Postgraduate Research in Languages
Modern Languages currently comprises around 70 national and international postgraduate students working across the Arabic, Chinese, Francophone, Gaelic, Hispanic and Lusophone linguistic areas. Our postgraduate researchers are fully integrated into the research culture of our Modern Languages unit, and play a prominent role in our year-long Seminar Series and annual Research Showcase
My thesis seeks to make a contribution to the intersecting fields of crime fiction and gender studies by examining the representation of criminal women in contemporary French fiction. The novels in my corpus span the best part of the last decade (2011-2020) and represent several literary genres, from general fiction to the police procedural and the emerging crime fiction subgenre of domestic noir. This diverse corpus is united by shared themes of the gendered exercise of agency, the consequences of sexual violence, and oppressive ideologies about the nature and destiny of women under patriarchy. It is ideally suited to the application of an intersectional feminist lens, which I deploy to interrogate the novels’ re-working of mythological and psychosocial stereotypes about criminal women. My thesis also analysis the disruptive nature of criminal women with regard to knowledge acquisition in criminal investigations – particularly relevant in the wake of recent social justice movements which interrogate the (im)possibility of accountability under patriarchal systems of criminal justice. I further apply space and affect theory to evaluate the aesthetics of crime scenes, both domestic and urban, and how they figure in the public imagination about crime perpetrated by women.
My PhD research is funded by the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership and examines the development of costumbrismo – a type of literature in prose focused on social observation and the representation of life in the city – at the end of the Spanish Enlightenment. Specifically, my project focuses on the period corresponding to the reign of Carlos IV (1788-1808) and analyses a corpus of costumbrista-style articles published in different issues of the daily newspaper Diario de Madrid, as well as a group of six early costumbrista works which provide representations of the customs of Madrid types and sketches of everyday scenes in the Spanish capital during a period of accelerated social and cultural change. The thesis aims to offer a detailed study into the emergence of costumbrista prose during these final two decades of the Enlightenment period, decades before its consolidation as a genre in the 1830s with canonical writers such as Mariano José de Larra and Ramón de Mesonero Romanos.
My PhD research project (funded by the Northern Bridge Consortium) examines contemporary texts by emerging women writers of African descent in Spanish and Portuguese. In particular, the project analyses a corpus of 21st Century works by Afrodescendant women born between the late 1970s and early 1990s, born and/or raised in postcolonial Spain or Portugal, and who hold familial ties with former colonies in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking Africa (namely Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Cape-Verde). Selected writers on the corpus include: Yara Monteiro (1979-), Lucía Mbomío (1981-), O'sírima Mota Ripeu (1989-) and Né Vaz (1992-). By applying a postcolonial framework comprising gender, diaspora and memory studies, alongside sociological approaches, my thesis offers a comprehensive comparison of a variety of tropes which emerge across the selected corpus, such as identity, citizenship, migration (past and present), nightlife, and memory.
Mid-Ulster Placenames; townland names in selected parishes in south Derry and north Tyrone
My PhD is a study and analysis of placenames in selected parishes and townlands contained within the barony of Loughinsholin, County Derry and the barony of Dungannon Upper, County Tyrone – an area commonly referred to as ‘Mid-Ulster’. The primary objective of the research project is to use evidence to deduce the original Irish language etymology of a number of parish and townland names within the area of study, that being historical forms from a wide range of Irish, Latin, and English documents. The collection and recording of local pronunciation of the names during fieldwork is another major piece of evidence which is key to unlocking their original meanings. By researching and preserving the corpus of Irish placenames and their historical backgrounds we are greatly enriching our cultural life. In so doing, we are enhancing our understanding of many aspects of language and history as preserved in the place names of Ireland. My PhD research is funded by the Department for the Economy.
This interdisciplinary research project, funded by the Marie-Curie EU Horizon 2020 research programme, aims to investigate new technologies to improve accessibility and visitor experience for blind and partially sighted visitors in various museum context. In collaboration with the world leading tourist attraction - Titanic Belfast and Royal National Institution of Blind People, I have pioneered two technological approaches with the focus on low-cost accessibility solutions and emotionally engaging for BPS visitors. Multisensory approach, storytelling, advanced technologies, such as speech recognition and speech synthesis are employed across different stage of the research.