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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Our Current and Recent Research Students

We host a thriving postgraduate community. The profiles of some of our current research students can be found below; some of our researchers can also be found on Twitter. Our PhD graduates produce theses across a wide range of fascinating topics, before going on to establish careers in academia and elsewhere.

If you are a current PhD researcher and want to add or update your profile, visit the Profile Editor or email alistair.brown@durham.ac.uk.

Dr Sophie Franklin

Personal web page

Contact Dr Sophie Franklin

Biography

My thesis considers the violences of Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Brontës’ work in order to establish a genealogy between their fiction, conflicted nineteenth-century understandings of violence, and the cultural legacies of violence in recent artwork and adaptations inspired by their prose. This research is underpinned by two apparent contradictions: the simultaneous presumption and disbelief of the violent nature of the Brontës’ writings; and the fact that they were working both within and outside of contemporary cultural understandings of violence. With these supposed contradictions in mind, I will examine the extent to which the Brontës were influenced by or influences on contemporary perceptions of violence through sources such as local newspapers and literary reviews, as well as whether they can be deemed “violent writers” within their cultural context. This project is supported by an AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership studentship (2015 – 2018), and is supervised by Dr Sarah Wootton and Dr Peter Garratt.

Beyond the Brontës and violence, I am also more broadly interested in George Eliot’s fiction, thing theory, newspapers and periodicals, and the significance of glass in nineteenth-century literature, as well as contemporary visual and literary representations of violence and its association with gender.

Before starting my PhD, I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2013 and went on to gain an MA in Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies at Durham University in 2014. I have also worked in the bookselling and publishing industries. Currently, I am a postgraduate representative for the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies at Durham University. I am also co-organising ‘The Coarseness of the Brontës: A Reappraisal’ conference in partnership with the Brontë Society and Brunel University, held at Durham University on 10th to 11th August 2017 (https://coarsebrontes.wordpress.com). 

Publications

Articles:

‘Beyond the Civilizing Process: A Response to Peter K. Andersson’s ‘How Civilized Were the Victorians?’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 22/1 (2017). Forthcoming March 2017.

Books:

Charlotte Brontë Revisited: A View from the Twenty-First Century (Saraband, 2016).

News Feed: Recent Theses

Musicality and Harmony in Wordsworth's Poetry, 1798-1814

LO, YIMON (2020) Musicality and Harmony in Wordsworth's Poetry, 1798-1814. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

(1 Jun 2020) » Musicality and Harmony in Wordsworth's Poetry, 1798-1814


The Contemporary Novel and the Brain

RILEY, NATALIE (2020) The Contemporary Novel and the Brain. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

(22 May 2020) » The Contemporary Novel and the Brain


Backwards Time: The Rhetoric of Reverse

VIRDEE, DOUGLASS (2020) Backwards Time: The Rhetoric of Reverse. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

(6 May 2020) » Backwards Time: The Rhetoric of Reverse


Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) in Acute Adult Psychiatry: A Mixed Methods study

COATEN, MARY,ELLEN (2020) Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) in Acute Adult Psychiatry: A Mixed Methods study. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

(1 May 2020) » Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) in Acute Adult Psychiatry: A Mixed Methods study


Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Poetic Conversations with Islam (1814-1818): Theological and Philosophical Contemplations

ABICHOU, ALEXANDER (2020) Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Poetic Conversations with Islam (1814-1818): Theological and Philosophical Contemplations. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

(1 May 2020) » Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Poetic Conversations with Islam (1814-1818): Theological and Philosophical Contemplations


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