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 Hope Doherty, BA, MPhil (Cantab)
Hope Doherty completed her BA and MPhil degrees at St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge. Both her final undergraduate and MPhil dissertations focused on the fourteenth-century poem Piers Plowman, with the former exploring education and documentary culture in the text, the latter analysing the character of Haukyn in terms of the often difficult interaction between medicine and theology. During her MPhil she also completed a palaeographical project on a little-studied medical manuscript in Cambridge University Library.
She came to Durham in 2018 to begin a PhD in the Department of English Studies, under the supervision of Professor Corinne Saunders. In her thesis, Hope aims to elucidate how physical disease and mental illness are treated in Middle English theological literature, focusing on the Virgin Mary as a particularly 'medicalised' figure in the late Middle Ages. Her working title is 'Wounded Flesh and Shameful Scars: Reading Medicine as Irresolute Theology in the Middle English Mary'. As part of her project, Hope is affiliated with Durham's Institute for Medical Humanities, and she co-runs the corresponding medical humanities network for postgraduate and early-career researchers.
Hope's research interests include medieval Christian theology and its history, the Virgin Mary and Marian literature, lay and affective piety, material culture, manuscript studies, religion in medieval romance, medicine, mental illness, isolation and ostracisation, medieval law and punishment, purgatory and afterlives, the harrowing of Hell, the chirograph or charter of Christ, pregnancy and motherhood.
Hope's PhD is funded by a Durham Doctoral Award in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
Outside of her research, Hope has worked as an Access Officer at St Catharine's College, promoting undergraduate admissions to Cambridge by giving tours and sample interviews for prospective applicants and their families, as well as visiting schools to give presentations on applying to university. She has also worked extensively as a student librarian and remains interested in librarianship and cataloguing.
Hope teaches on the first-year undergraduate module Romance and the Literature of Chivalry in Durham's English department.
She welcomes any enquiries about her research.
(Forthcoming) ‘The Pardon Codex and Mary's Chirograph’ (lightning talk), at The New Chaucer Society 2020 Congress, Durham University, 12-16 July 2020.
‘Causality and Consent: Agents of Torture in Medieval Marian Literature and the Drama of Sarah Kane’ at Consent Durham: Histories, Representations, and Frameworks for the Future, Josephine Butler College, Durham University, 5 August 2019.
‘Marian Performativity at the End of the Middle Ages: Motherhood Rituals and Legitimating Anger’, at Durham Early Modern Studies Conference, Ushaw College, Durham University, 24 July 2019.
‘The Stage of Punishment: Performing Abjection in Langland and the Lazarus Mystery Plays’, at International Piers Plowman Society Conference, University of Miami, FL, 5 April 2019.
‘Reaching Branches: the Emotion of Marian Botany and the Loneliness of Late-Medieval Orpheus’, at Gender and Medieval Studies, Durham University, 9 Jan 2019.
‘Utopia and the Sick Man: Piers Plowman and the Possibility of “Medical Theology”’, at St Catharine’s College Graduate Symposium, University of Cambridge, 12 May 2018.
‘A Tree with No Roots: Attending to the Wandering Plant’, at University of Cambridge Faculty of English Annual Graduate Conference (Pre-1750), 20 April 2018.
Funding and Awards
Durham Doctoral Studentship Award, 2018-2021
St Catharine's College MPhil Bratton Scholarship, 2017-2018
Christopher MacGregor Memorial Award, St Catharine's College Cambridge, 2018
Margot Heinemann Prize, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 2016
Co-organiser of the postgraduate and early-career network at the Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University.
Press Officer, Medieval and Early Modern Students' Association (MEMSA), Durham University (2019-20).
Co-convener, Inventions of the Text seminar series, School of English Studies, Durham University (2019-20).
News Feed: Recent Theses
Listen to This: Sound Film and the Late Modernist Novel in Britain, 1929-1949
EHRENFRIED, LARA (2019) Listen to This: Sound Film and the Late Modernist Novel in Britain, 1929-1949. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
‘My Road to Freedom and Knowledge’: Louis MacNeice’s Self-Conscious Art
IGARASHI, NAO (2019) ‘My Road to Freedom and Knowledge’: Louis MacNeice’s Self-Conscious Art. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
Virginia Woolf and Ecstasy: Feeling Beside Oneself to Touch the Thing Itself
HARRIS, ANGELA,CATHERINE (2019) Virginia Woolf and Ecstasy: Feeling Beside Oneself to Touch the Thing Itself. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
‘To Keep Alive the Heart in the Head’: Versions of Transcendence in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Poetry 1796-1817
TAI, SHUET,YIN,SHARON (2019) ‘To Keep Alive the Heart in the Head’: Versions of Transcendence in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Poetry 1796-1817. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
Another Kind of Light: A Loving Attention in Modern British and Irish Fiction
LEE, CHERYL,JULIA,WEI,LING (2019) Another Kind of Light: A Loving Attention in Modern British and Irish Fiction. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
We are a leading centre for undergraduate teaching, and host a thriving community of postgraduate scholars, literary critics, and interdisciplinary researchers.
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