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Durham University

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Dr Martin James Gleghorn

Library Assistant in the University Library and Collections

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I began studying for my PhD at Durham in October 2013, and passed my viva in December 2016. My thesis was entitled ‘Transport, Technology and Ideology in the work of Will Self’, was supervised by Professor Tim Clark, and was examined by Professors Pat Waugh (Durham) and Peter Boxall (Sussex).

In my thesis, I examined the fiction, journalism and travel writing of Will Self as a means of exploring how his writing depicts relationships between contemporary forms of transport and transport systems, new media and technologies more broadly, and the contemporary novel. As well as looking at Self’s writing, I drew upon the work of some of his influences and peers – such as J. G. Ballard, W. G. Sebald and Martin Amis – to explore issues of sexuality, memory, melancholia and mental health in relation to transport and technology systems.

More generally, I am interested in depictions of mobility and transport systems in contemporary literature, particularly air travel. At the time of writing, I am developing my thesis into a monograph by exploring how Self’s work – and contemporary fiction more generally – offers a contribution to the sociological field of mobilities studies.

In addition to my doctoral research, I have published articles on Self, Ballard and Sebald, and have taught across a range of undergraduate modules in the Department of English Studies at Durham.

I originally came to Durham in 2011 to study for an MA in English Literary Studies, and graduated with a Distinction in this in January 2013. Before this, I was awarded First-Class Honours in English and Drama from the University of Sunderland in 2011.

I graduated with First Class Honours in English and Drama from the University of Sunderland in 2011, and with a Distinction in an MA in English Literary Studies from Durham University in 2012.


Journal Article