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.
Miss Beatriz Lopez
I am a 2nd-year PhD candidate on the project ‘The Political Warfare Executive, Covert Propaganda and British Culture’, based in the Department of English Studies and funded by the Leverhulme Trust. My thesis explores how Muriel Spark’s work for the Political Warfare Executive - a secret service created by Britain during the Second World War with the mission of spreading propaganda to enemy and enemy-occupied territories – may have influenced the representation of rumours and deception in her literary work. Using archival materials from the Political Warfare Executive Papers (The National Archives) and the Muriel Spark Archive (National Library of Scotland), my project brings together history, biography and literary criticism to rethink Spark's interest in deception. I am supervised by Prof. Patricia Waugh, Prof. James Smith and Prof. Jo Fox.
I hold an MSc in Literature and Modernity (with Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh and a 1st class BA (Hons) in English Studies from the University of Oviedo (Spain). I became interested in Scottish literature during my year abroad at the University of Glasgow and wrote my MSc dissertation on gendered monstrosity in contemporary Scottish fiction and drama. During my time in Edinburgh, I was an intern at the Scottish Review of Books, a book reviewer for The Skinny and and a peer-reviewer for FORUM (University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts). Before coming to Durham, I worked on the History list at Bloomsbury Academic.
I am currently co-convener of the Inventions of the Text Seminar Series (alongside Hope Doherty and Francesco Marchionni) and the Mid-Century Reading Group (alongside Dr. Noreen Masud). I also teach two tutorial groups of the first year module 'Introduction to the Novel' and act as research assistant for the Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures (CMCC).
I welcome any enquiries about my research.
- (Accepted) 'Tuning into the Mind of the Other: Muriel Spark and Psychological Deception', 3rd World Congress of Scottish Literatures, Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic), 23-27 June 2021.
- (Accepted) 'Muriel Spark and the Scrambler Telephone' (long version), Special Session: Women Writers, WWII Intelligence and Post-War British Literature, organised by Beatriz Lopez and featuring Prof. Patricia Laurence (CUNY) and Dr. Natalie Ferris (University of Edinburgh), MLA 2021, Toronto (Canada), 7-10 January 2021.
- 'Muriel Spark and the Scrambler Telephone' (short version), Telepoetics Symposium (virtual due to Covid-19), 27th May 2020.
- ‘‘Dangerous Dreamers of the Absolute’: The Terrorist as Psychological Warrior in Muriel Spark’s The Only Problem and Doris Lessing’s The Good Terrorist‘, The Figure of the Terrorist in Literature, Film and Media, University of Zurich (Switzerland), 8-9 November 2019
- ‘Fabricating Deceptions: Plausibility in WWII British Black Propaganda and the Fiction of Muriel Spark’, BAMS 2019: Troublesome Modernisms, Kings’s College London, 20-22 June 2019
- ‘Muriel Spark and the Politics of Unsentimentality’, Gen(d)eration: Gender and Construction of Subjectivity Workshop, Durham University, 10 May 2019
- ‘Women’s Economic Inequality in Emma Tennant’s Two Women of London’, 6th International Conference SELICUP, University of Oviedo, 15-17 October 2014
Awards and Prizes:
- Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship – The Leverhulme Trust (2018–2021)
- Research Assistant Fellowship in the Department of English, French and German Studies at the University of Oviedo, Spain – Spanish Ministry of Education (2013–2014)
- Award for Excellence in the Erasmus Mobility: Arts and Humanities – University of Oviedo, Spain (2013)
News Feed: Recent Theses
The Edge of Time: The Critical Dynamics of Structural Chronotopes in the Utopian Novel
LOHMANN, SARAH,ELIZABETH (2020) The Edge of Time: The Critical Dynamics of Structural Chronotopes in the Utopian Novel. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
The View from Somewhere: Ambivalence in The Fiction of Jonathan Franzen and Amitav Ghosh
CHOU, MEGUMI,GRACE (2019) The View from Somewhere: Ambivalence in The Fiction of Jonathan Franzen and Amitav Ghosh. Unspecified thesis, Durham University.
Anarchy and the Violet Hour: Eve, Adam, and the Cult of the Individual in The Waste Land
BRANNIGAN, WILLIAM,KIERAN (2020) Anarchy and the Violet Hour: Eve, Adam, and the Cult of the Individual in The Waste Land. Masters thesis, Durham University.
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