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Research students project showcase

Contact us

To discuss your ideas please feel free to contact Dr Andrew Lawson (Reader in American Literature and Postgraduate Research Tutor); or Professor Ruth Robbins (Director of Research for Cultural Studies).

Alternatively, to find out more about postgrduate study visit The Graduate School.

Our research students

Plus Icon Julie Brumby - Nineteenth Century Reformatory and Industrial School ships
Julie Brumby 

Julie is researching the Nineteenth Century Reformatory and Industrial School ships. These ships attempted to reform juvenile delinquent boys and train them for a life at sea. This study will produce a history of six of the ships and a life-course analysis for some of the boys on board.


Old images of ships at sea and sailors standing for a photo in front of a docked ship

Plus Icon Mark Butterfield - a local institutional case study of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Menston

Mark’s research project is a local institutional case study of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Menston.

His project investigates the impact of the First World War on the mental health of soldiers and civilians, both during and after the conflict.

Soldiers suffering with “shell-shock” have become synonymous with mental health concerns during the First World War, and this project will show that the situation was much more complex.


Picture of four patients from the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Images from West Yorkshire Archive Services C488 Patient Casebooks

Plus Icon Catherine Goddard - AHRC Heritage Consortium
Catherine Goddard

Catherine’s research focuses on evaluating the impact of different types of heritage interpretation at historic houses on the visitor experience for different audiences.

She conducted and analysed data from personal observations, reflective journals, interviews and visitor questionnaires.


Research student, Catherine Goddard standing in front of a stately home

Plus Icon Darren Gray - Trauma, Technology and the ‘Haunted’ Male Bodies of Interwar Literature
Darren Gray 

Darren's research explores representations of physical and mental trauma in interwar literature.

The physically and/or mentally disabled WW1 soldier’s body is a haunted and haunting product of conflict which is Gothic, transgressive and challenges discourses of war, masculinity and power.

WW1 soldier slumped against a wall
Plus Icon Edmund Hewson - Religion, materiality and agency in 19th century travel writing
Edmund Hewson 

Edmund is esearching religion, materiality and agency in 19th century travel writing. Using lenses supplied by ‘new materialisms’, actor network theory and the material turn in religious studies, he hope's to show how objects can be seen to exert agency and are not simply constructions of the colonial and touristic gazes or discourses.


‘LARGE PRAYING WHEEL AT SOONUM. From a sketch by the Author.’ From Simpson, W (1896) The Buddhist Praying-Wheel: a collection of material bearing on the symbolism of the wheel and circular movements in custom and religious ritual: London; Macmillan and Co

Plus Icon Ashleigh McCann - Postcolonial theory and postcolonial interpretations of identity constructions in 19th century Latin American literatures
Ashleigh McCann 

Ashleigh is a NECAH-funded PhD student whose research focuses on postcolonial theory and postcolonial interpretations of identity constructions in 19th century Latin American literatures. She is interested in developing the communication of ideas across postcolonial and Latin American literary studies, and in improving postcolonial understandings of pre-boom Latin American literatures.

Ashleigh’s research examines a selection of Oxford University Press’ Library of Latin America collection to evaluate the effectiveness of interdisciplinarity when exploring postcolonial Latin American fictions. She is particularly interested in performativity in literature as a means of postcolonial resistance.

Ashleigh is the director of New Voices in Postcolonial Studies, an international network of humanities PGRs and ECRs whose aim is to develop, evolve and decolonise postcolonial thinking.


New Voices logo "New Voices, Postcolonial Stories"


Plus Icon Zoë Moreton - The location of the maternal in a post human society
Zoe Moreton 

By analysing the portrayal of maternal figures in science fictions films, Zoë aims to explore the impact of displacing the female body as the site of motherhood in a world where technology is responsible for reproduction. This will allow a commentary on the future role of women if the reproductive and maternal role is removed.


Illustration of a pregnant robot

Image from: Art Station

Fern Pullan

Women’s Writing in Popular Genres, 1790-1870: Gothic, Silver Fork, and Sensation.

"My work traces the development of a gendered literary canon of popular fiction, focusing on the gothic, silver fork and sensation literature of the long C19. I dispute the teleological categorisation of genre in favour of a more fluid development influenced by socio-cultural contexts that particularly resonate for the woman writer."


Sketch of an old newspaper advertising a novel

Plus Icon Annisa Suliman - the formation of the Victorian working and lower middle-class identity
Annisa Suliman

The focus of Annisa’s PhD is the formation of the Victorian working and lower middle-class identity.

Cassell’s Illustrated Family Paper (1853-1867) is used as a case study to examine the impact of writer/reader interactions on the content of the highly successful penny title, and on the notion of what it meant to be a “modern” reader.


Pile of Victorian newspapers

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