

Lecturer

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts

I am currently working on a monograph which proposes a deconstructive approach to study postwar adaptations of Hamlet in Europe. The provisional title is “Hamlet” After Deconstruction (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan).

I am also collaborating with the Brussels-based collective CREW, Prof. Robin Nelson (RCSSD), and Prof. Chiel Kattenbelt (Utrecht University) on a performance of Hamlet that uses virtual reality technologies and motion capture. The first installation, Hands on Hamlet, was performed in July 2017 in Gdansk.  

Dr Laura S Martin

Dr Laura S Martin

Global Challenges Research Fellow

School of History and Cultures

My research interests include transitional justice, peacebuilding, transitions and the everyday, conflict and humour, social impacts of the West Africa Ebola epidemic, rumours and politics and local courts and chieftaincy politics.

Dr Anna Metcalfe

Dr Anna Metcalfe

Lecturer in Contemporary Writing

Department of Film and Creative Writing

I write prose fiction with an intercultural slant. My first novel, The Asteroid Hotel, follows a group of international artists inhabiting an abandoned hotel in central China. In my short stories, I’ve tried to think about what it means to live within global capitalism and the kinds of intercultural encounters this enables and precludes. 

Eva Miller

Teaching Fellow in the History and Cultures of the Ancient Near East

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

In future, I will be expanding on the topics explored in my doctoral research, looking at the meaning and purposes of texts and images from the Neo-Assyrian period. I am interested generally in kingship in Assyria, and in the role of art and material culture in elite Assyrian identity. I am also interested in understanding the meaning and purpose of depictions of violent treatment of enemies, a feature of Neo-Assyrian sources which has both fascinated and repelled observers. 

I am also currently pursuing research in the reception of ancient Mesopotamia, especially art and visual culture, in the modern day. I am particularly interested in the effect of the rediscovery of Neo-Assyrian capital cities in the mid-nineteenth century. From the summer of 2018 I will hold a short-term research fellowship at the Warburg Institute, part of the School of Advanced Studies of the University of London, to pursue a project on ‘putting on’ Neo-Assyrian costume in early 20th century arts. The sources I will look at include representations of Mesopotamian (but not Assyrian) king Hammurabi in United States government buildings including the Supreme Court and the state capitol building of Nebraska, illustrations of Israelite biblical figures, and allegedly Assyrian women wearing (male) Neo-Assyrian costume in histories of ‘feminine dress’. I will be expanding this project in future to consider various ways that the meaning of Assyrian imagery and style changed as they were reused. In the past I have also pursued research on modern reception of the Near East and the Hebrew Bible in science fiction and internet fan culture.

Professor Candida Moss

Professor Candida Moss

Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology

Department of Theology and Religion

I am currently completing a book, based on the 2017 Cadbury Lectures, on Resurrection on the New Testament, Ancient Medicine, Disability, and Constructions of the Bodies.

Other ongoing projects include the Hermeneia Commentary on Second Century Martyrdom Accounts and a Bestiary of the Bible

Dr Yoana Fernanda Nieto Valdivieso

Research Fellow in Gender and Transitional Justice

Birmingham Law School

Yoana co-authored with Luz Maria Londoño Mujeres no Contadas: Procesos de Desmobilisacion y retorno a la vida civil de mujeres excombatientes en Colombia. 1990-2003, a ground-breaking study of insurgent female ex-combatants’ experiences of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) in Colombia and the long lasting consequences that the lack of a gender perspective on the DDR programs had on demobilised women’s lives. During the last ten years, Yoana has centred her academic research on working with former guerrilla and paramilitary combatants in Colombia in topics such as women’s lived experiences of mobilisation into insurgent and paramilitary organisations, women’s experiences as combatants and actors of proscribed violence, Colombia’s DDR processes, and female ex-combatants’ memory work. She has conducted applied research in the field of transitional justice in relation to reconciliation processes between victims of war crimes and perpetrators in different communities. Yoana has worked as a consultant for the International Organization for Migrants in Colombia and for different Colombian NGOs.

Currently Yoana is working with Dr Janine N. Clark on a five year comparative study of resilience in survivors of war and sexual violence in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Colombia, and Uganda. The project is being funded through a European Research Council Consolidator Grant.

 Her research interests are Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of combatants, Sexual Violence in war and armed conflict, transitional justice, and feminist theory/ies of war. 

Richard O'Brien

Richard O'Brien

Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing

Department of Film and Creative Writing

Contemporary poetry; the development of verse drama in Britain from the 16th century to the present day, particularly as understood in dialogue with Shakespeare; fictional depictions of Shakespeare and especially Shakespeare’s contemporaries, with a focus on Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe; incidental uses of Shakespeare in popular music and pop culture; the relationship between politics and poetic form; depictions of class in post-war British literature and music, including a project on the songwriter Jake Thackray (http://gatherabud.wordpress.com)

Dr Elizabeth Parker

Dr Elizabeth Parker

Teaching Fellow in Contemporary and Popular Literature

Department of English Literature

I am currently working on the conversion of my PhD thesis into a monograph entitled The Gothic Forest: Deep Dark Woods in the Western Imagination. This study explores the prevalent use of the Gothic Forest as an archetypal symbol in Western culture. It examines the significance of this landscape in a multitude of texts, from our classical fairy tales to modern day horror fictions. The study is an interrogation, too, into the newly emerging field of the ecoGothic, which draws on theories of ecocriticism to examine the natural world in Gothic fiction. I also have key interests in Popular Fiction and Popular Culture.

I am co-organising the upcoming international and interdisciplinary conference Gothic Nature: New Directions in Eco-horror and the EcoGothic (Trinity College Dublin, November 17-18, 2017) and am in the provisional stages of establishing a journal of the same name, with support from Trinity Trust and the FAHSS. 

Dr Matthew Parrott

Dr Matthew Parrott

Birmingham Fellow

Department of Philosophy

Presently, I am working on the following complimentary research projects:

My first project aims to understand delusional cognition and the nature of belief formation. More precisely, I am interested in exploring different ways in which cognitive processing may be impaired at distinct points in delusional thinking. I am also interested in the ways in which an individual’s ways of thinking about possibilities affects the things she might come to believe.

My second project is in the epistemology of mind. I am interested in both self-knowledge and our knowledge of others’ minds. More generally, I’m interested in how reflection on topics in the epistemology of mind might bear on traditional problems in the metaphysics of mind.

Dr David Pattie

Dr David Pattie

Senior Lecturer

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts

I’ve got a long-standing interest in the work of Samuel Beckett. I’ve published a book, book chapters and articles on all aspects of his work, and I’ve been asked to speak on his work to academic and non-academic audiences. I was part of the 3-year AHRC Staging Beckett research project; as part of the project, we put together a database which gathered together information about all of the productions of Beckett in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

I’ve also published a book- the first on the subject- on rock music as a performance event, and I’ve co-edited books on the music and art of Kraftwerk and Brian Eno. I’ve also published on British theatre and performance, from the 1950s through to the present day; I’m an acknowledged expert on the work of the Scots playwright David Greig. 

Dr Marcus Perlman

Dr Marcus Perlman

Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

My research is driven by two big questions. What is language? and Where did it come from? My main angle into these questions is through iconicity – resemblance between the form of a signal and its meaning. My work examines iconicity across a range of phenomena, from prosody in the production of spoken sentences, to word learning by children, to the gesturing of gorillas. I am especially interested in the role of iconicity in the evolution of human communication and the ongoing historical development of languages.

Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran

Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran

Lecturer in North American Literature

Department of English Literature

I’m a critic, poet and novelist. My first book of poems, Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe, 2014), was shortlisted for a number of prizes, and poems towards my next collection, The Million-Petalled Flower of Being Here, won a Northern Writers Award this year. Elizabeth Bishop’s Prosaic (Bucknell UP, 2015), my study of that wonderfully gifted US poet, won both the University English First Book Prize and the Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism. I’ve written over forty pieces of literary journalism, including essays for Poetry, the LRB, the TLS, and the Indian magazine The Caravan; I’ve just begun reviewing fiction for the Telegraph, and am this year’s winner of Poetry’s Editors’ Prize for Reviewing.

I’ve just completed my first novel, Reincarnation, and am represented as an author of fiction by The Wylie Agency.

Dr Ellen Redling

Dr Ellen Redling

Lecturer

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts

I am currently working on a post-doctoral book project that has the working title ‘Theatre in Times of Uncertainty: Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics in British Big Issue Plays After 2000’. For this project I gained a prestigious research scholarship which enabled me to live and conduct extensive research in London from April 2015 until April 2016. The plays under consideration in this project feature controversial socio-political as well as ethical discussions and interventions concerning national topics, such as the NHS or the housing crisis, and international themes – e.g. wars, the global financial crisis, Trump and Brexit, terrorism, refugees and climate change. I am particularly interested in analysing how socio-political drama ‘works’ today in terms of its politics, ethics and aesthetics, and how it responds to – as well as interacts with – current issues and a wide-spread feeling of uncertainty in the Western world today.

The post-millennial plays have arguably re-introduced a focus on politics. The second decade of this century might prove to be even more political than the first decade – in the sense that the range of social and political plays that can currently be seen on the British stages has increased immensely. This development not only provides exciting material to work with but also feeds directly into my teaching as it allows me to offer topical courses on a wide range of current issues. Aside from seminars on refugees and climate change in contemporary drama, one can, for example, look at plays dealing with precarious jobs, old age, addiction and mental health.

For this project I was awarded a fully funded post-doctoral research year in London:

  • 2015-2016: Research year at the Drama Department of Royal Holloway University London (Prof. Dan Rebellato), funded by the German Research Association (DFG)

Dr Nina Rolland

Research Associate

Department of Modern Languages

My current research, within the context of The Baudelaire Song Project, focuses on the analysis of song settings of poems by Baudelaire.

My broader research interests lie in 19th and 20th century European literature - particularly French, British, and German literature - and are situated at the intersection of varied disciplines such as word and music studies, gender studies, and medical humanities. They centre on three main areas: the relations between music and literature, gender and the arts, and representations of the body. These themes were connected in my doctoral thesis entitled ‘Bodies in Composition: Women, Music and the Body in Nineteenth-Century European Literature’, in which I focussed on the representation of female musicians. Analysing texts by George Sand, Balzac, Flaubert, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, E.T.A Hoffmann, Eichendorff, and Thomas Mann, I examined the female body as a key juncture between music and literature.

Dr Chris Rose

Dr Chris Rose

Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing

Department of Film and Creative Writing

My research interests include parafiction, the uses of time and memory in short fiction, representations of voice in writing, the history of early photography and sound recording, and creative writing pedagogy.

Professor Oliver Scharbrodt

Professor Oliver Scharbrodt

Professor of Islamic Studies

Department of Theology and Religion

Trained as an historian in modern Islamic thought, I initially worked on the influential 19th century Egyptian reformer Muhammad ‘Abduh and his relationship towards mystical and esoteric traditions of Islam. In addition, I have developed an interest in the transnational dimension of Islam investigating links between Muslim minorities in Europe and the Middle East and using ethnographic research methods. 

Research projects

  • Muslims in Ireland (2008-2011, funded by a research grant of the Irish Research Council, £200,000): this pioneering project provides the first in-depth investigation in the new Islamic presence in Ireland, its place in a traditionally Catholic society and its transnational links to the Middle East.
  • “Karbala in London” - Transnational Shia Networks between Britain and the Middle East (2014-2016, funded by a research grant of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, £200,000): This project examines transnational religious and political networks in contemporary Twelver Shia Islam that operate between Britain and the Middle East. The diverse movements and organisations included in the study represent a variety of civil society actors and governmental bodies that operate on a transnational basis. The project investigates their aims and objectives, their discourses and practices and their authority and leadership structures.
  • Creating an Alternative umma: Clerical Authority and Religio-political Mobilisation in Transnational Shii Islam (2018-2022, funded by a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council, £1.5 Mio.): This interdisciplinary project investigates the transformation of Shii Islam in the Middle East and Europe since the 1950s. The project examines the formation of modern Shii communal identities and the role Shii clerical authorities and their transnational networks have played in their religio-political mobilisation.

Dr Fariha Shaikh

Dr Fariha Shaikh

Lecturer in Victorian Literature

Department of English Literature

My book, Nineteenth-Century Settler Emigration in British Literature and Art is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press in 2018. This monograph explores the relationships between text and mobility in the context of nineteenth-century settler emigration. I am in the early stages of a new project on literature and the nineteenth-century opium wars.

Dr Yafa Shanneik

Dr Yafa Shanneik

Lecturer in Islamic Studies

Women’s leadership and authority within communities in Europe and the Middle East:

My research combines Islamic normative discourses and their communal and individual reception among Muslim communities in Europe and the Middle East. Since 2009 I have been engaging with the Qur’anic text as well as with the diverse Sunni and Shia hadith collections in their original Arabic language and examining their interpretations by various Muslim groups in the contemporary world. I focus in particular on how these sources are used by Sunni and Shia women today to challenge traditional gender dynamics within Muslim communities in Europe and the Middle East. I analyse how community members engage with these texts and make them relevant to contemporary questions especially through the lens of ritual practices.

Gendered Geographies of Power: Muslim Women Marriages across Transnational Spaces

Currently, I am working on a project on a project which explores women’s narratives of transnational marriage practices performed by Iraqi and Syrian women who have settled in Europe or other countries in the Middle East since the 1980s. It focuses on the historical developments and contemporary understandings and approaches of marriage practices among displaced Iraqi and Syrian Muslim women and foregrounds questions of identity, home and belonging of women constituted through local, national and transnational scales of migration experiences.

Dr Samuel Shaw

Teaching Fellow in Modern European and North American Art

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies

I have published widely on artists and exhibition culture in Britain, and co-curated exhibitions in both the UK and the US. Current research interests include: the art market and art criticism in London c.1890-1920; art and the industrial landscape in Britain, 1880-1980; human-animal relationships in British culture (especially in relation to the British Empire); and the life and work of the artist William Rothenstein (1872-1945). I have just completed two book projects: an edited collection of essays on Edwardian culture (Edwardian Culture: Beyond the Garden Party, Routledge, 2018) and a co-authored study of the cultural representation of zebras (Zebra, Reaktion Books, 2018). I am presently looking to develop a new project on the representation of African animals in Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries, drawing from my zebra research.

Since 2012 I have been co-director of the Edwardian Culture Network. 

Professor Tiffany Stern

Professor Tiffany Stern

Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama

Shakespeare Institute

My work mingles literary criticism, editing, theatre history and book history. I specialise in the dramas of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, particularly Jonson, Brome, Middleton and Nashe, but also write on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century playwrights and editors, including Wycherley, Farquhar, Sheridan, Theobald and Johnson.

My monographs are Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), Making Shakespeare (New York and London: Routledge, 2004), [with Simon Palfrey] Shakespeare in Parts (Oxford: OUP, 2007; winner of the 2009 David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies) and Documents of Early Modern Performance (Cambridge: CUP, 2009; winner of the 2010 David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies). I have co-edited a collection of essays with Farah Karim-Cooper, Shakespeare’s Theatres and the Effects of Performance (2013); my range of specialisation is reflected in over fifty articles, chapters and notes: on Barnes, Farquhar, Jonson, Middleton, Nashe, Shakespeare (in his time and later), Wycherley, Theobald, Malone, Johnson, Garrick, Stanislavski, Advertising, Architecture, Bibliography, Book History, Book-sellers, the Blackfriars Playhouse, Close-Reading, the Curtain Playhouse, Dumb Shows, Editing, Eighteenth Century Editors, Finance, Forgery, German Shakespeare Translations, the Globe Playhouse, Music, Note-Taking, Puppets, Satire, Sermons, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century Drama, Songs, Stage-Directions, the Stationers’ Registers, Theatre History, Time-Keeping, Tragedy and Trumpets.

As text and performance are, for me, closely linked, I have long been an editor, and have edited a range of sixteenth- to eighteenth-century plays: the anonymous King Leir for Globe Quartos (2003), Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals for New Mermaids (2004), George Farquhar’s Recruiting Officer for New Mermaids (2010), William Congreve’s Country Wife (2014, intro only), Richard Brome’s A Jovial Crew for Arden Early Modern Drama (2014). I am General Editor of the New Mermaids play series, with William C. Carroll; and General Editor, with Peter Holland and Zachary Lesser, of the next complete Arden Shakespeare series (Arden Shakespeare 4). 

Dr Henry Taylor

Dr Henry Taylor

Birmingham Fellow and Leverhulme Fellow

Department of Philosophy

I am interested in the intersection of philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of mind and metaphysics. Currently, I work on colour, and in bringing insights from both the metaphysics of properties, and from empirical work on colour together to develop a robust view of the nature of colour.

Previously, I have worked on the metaphysics of properties, as well as the relevance of work on properties to questions concerning consciousness.

My PhD was on the nature of attention. I am particularly concerned with whether attention is one unified faculty of the mind, or in fact that ‘attention’ is just an umbrella term for a range of different psychological capacities.

I am also interested in pretty much any topic in philosophy of mind/psychology and metaphysics.

Dr Milena Tripkovic

Dr Milena Tripkovic

Lecturer

Birmingham Law School

Dr Tripkovic’s current research focuses on a variety of criminal sanctions which go beyond traditional forms of punishment in that they seek to undermine offenders’ citizenship status. Her original interest in criminal disenfranchisement has expanded to include sanctions such as deprivation of citizenship, and her current research project seeks to collect, classify, and normatively examine such sanctions in a variety of European countries.

Professor Bryan S. Turner

Professor Bryan S. Turner

Honorary Professor at Potsdam University
and Director of the Centre for Social Citizenship, Religious Diversity and Social Pluralism at Potsdam
Distinguished Honorary Fellow, Edward Cadbury Centre

Department of Theology and Religion

Dr Emma West

Dr Emma West

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of English Literature

My work is interdisciplinary: as such, I have a wide range of research interests in periodicals, material and visual culture, the ‘brows’ and cultural hierarchies, fashion, and performance from early- and mid-twentieth century Britain.

My PhD thesis, 'The Highs and Lows of Modernism: A Cultural Deconstruction', considered how a range of 'popular' texts from fashion to travel posters to mass-market magazines challenged the strict divide between 'high' and 'low' culture in 1920s Britain. My work is informed by critical and cultural theory, but I am increasingly interested in reclaiming lost or neglected sources which expand our understanding of the modern period.

I have published essays on modernism, fashion and theory; I am currently preparing an essay on Wyndham Lewis’s magazine the Tyro and the popular fiction magazine the Royal, as well as a piece on modernist design for British ballet. I am also developing two editorial projects which explore the relationship between word and image in literary and artistic modernism.

Dr Guy Westwood

Dr Guy Westwood

Teaching Fellow in Classical Greek History and Language

Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

My research centres on ancient oratory, politics, and political culture, and especially on the public speeches that survive from fourth-century Athens. This is a large body of varied and often very stimulating texts, and is still badly in need of proper attention from literary scholars. My doctoral thesis, History and the Making of the Orator in Demosthenes and Aeschines (which I am currently revising for publication in the OUP Oxford Classical Monographs series), aimed to make a contribution to that effort. It looked in detail at how two of the orators whose works survive – Demosthenes and Aeschines, both notable politicians (and rivals) – made imaginative use of versions of Athenian history to persuade their audiences. Athenian orators were well aware that historical illustrations could be used not only to support arguments but also to evoke emotional reactions from their audiences. Being able to talk convincingly about the city’s past could therefore serve as an important means of shaping a politician’s public profile, and in Demosthenes’ and Aeschines’ case even a way of doing politics by proxy: criticism of one another’s versions of the past (accompanied by the substitution of compelling alternatives) helped each of them to articulate what he had to offer and to communicate a stronger sense of why his rival should not be allowed to succeed.

My primary specialism in Greek and Roman oratory and rhetoric means that I have published mainly in that area so far, but I am also interested in Greek and Roman historiography and in Greek drama: I have recently examined in the compass of a book chapter the extent and limits of Athenian orators’ attempts to perform the roles of the historical figures they refer to, thus looking at one sense in which Athenian drama and Athenian oratory need to be considered as cognate genres. My next major project will focus on precisely this, examining Classical Athenian oratory and comedy as closely connected and mutually informing generic domains.

Dr Hazel Wilkinson

Dr Hazel Wilkinson

Birmingham Fellow

Department of English Literature

My monograph, Edmund Spenser and the Eighteenth-Century Book (Cambridge, 2017) reflects my ongoing research interest in the reception of renaissance poetry and drama in the long eighteenth century. This is the subject of my current project, an investigation of the Wild Court Press (1718–55), which produced important editions of Spenser, Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, Milton, Behn, Dryden, etc. I have also published on Benjamin Franklin’s work for the Wild Court Press.

I am interested in the history and practice of literary editing, and I am co-editor (with Marcus Walsh) of Pope’s Ethic Epistles, for The Oxford Writings of Alexander Pope.

I have an interest in digital humanities, specifically the application of computer vision and machine learning to the analysis of historical texts. I am Principal Investigator on Fleuron, an online database of eighteenth-century printers’ ornaments, decorative typography, engravings, and diagrams (fleuron.lib.cam.ac.uk). 

Dr Enea Zaramella

Dr Enea Zaramella

Lecturer in Latin American Studies

My interest in the relationship between music and literature began with a MA thesis on Argentinean writer Julio Cortázar and his fascination with jazz. In my PhD thesis I went on to examine the concepts of harmony, silence, and noise in the works of Mário de Andrade, Felisberto Hernández and Alejo Carpentier by studying their relationships with the gramophone, silent cinema, and radio respectively.

My current book project, The Analogic Era: Listening Practices and Cultural Production in Latin America (1890-1963), aims to expand the spectrum of my initial research on music and literature to a wider array of cultural production influenced by historical developments in listening practices. I am particularly interested in the ways in which technological innovations in the recording and reproduction of sound and voice not only permeate the visual prism through which Latin American tradition, archive and modernity are generally interpreted and studied, but also forged the discourse of modernity within nationalistic, cosmopolitan, and capitalistic framework.

Dr Emma Zimmerman

Dr Emma Zimmerman

Teaching Fellow in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature

I am currently working on my first monograph, titled Architexture: Space, Form, and the Novel. The book examines the connections between the twentieth-century built environment and modernist literary forms through considering the representation of architectural space in works by Elizabeth Bowen, Jean Rhys, and Virginia Woolf. Through mobilising a set of dialogues between literary studies, literary geography, spatial theory, and the social sciences, the book provides new interdisciplinary insights into the social, cultural, and architectural history of literary modernism.

Since completing my PhD, I have become increasingly fascinated by the social and cultural history of bathrooms and toilets. My current research project investigates how the development of these spaces altered the ways in which modernist writers articulated the everyday experience of the world, and how the spaces continue to influence the contemporary literary imagination. I have work in preparation on the ladies’ cloakroom, the art deco bathroom, and the public toilet as represented in various works by Katherine Mansfield, Elizabeth Bowen, Molly Keane, and Jon McGregor.