We are currently accepting PhD applications in this area. Find out more about our staff's research interests here.

Lauren Cuthbert

Thesis Topic: The anti-Vietnam War films of GDR documentarians Walter Heynowski and Gerhard Scheumann

Supervisor: Dr Katya Krylova

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA in German (King's College London), MA in Creative Writing (Newcastle University)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Studying the anti-Vietnam War films of Heynowski and Scheumann and examining the extent to which they can be viewed as establishing a "multi-directional memory" (Rothberg) between East Germany and Vietnam.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I'm a self-taught crocheter so I'm usually working on one project or another in my free time. I'm also a somewhat casual fiction writer, and I have a soft spot for awful horror movies, especially the notably terrible "Saw" franchise.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? As someone from the North East of England, working and living in the North East of Scotland really appealed to me. The LLMVC PG Forum also caught my eye, as a way to present research in progress, and also get some insight into the vastly differing topics being studied by others. I’ve always found it inspirational to hear about the work of fellow researchers, especially when the other topics within the school are so vast and varied. 

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? I love living by the coast, and Aberdeen as a city has been intensely welcoming so far, despite the fact that I was introduced to it in the midst of a pandemic. It reminds me of home, while being fresh and new enough that I'm never bored.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? Being able to adapt to new situations and work independently towards my own research goals, and also having easy access to a thriving academic community with which I can make connections for my future career.

Isabella Engberg

Thesis topic: The environmental imagination in scientific travel narratives from the long 19th century

Supervisors: Dr Helena Ifill, Dr Tara Beaney, Prof Catherine Jones

Educational Background: MA (Hons) English-German (University of Aberdeen)

What are your research interest/what are you currently working on? I am interested in the environmental humanities and the relationship between science and literature. I have just finished my first chapter draft on Alexander von Humboldt’s Personal Narrative (1814-1929), which delineates the Prussian polymath's journey to the interior of South America. Humboldt is by many considered the father of ecology and the journey had a great impact on his view of the natural environment. I am currently doing research on the voyage of one of Humboldt’s greatest fans, Charles Darwin.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? Not surprisingly, you will find me in the outdoors. I enjoy studying maps and I love orienteering, hiking, and hill running. I cook many meals for and with my friends and family, and I’m currently much occupied in foraging herbs (and some of the more recognisable mushrooms) to put on top of those dishes.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I was working on a proposal for this PhD project during my last undergraduate year and was made aware by my personal tutor that I could apply for the New Kings Studentship. Studying in Aberdeen was a natural choice, because I was familiar with the research interests of many of the LLMVC lecturers.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Since my undergraduate years, I have found that the city presents excellent opportunities to go and explore the highlands, glens, rivers, coasts, and towns of Scotland. I love the campus-feeling in Old Aberdeen, and I sometimes get quite carried away by its historical atmosphere. 

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for your future? The University of Aberdeen has great research centres holding regular interesting talks and meetings, which will hopefully grant me a greater network of academics in the same interdisciplinary field as me. I have and am still taking numerous workshops held by the university to prepare myself for a professional life after my PhD. 

Clarisa Novello

Thesis Topic: Ecocriticism in 21st Century German Literature.

Superviso(s: Dr Tara Beaney, Dr David Wheatley

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation (UNICAL, Italy) and an MA in Modern Languages and Literature (UNICAL, Italy).

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Climate change fiction. I am currently focusing on the novel Tipping Point by W. Mittelstaedt

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? Walking, especially on the the beach

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? Because of the project ‘20th and 21st Century German Literature and the Environment’ presented by the German Department.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Living in Aberdeen gives me the opportunity to be part of the Postgraduate Community present in the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? It offers the possibility of meeting other international postgraduate students and possibly create a network which will be helpful for my future career