– Christopher Vardy is studying for a PhD in English and American Studies, focusing on the significances of the 1980s, consumer culture and neoliberalism in contemporary historical fiction.
– Clare Murray using a theoretical framework informed by Foucault’s concept of governamentality, she is exploring how the built environment can be used as a tool of governance and the implications of this in a post-dictatorship. She is doing this by focusing on key National Socialist buildings in Berlin and analysing the materiality of the sites, the discourses that have been constructed around them since unification as well as reception to the sites.
– Clare Tebbutt is writing her PhD on medical and popular understandings of ‘sex change’ in interwar Britain. Her wider research interests lie in ideas of the body and in the interplay of culture, activism and theory.
– Maarten Walraven is a third year PhD candidate in History with a background in Cultural Analysis. His PhD listens to the soundscapes of Manchester and the Ruhrgebiet between 1850 and 1914 and the way different people heard different sounds in different ways. From noise to silence, the impact of sound on the urbanising and industrialising societies of Western Europe reveals how this society was shaped.
– Jan Gryta is first year PhD candidate in Polish Studies. Reaching for different historical methodologies, memory studies and sociology he aims at analysing dynamics of politics of memory in urban environment. He investigates memory work connected to Holocaust and Jewish heritage in chosen polish cities.
– Sean Irving is exploring the impact of economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek on the development of neoliberalism. Particular interests are the concept of spontaneous order as a representation of modernity and the relationship between liberty and the efficient use of knowledge.
– Anne-Marie Stead is a final-year PhD student in Italian Studies. My research entails an original investigation of the archive of the Manchester-based publishing house Carcanet Press. From this, I’m drawing on Bourdieu’s conception of the literary field and Latour’s Actor-Network Theory to construct an analysis of the press’s history of Italian translation from a sociological perspective.
– Veronica Pizzarotti is a 3rd year PhD student. Her project analyses the reception of the Italian Renaissance epic poem Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto in Great Britain over a period of two hundred years (1591-1791), by looking at the forms and features of its English translations. Her research combines together across the disciplines areas of Italian philological studies, translation studies, reception studies and history of the book
– Sophie Preston: The French novelist Marcel Proust, the French philosopher and semiotician Roland Barthes, and the American artist Cy Twombly are joined by the ‘doodle’ and the emphatic gesture of drawing to write. The three inhabit an indecision of genre; Proust and Barthes both drew as they wrote, while Twombly wrote to draw. Their works point to the indefinite of the gesture, of incomplete communication subjugated by language. First year Art History PhD Researcher, Sophie Preston, acknowledges and celebrates the necessity of writing without words, of having to draw.
– Allison Criddle is a second year PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Studies. Her research listens, looks and touches at Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), conducting sensate encounters with the spiral as the central visual motif of return. The turning filmic gesture is framed through a fall into and across the topographies of language, power, memory and sound, through cinematic and photographic narratives of control, and contemporary artist renderings of remembrance as illusion.
– Laura Pennachietti is a PhD student in the department of Italian studies and my project deals with Italian translations of postcolonial English novels which feature non-standard varieties of English – more specifically, I look at the way these varieties have been translated into Italian. I also investigate the role played by publishing houses in influencing the process of translation of these novels.
– Jane Stedman is a second year PhD student in the English and American Studies department, examining space, gender and nation in contemporary Scottish fiction. My work seeks to interrogate the cultural nationalist paradigm that has dominated Scottish studies. I focus on the navigation of space and depiction of gender in contemporary Scottish fiction to emphasise the crucial ambivalence of these novels, which both insist upon their Scottishness and refuse easy incorporation into overarching nationalist narratives.
– Ed Owens: My doctoral thesis is composed of three parts. Primarily, it offers the first comprehensive assessment of the way that ordinary people have made sense of the British monarchy and experienced the public image of the royal family in the period 1919 to 1969. It also analyses how the image of monarchy has been communicated by a range of media and how new media in particular has affected the popular experience of monarchy. Finally, it offers original insight in to the way the monarchy has sought to present an image of itself to the rest of British society. Through a wideranging use of many previously unsused sources – including documents located in the Royal Archives, the Mass Observation archive and the BBC written archives centre (to name but a few) – this thesis advances historical work on twentieth-century reception studies, interrogating the way the media has influenced how people have understood their relationship with monarchy, and the place inhabited by the Crown in everyday life.