Current and Recent Research Students
Ms Amy Jordan
Amy Jordan received her BA in English Literature in 2004. After employment as a sixth-form teacher, she returned to Durham and postgraduate study in 2007, gaining a MA with distinction in Twentieth-Century Literary Studies and that year's Raman Selden Memorial Prize. She is currently working on a PhD thesis provisionally entitled '"Consolation for the Inconsolable": Traumatised Mind and Traumatic World in John Berryman's American Dreams,' under the supervision of Dr. Gareth Reeves. The project seeks to address the dominant perceptions of Berryman as a "confessional hermit" that to date have excluded his oeuvre from efforts to illuminate the cultural context of mid-twentieth century American verse. Making a case for the work's broader significance - as not just a psyche on the couch but the psychogeography of a traumatised country - the thesis draws upon cultural history, trauma theory and philosophies of self and other to consider the relationship between American dream and lived experience which preoccupied Berryman throughout his career. Read in this light, the poet's "nervous idiom" emerges as a challenge to the "Confessional" movement with which it is invariably allied, in which the deliberate performance of what is alienated, marginalised and repressed functions as a sustained reproof to the cultural hegemonies of post-war America.
During July 2010 Amy Jordan was a visiting researcher at the University of Minnesota's E. L. Andersen Library, supported by a Faculty of Arts and Humanities grant. She has presented recent papers on John Berryman and the American "Middle Generation" poets at Bristol, Durham, Minnesota, and Sheffield, and is a reviewer for the Journal of American Studies. Amy served on the organising committee for the Department of English Studies' staff and postgraduate seminar series "Inventions of the Text", and was 2008-2010 editor of the e-journal Postgraduate English. She teaches in the English Studies and Combined Honours Departments.