Maya Caspari

PhD Student in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and the School of English

My PhD research explores the representation of empathy and touch in contemporary world literature. I am interested in how different histories and memories of suffering are articulated and related to each other in recent texts, and the ethical implications of different forms and genres of representation. In particular, I explore what a feminist poetics of relation might mean in, and for, the contemporary moment, focusing on how narrative engagements with contingency may open space for new modes of relatedness.

Jade Douglas

PhD Student in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

My PhD research looks at German-language literature written by migrants to Germany who have a background in the former Soviet Union – namely, Olga Grjasnowa, Katja Petrowskaja and Nellja Veremej.  I consider how memories of traumatic events are formed, circulated and adapted as they move from local, to national, to supra-national levels of articulation. In this, I draw upon theories of memory, theories of ‘place’ as formulated in human geography, and theories of world-literature.

Ian Ellison

PhD Student in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

My PhD research melancholy aesthetics and cosmopolitan narrators in Western European fiction published around turn of the twenty-first century. I am an international fellow of the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, a former committee member for the National Postgraduate Colloquium for German Studies (2015 – 2017), and am currently on the committee of the 2018 conference of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (AHGBI). I taught modern foreign languages at secondary school level for several years, and I have also taught modules on German literature and film, as well as comparative literature, at the University of Leeds.

Rebecca Macklin

PhD Student in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, 2017-18 Fulbright Visiting Student Researcher, Cornell University

My research draws together Indigenous, postcolonial and world literature discourses, to comparatively explore transnational engagements with globalization and literary articulations of decolonial resistance. My thesis focuses on contemporary Native American and South African fiction, including texts by Louise Erdrich, Thomas King, Leslie Marmon Silko, Zakes Mda, and K Sello Duiker. I also have a pervading interest in the role of participatory arts in international development contexts and am a Board Trustee for the Bishop Simeon Trust, having led youth empowerment workshops in South Africa.

Dominic O’Key

PhD Student in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

My project investigates the concept of the “creaturely” in the works of W.G. Sebald, J.M. Coetzee, and Mahasweta Devi. For more, click here.

Emma Parker

Research Assistant & PhD Student in the School of English

As research assistant on the AHRC project ‘Mobilising Multidirectional Memory to Build More Resilient Communities in South Africa’ I coordinate events and provide research support for the project, both in the UK and South Africa. I am also a PhD candidate in the School of English, researching women’s memoirs and autobiographies written in the aftermath of British imperialism. For further details click here.

Kate Marrison

PhD Student in the School of English and the School of Media and Communications

My PhD research explores the preservation of Holocaust survivor testimony. I am primarily interested in the way testimony is represented within the digital, focusing on The Forever Project, for example, which is an ambitious 3D interactive programme that presents the survivor in a 3D image. I am also researching the role of the family, particularly focusing on the idea of Postmemory and the way in which testimony can survive through familial connections. This will allow me to assess the tensions between oral testimony and emerging technologies, and explore what this might mean for the future of Holocaust memory.

Diane Otosaka

PhD student in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies (University of Leeds) and the Department of History (University of Sheffield)

My project looks at contemporary French and Francophone texts that engage with Holocaust memory and seeks to shed light on how writers who do not necessarily have a personal connection to this traumatic event tackle the temporal, spatial and emotional distance that separates them from the Holocaust. My research is funded by the AHRC and I am part of the WRoCAH network ‘The Future of Holocaust Memory’.

Michael Holden

PhD student in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television (University of York) and School of English (University of Leeds)

My PhD research works with cultural and digital representations of the Holocaust and other traumatic histories in order to test the adequacy of existing notions of collective or cultural memory within a contemporary context. Specifically, I hope to establish how applicable the notions of postmemory and prosthetic memory remain in the current era, particularly given the increasing prevalence of digital technologies in the sphere of commemoration.