I graduated from Staffordshire University in July 2019 with a first class B.A. Hons. degree in English and completed a full-time Masters by Negotiated Study in Modernist Literature, passing with a distinction at the end of 2020. I joined Keele University in January 2021 as a PhD student to continue my studies and look further into the transition of gender roles and sexuality, and how this is portrayed in modernist literature. In the dissertation in my MA, I explored the way in which modernism reshaped American and British narratives in their portrayal of a world where the class system and gender roles were in transition; where the speed of the modern city alienated individuals from each other and how these changes affected humanity. I also explored how these transitions are reflected in the radical literary changes modernist authors made to their narratives. Teaching: As an undergraduate, I spent forty hours at Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College in English A-Level and GCSE classes. I observed classroom activities, watched how the teachers controlled behaviour and how they delivered their lessons. I was able to assist the students in several activities, particularly with functional skills. I noted the difficulty some students faced when English was their second language. My placement assignment was based around these difficulties, as I recognised the issues teachers were facing. I hope to be able to assist in lectures at Keele as my PhD progresses.
Research and scholarship
Moving on from the research in my MA, I wanted to explore in depth the effects on human experience of the varying degrees of sexuality. My thesis for the PhD is entitled ‘Queering the Class Divide: Transition, Transformation, and Transgender- The Aesthetic Representations of Human Experience in the works of Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes, and Radclyffe Hall’. Social constructs of Victorian ideals of femininity and masculinity created a prescriptive normativity of gender identity with little room or acceptance for any deviation. Medical discourse transformed sexual acts into firm gender identities through the theory that same-sex sexuality was a kind of gender inversion or perversity. However, this thesis argues that transgenderism and same-sex desire intersected with class distinctions, as the upper and middle classes were able to enjoy the emerging consumer culture to indulge in personal taste and pleasure. Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes and Radclyffe Hall portray in their works an encoded queer inscription that demonstrates an uninhabitable space not only between masculine and feminine dichotomies but furthers tension between the classes. I will argue further that the impact of class, specifically in the city, on transgender and same-sex desires clearly emancipates some whilst suppresses others.
Student Representative: 2016-2019- BA Hons. Degree. Student Representative: 2019-2020- MA. Selected to meet the external moderator to give an overview of the MaNS course – 2019. Selected to attend a subject evaluation board to represent Staffordshire University; I provided feedback and analysis to a panel of subject specialists in the West Midlands – 2018 Assisted with 4 open days and provided advocacy about English studies for prospective students Delivered a presentation to first year undergraduates about the BA course – 2018.