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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.

Ms Katie Harling-Lee

Personal web page

Contact Ms Katie Harling-Lee

Biography

I am a Wolfson Foundation Doctoral Scholar, exploring the thematic use of music and sound in the contemporary novel. With a particular focus on the use of Western classical music in conflict settings of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, I have identified what I term the ‘musico-literary novel’: a novel which is thematically concerned with music. While my focus is on the literary presentation of music in the contemporary novel, my research is interdisciplinary, as I combine music philosophy concerns with literary studies, alongside elements of trauma theory, conflict transformation studies, and ethical issues regarding the re-writing of war. My supervisors are Dr. David Ashurst and Dr. Sam Thomas (English Department, Durham University), and Prof. Martyn Evans (Music Department, Durham University; retired as of Oct 2019), and I am funded by the Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities.

I hold an MA, with Distinction, in English Literary Studies from Durham University (2018), and a BA, First Class, Hons, in English Literature from Durham University (2017). Alongside my research in musico-literary studies, I also have research experience in Old Norse literary and translation studies, which was the subject of my MA dissertation, and informs my tutorial teaching on the module Myth and Epic of the North. My MA research formed the basis of a peer-reviewed publication, available online, and titled, ‘The Mediation and Re-creation of Guðrún Gjúkadóttir in English Translations of the Poetic Edda in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries’, published in Postgraduate English, November 2018.

I am active on Twitter (@KatieOsha), where I tweet about my research as well as wider topics. I also co-write a regular blog about the intangible qualities of objects (medium.com/objects), and I have a personal website (k.harlinglee.com) which has more information about my work. I also co-founded and co-run ModCon: Modern and Contemporary Literature Network with Durham PhD student Arya Thampuran (https://modcondurham.wordpress.com/).

Publications and Appearances

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Conference Papers

  • (Accepted) ‘Listening to Survive: Classical Music and Conflict in the Musico-Literary Novel’, Rewriting War and Peace in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, Barcelona, Spain, April 2021 (postponed from 2020 due to Covid-19)
  • (Accepted) ‘When Music Meets Literature: Defining the Contemporary Musico-Literary Novel in Times of Conflict’, English: Shared Futures, Manchester UK, June 2021 (postponed from 2020 due to Covid-19)
  • ‘Defining the Contemporary Musico-Literary Novel in Times of Conflict’, NeMLA, Boston MA, USA, 5-8 March 2020
  • ‘The Creative Possibilities of Guðrún’s Emotional Ambiguity in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century English Translations of the Poetic Edda’, 13th Bergen International Postgraduate Symposium in Old Norse Studies, Bergen, Norway, 10 April 2019
  • ‘The Mediation and Creation of Emotion, Endurance, and World-Views in Translations of Eddic Poems Relating to Guðrún Gjúkadóttir’, Norse in the North, Durham UK, 9 June 2018
  • ‘Music, Identity, and the Self in Three Contemporary Novels: "Does it alter us more to be heard, or to hear? Is it better to have been loved, or to love?”’, Josephine Butler Research Forum, Durham UK, 23 April 2017

Public Lectures

  • ‘Classical Music, Conflict, and Identity in the Contemporary Novel’, Late Summer Lectures, Durham UK, 25 September 2019

Teaching

Teaching Assistant, ENGL1041: Myth and Epic of the North

News Feed: Recent Theses

Coleridge and Satire in the 1790s

NORMAN, DANIEL,LOVELL (2020) Coleridge and Satire in the 1790s. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

(23 Nov 2020) » Coleridge and Satire in the 1790s


Narrative Simulation: Poietic Strategies and the Modelling of Fictions

AQUILINA, CONRAD (2020) Narrative Simulation: Poietic Strategies and the Modelling of Fictions. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

(12 Aug 2020) » Narrative Simulation: Poietic Strategies and the Modelling of Fictions


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.

(10 Jul 2020) » The Edge of Time: The Critical Dynamics of Structural Chronotopes in the Utopian Novel


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.

(16 Jun 2020) » The View from Somewhere: Ambivalence in The Fiction of Jonathan Franzen and Amitav Ghosh


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.

(11 Jun 2020) » Anarchy and the Violet Hour: Eve, Adam, and the Cult of the Individual in The Waste Land


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We are a leading centre for undergraduate teaching, and host a thriving community of postgraduate scholars, literary critics, and interdisciplinary researchers.