Quest Special Edition:

Proceedings of the Quest postgraduate conference

'Perspectives on Power.'

Quest held a postgraduate conference on the 2nd and 3rd of March 2007 which was sponsered by the AHRC. Full details of the conference program can be found here. Below we have collected the best of the papers offered by the young academic which took part.


Sonia Sofia Ferreira: The factory and the street – resistance strategies of women workers.
Sonia is  a Phd student of Anthropology and lecturer in the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Lisbon. She belongs to two research centres of Anthropology: CEEP – Centro de Estudos de Etnologia Portuguesa (Centre for Portuguese Ethnology Research) and CEMME – Centro de Estudos de Migrações e Minorias Étnicas (Centre for Ethnic Minorities and Migrations Research).   Her research interests include Social Movements; Gender, Anthropology of Media, Visual Anthropology and Intercultural Communication.

Sinead Larkin: ‘The Weaker Vessel’?: Disguise and Empowerment in Postmodern Shakespearean Performance.
Sinead Larkin is currently in the final year of her MPhil at the School of English, Queen’s University Belfast.  Her thesis is entitled I Am Not That I Play: Exploring the Disguise Motif in English Renaissance Drama and Performance.  Her work explores the differing forms of disguise articulated in Renaissance texts and in postmodern appropriations of the drama, considering in particular the connection between the donning of disguise and the psychological identity of the wearer.

Rita Sakr: Monumental Space and the Carnivalisation of Power in Joyce’s Ulysses
 and al-Daif’s Ghaflat al-Turab
Rita is a  second year PhD candidate in the School of English Studies at the University of Nottingham.  She has received a scholarship jointly funded by the School of English Studies and the International Office to finish her  PhD.  Her  research interests include postcolonial theory and literature, cultural geography, Middle-Eastern literature, and James Joyce.  Her  PhD explores the politics of the representation of monuments in a number of literary texts.  Her  MA dissertation, entitled “The Politics of Place and Displacement in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” will be published soon. 

Omna Berick-Aharony: Womanhood under Terror:  The influence of living in a constantly terrorised conflict area on models of womanhood, as represented through media images.
Omna is currently a PhD research student at Victoria University in Melbourne, AU.
Her research interests centre around social discourse and models of womanhood within it. Other areas of interest for her are auto-ethnography, art based research and heuristic research.

Nicola Rooney: The role of the Catholic hierarchy in the rise to power of General Franco
Nicola Rooney is a final year PhD student in the Department of Hispanic Studies, Trinity College, Dublin. Her thesis is entitled, “National Identity in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country: The Role of the Catholic Hierarchy”.  Her undergraduate degree was also taken at Trinity College, where she graduated with a BA in European Studies in 2003.  She spent the second year of her combined M.Litt/PhD at the University of Salamanca, Spain.  Her research is funded by a Government of Ireland Scholarship from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, awarded in 2005.

Luke Heemsbergen: Middle East Media and Knowledge Creation
Luke Heemsbergen will soon be completing his Master's programme in International Relations at the University of Nottingham. He holds a B.A. (Honours) in Politics, and a B.A. in International Development Studies from Queen's University, Canada. His academic interests include Political Communication, Global Politics and Media, while his current research hopes for an ethnographically informed study of where and why new media can be effective in modifying relations and conceptions of power in the political world.

Krisztina Lajosi: The love of power and the power of love
Perspectives of Power and Love in Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Niebelungen
Krisztina is a junior researcher at the University of Amsterdam in the department of European Studies. Her doctoral thesis focuses on the relation of national operas and nationalism in East-Central Europe. She has published several book chapters and journal articles about these topics in Hungary and abroad.  Besides the Ph.D. project on national operas her current interest is in the works of Richard Wagner and his contribution to the nineteenth-century European cultural perception of ethics and aesthetics.     
Jessie Blackbourn: Governmental response to the use of political violence by terrorist organisations: A comparative case study of the Omagh bomb and the July 7th London bombings

Jessie is currently in her first year of study for a PhD in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy. Her thesis title is: The Northern Ireland Peace Process and the Post-9/11 Terrorism Crisis.  Her interests concern government responses to terrorism since 11th September 2001, compared to responses during the troubles in Northern Ireland.  She is particularly interested in the legislation on terrorism that has been passed since 9/11 and how this may affect the peace process in Northern Ireland.

James Cairns: The power of media history to explore institutional power.
James Cairns is a PhD candidate (year three) in the Ryerson/York Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, Toronto, Canada. He holds a BA in political science and history (University of Toronto, 2001), and an MA in political studies (University of Saskatchewan, 2003). James' primary objects of study lie at the intersections between media and politics in democracies.

Hope Jennings: Dystopias of Matriarchal Power: Deconstructing the womb in Angela Carter’s Heroes and Villains and The Passion of new Eve.
Hope Jennings is originally from New York where she studied theatre and acting at the American Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts, and received a BA in interdisciplinary studies from Hunter College, C.U.N.Y. Her postgraduate research was undertaken at the University of St. Andrews, and she was recently awarded a PhD in English Literature for her thesis on myth and gender in the fiction of Angela Carter. Her research interests are primarily concerned with women's writing and feminist theory. She currently lives in Edinburgh and is writing a fictional biography of the Modernist poet, Mina Loy.

Hania Sobhy: Reading Reform into the Past: Power and Piety in Islamist Articulations of Muslim History.
Hania Sobhy completed her BA in Economics and Political Science and her MA in Political Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  Her research is focused on Islamist discourses and Muslim critiques and alternative to Islamism.  She has a number of forthcoming publications looking at some of these issues.  She has worked in different research areas and taught Economics and Politics in Cairo, Montreal and Exeter.

Emily Edwards: Are Eating Disorders Feminist? Power, Resistance,
and the Feminine Ideal
Emily Edwards received her BA and MA degrees from universities in Canada, and is currently in the fourth year of her PhD in the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies in Trinity College Dublin. Her thesis examines eating disorders as distractions from problems of self and meaning, and her supervisor is Dr. Jean Whyte. Emily was the editor of the 2006 edition of the Trinity College Dublin Journal of Postgraduate Research.

Elizabeth Ball: Truth, Power and Inquiry

Elizabeth is in the second year of a Ph.D. in Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway.  The working title of her doctoral thesis is: Truth, Power and Bloody Sunday: Complimentary and Competing Official and Unsanctioned Representations of the Day’s Events.  Her research interests include Bloody Sunday, Government Inquiry, Docudrama, Irish Film, and Philosophies of Truth and Power.

Ed Robinson: Taking the Power Back: William S. Burroughs’ use of the cut-up as a means of challenging social orders and power structures.
Ed Robinson's research interests centre around contemporary literature, focusing primarily on postmodern and avant-garde fiction and with a specialised interest in modes of influence and the works of William S. Burroughs. Having read his first degree and Masters at the University of York, he has been working toward his  PhD entitled A History of the Cut-Ups from William Burroughs to the Present.  at the University of Sheffield on a part-time basis for the last seven years. He has undertaken a small amount of undergraduate teaching and has given a number of conference papers on the works of William Burroughs and  Stewart Home, and has recently had the paper ‘The Rise and Fall and Rise of William S. Burroughs’ published by the University of Nottingham’s English department’s on-line journal, Working with English.

Bezen Balamir Coskun: Power of the Words: Securitisation of the ‘Other’
in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict
Bezen Balamir Coskun is a PhD Candidate in Loughborough University Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies (PIRES). She is writing her PhD on the analysis of securitisation/desecuritisation processes in Israeli Palestinian conflict. Ms. Coskun’s wider interests are Middle East foreign policy and security, region building in the Middle East and extra-regional international actors’ particularly the EU, the US and Turkey’s Middle East policies. Furthermore she has conducted research on EU neighborhood and security policies.

Antoinette Curtin: “The Eye of the Beholder: The Relationship Between Beauty and Power in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre”
Antoinette obtained a first-class degree in English Studies from Trinity College in 2005 where she is currently a postgraduate student. For the past year and a half she has researched the depiction of the body in the Victorian novel, which she hopes to incorporate into a PhD thesis charting the representation of physical beauty in the novel from the work of Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding to George Gissing and Thomas Hardy. She is particularly interested in the conscious and subconscious uses that writers make of beauty, especially, as moral marker or reward.   She looks specifically at the relationship between class and beauty and interactions between the embodiment of beauty and ideas of innate nobility.

Adam White: Who has the Power to Police Britain?: The Politics of Private Security
Adam White  is a second year PhD student in the Politics Department at Sheffield University, studying the relationship between the private security industry and the British state.  His research is funded by the Economic and Social Research  Council.

Theresa Cronin: Fear of the Dark: Regulating the Film Experience.
Theresa is a final Year PhD Student at Goldsmiths College, University of London.  She is currently writing up her thesis entitled ‘The Body in the Machine: Subjectivity, the Body and Contemporary Cinema’ which explores the various ways in which the discourses of contemporary cinema create, manage and regulate the bodily experience of the spectator.  Her wider research interests include; film history, film theory, textual analysis, contemporary feminist theory, theories of subjectivity and identity, the cultural politics of science and theories of the body, including, the representation of otherness and monstrosity, and the constitution of the sensuous subject in cinema.