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

Marzoog Alhothaly

Thesis Topic: ACQUSTION OF ENGLISH ARTICLES BY SAUDI EFL LEARNERS

Supervisor: Prof Robert Millar

Educational background: BA in Language, Syntax and Morphology at Umm Al-Qura University- Saudi Arabia. Diploma in Higher Education at Umm Al-Qura University-Saudi Arabia. MA in TESOL with Applied Linguistics at University of Central Lancashire - UK. Currently studying PhD in English Language at University of Aberdeen

 What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the Acquisition of the English Articles. My interest is in Second Language Acquisition, Foreign Language Acquisition, Researching how the brain acquires a new language and research methods.

What do you do outside of academia?

In my free time, I enjoy volunteering in the community. I am currently a Chairman of the Saudi Students Club in Aberdeen. I also enjoy reading, writing, traveling and meeting new people.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?

Due to the fact that Aberdeen is a historical city which has a great University. The University of Aberdeen is a high ranking in Linguistics.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

My favourite part is being surrounded by like-minded professionals and supervisors. The University of Aberdeen is very conducive to studying and learning

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future?

It will prepare me for teaching foreign language learners in my country with the best methods possible.

Paul Arant

Thesis Topic: Transnationalism and identity in Walter Scott’s Waverley Novels

Supervisor: Professor Alison Lumsden

Educational background:

BA in English & History from East Carolina University, MA in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, MA in English literature from The College of Charleston and The Citadel

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? The works of Walter Scott, nationalism and transnationalism in literature, historical fiction, the novels of Wilkie Collins, detective and hard-boiled fiction, cyberpunk in text, film and animation

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I chose to study in Aberdeen in order to work with Professor Alison Lumsden and take advantage of the premier Walter Scott resources at the University, including the Bernard C Lloyd Collection of Scott Materials and the Walter Scott Research Centre.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? My favourite part of studying in Aberdeen is engaging with the congenial and supportive academic community at the University. In regards to living, I find Aberdeen to be a beautiful city that has spacious parks, tremendous history, family-friendly events and great people who become instant friends over a pint at the local pub.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? My research here will lay the foundation for my career as an educator, and I especially believe that the guidance and instruction I receive from Professor Lumsden will prepare me for the rigors of a professional academic life.

Pimpawan Chaipanit

Thesis Topic: Topoanalytical reading of novels by women writers

Supervisor: Dr. Timothy Baker

Educational background:

Bachelor of Arts, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University (THAILAND), Master of Arts, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University (THAILAND), Master of Arts, Contemporary Literature, University of Liverpool

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

Domestic images in novels by women writers.

What do you do outside of academia?

Crochet, drawing and cooking.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

The atmosphere of the university is pleasant.

Christopher Oko Erenje

Thesis Topic: Transfer Effects in Second Language Acquisition of English Phonology

Supervisor: Professor Robert McColl Millar

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): NCE, English (DM), BA Linguistics, MA Linguistics

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Applied Linguistics, Language Acquisition and Phonology.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I read novels and magazines, love basketball and table tennis and I also watch educative movies.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? Because the University of  Aberdeen provides an enabling environment for its students especially for those who intend to carry out their studies by research. In addition, the University of Aberdeen possess the capacity to supervise my current area of research which was lacking in most part of the world and in UK in particular.  

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? That will be the support I get from the members of staff in the University, especially from my supervisor Professor Robert. The various supports I receive from them usually make studying in Aberdeen quite interesting. What I enjoy about living in Aberdeen is the quiet and peaceful nature of the area.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? As an academic who already holds the position of a lecturer in my home university, my experience in Aberdeen will equip me with the necessary  techniques and pedagogical skills that are required of any serious minded academic, for the impartation of knowledge to any group of students in any part of the world.

Fiona Houston

Thesis Topic: The Language of War: Propaganda and Authorship in the Literature of the First World War

Supervisor: Hazel Hutchison

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MA Honours English Literature 1st Class (University of Aberdeen)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? My thesis focuses on two writers whose connections with official agencies during the First World War has largely excluded them from serious critical debates: Ford Madox Ford and John Buchan. My argument is that to view these writers through our modern lens is to falsely remove them from their historical contexts, thereby applying incorrect standards to their texts. My research so far has led me to explore the emerging Modernist movement post-war, in addition to tracking the linguistic development of the term ‘propaganda’ in Oxford English Dictionaries.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I work part time for an independent publishing house, and also do admin for an NHS hospital pharmacy department. I enjoy skiing and badminton, and love watching a bit of Strictly on TV.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I’m English but always wanted to live and study in Scotland, and I fell in love with the city and campus when I first came up to visit. I did my undergraduate degree at Aberdeen and didn’t want to go anywhere else for my PhD.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Coming from a landlocked part of the Midlands, I love having access to the beach, whilst being near hills and countryside with all the benefits of a city.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? I will never again trust a seagull.

Chriselle MacKinnon

Thesis Topic:   Beyond Images of the Female Body:  Dynamics of Gender and Discourses of Power in Walter Scott’s Waverley Novels

Supervisor:  Professor Alison Lumsden

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MLitt, English Literary Studies, 2011 (University of Aberdeen), MA (Hons) English, 2008 (University of Aberdeen)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?  I am in the last few months of my PhD, which I have undertaken part-time over five years.  My study explores the complexity of female experience, gender and discourses of power in a selection of Walter Scott’s Waverley Novels.  My research is underpinned by the contemporary gender theories of Judith Butler and Julia Kristeva, and my arguments are overarched by Michel Foucault’s social theories.  The aim of my research is to reveal that Scott’s treatment of women and female concerns can be read in radical ways.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)?  Having strong family connections in the Isle of Lewis I travel there often, and with the rest of my free time I love reading, walking my Lhasa Apso dog, Miley, and supporting my teenagers in their activities of horse riding, Taekwondo and football.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?  I relocated to Aberdeen in 2001 due to my husband’s work commitments.  This move afforded me the opportunity of fulfilling my desire to study and attain an academic education (my daughter is now in her first year studying Psychology at the University of Aberdeen).

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?  It is a privilege having a supervisor who is an academic specialist in the works of Walter Scott.  Also, the existence of the Walter Scott Research Centre has greatly assisted my research along with the Sir Duncan Rice Library which houses valuable Scott material contained in the Bernard C. Lloyd Collection.  As for living in Aberdeen, I particularly enjoy having the options of beach walks or country walks with the added bonus of access to historic castles and landmarks throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.   

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future?  The experiences afforded to me along with the inspiration and confidence that I have gained from my years studying within the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture have already shaped and empowered me to be open to new challenges.

 

Lisa Nais

Thesis Topic: American Writers in Late Nineteenth-Century Venice: Publishing Practice and International Literary Networks

Supervisor: Professor Hazel Hutchison

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MA(Hons) English and Language & Linguistics (Aberdeen)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

I am interested in late nineteenth-century American writers, such as Henry James, Constance Fenimore Woolson and Constance Fletcher. My project offers the opportunity to work on (forgotten) women’s writing, the construction of gender and nationality, and publishing history.

My project examines the literary network these expatriate writers formed in Venice. This network provided a space in which creative imagination flourished, and writers reflected on the meaning of art and its production. One product of this creative process, the periodical publication, provided a culturally vibrant space for contemporary readers, similar to the city’s significance to the writers.  Literature was embedded within a rich selection of articles, ranging from politics to travel, which shaped both writers’ and readers’ thinking.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)?

I am a tutor for National5 and Highers English. I enjoy travelling and doing sports.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?

While completing my undergraduate degree at Aberdeen, I found that the encouragement and feedback I got created a stimulating atmosphere in which my creativity is challenged. Also, the library has an excellent collection of magazines and periodicals, which is essential to my project.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

Coming from a landlocked country, I like living five minutes from the beach best.

Saeed Nasir Panuhan

Thesis Topic: Samuel Beckett and the Muslim World

Supervisors: Dr David Wheatley, Dr Andrew Gordon

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): M. Phil/ M.A English Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan Pakistan

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

My study grounds its analysis in reader response theory and semiotics concentrating on the ways of receiving and perceiving Samuel Becket within the context of a more overtly religious Eastern culture i.e. Pakistan. It explores the idea of understanding a text through the other’s perspective which not only extends the meanings, but also produces a new text in return. Application of the reader response theoretical framework enables me to focus on the ways in which teaching and reading of challenging texts either avoid problematic situations or appropriate methods of teaching through cultural facilitation, religious assimilation, political experience and linguistic codification in a decolonized Muslim country.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)?

In my spare time (which I hardly have), I write down every day detail of the time I have spent with my kids (Abdul Rehmann Sudais and Adeera Fatima) with whom I spend the most of my leisure time and also try to write randomly in order to improve my writing skill. Sometimes, I note down my opinions about the problems and situation of my country. I also play squash with friends, the new game for me, not new for my countrymen. If needed, I work as a volunteer for Aberdeen Development Trust.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?

Simply because of the facilities here for my research area, which second to none and the university’s great reputation as well as high ranking in the universities of the world. Moreover, my subject was also at the forefront of my mind and here I found the supervisor whose knowledge and experience in my research area are marvelous. 

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

This question is exactly difficult, there are many things to describe, I can’t think of just one I like the most. It’s a totally different, unusual, and marvellous time in my life. Almost everything is contrary to that of my country but I really enjoy each part of my activities; from pedestrian zones to systematic traffic, from loneliness to hustle bustle of the streets, from coldness of the weather to artificial smile of strangers...................many more.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future?

The atmosphere at LLMVC  fits in perfectly with my career aims. I am currently working as Postgraduate representative at the School of LLMVC, as a Member PG Research Committee, and also as a member of QAA Enhancement Themes Steering Group (https://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/teaching/2column-page-6792-6792.php).  I think, may be wrong, I’m good at organizing events and other co-curricular activities, and keen to get involved with running events for the school of Language, Literature, Film, Music and Visual Culture. As an enthusiastic member of my school, I enjoy academic events, so I think this experience in future would contribute a lot to my administrative as well as academic training.

Emilia Repo

Thesis Topic: Manifestations of Psychological Trauma in Early Modern Text

Supervisor: Dr Tom Rist

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): I got my MA English in June, 2017.

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? My research interests include trauma texts from all time periods, as well as Finnish pedagogy, especially storycrafting and gamification. I am currently working on a project involving storycrafting with traumatized individuals with dissociative disorders.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I love walking and training with my labradoodle Orwell. I post his antics on YouTube. I also love singing and playing guitar, as well as drawing.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? The course content and staff seemed to be a perfect fit for what I wanted to study. For an international student moving there from the UAE, Aberdeen is also a beautiful, historic setting.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Aberdeen is a vibrant university with many wonderful research opportunities and inspiring staff. The city is beautiful in its greyness. It has taught me to find the beauty simply in the different shades of grey, no matter how dull they might seem.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? In the capable hands of my supervisor and other staff, I am sure to get a firm stepping stone from my time in Aberdeen towards lecturing others in the future. My academic skills have already developed so much, even though I only started my PhD in October, 2017, that I am certain that I will be my best self after this work is complete.

Mark Riley

Thesis Topic: Blood in the Inkwell: How Writers Move Post‐Conflict Trauma to the Page

Supervisors: Dr. Shane Alcobia-Murphy & Dr. Wayne Price

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA English from University of Alaska Anchorage, MFA Creative Writing from University of Alaska Anchorage (ongoing)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? I am currently researching the relationship between bureaucratic documents and dehumanisation in literature, as well as pursuits in reading and creative writing.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? Gaming of all sorts, travel, and writing.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? My wife and I have always been interested in living abroad and University of Aberdeen’s unique offerings in the research of creative writing and trauma writing were a major draw.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Studying and living in Aberdeen, and Scotland in general, has made me feel immersed in a culture that celebrates academia and literature.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? I believe my experience in Aberdeen will refine my writing abilities and prepare me for career work in higher education and in creative writing.

Raihan Rosman

Thesis Topic: Representation of Women in Works of British Muslim Women

Supervisor(s): Professor Alison Lumsden and Dr Nadia Kiwan

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.):

2010 – 2013 BA in Linguistics and Literature (Hons) (International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia)

2013 – 2014 MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature (University of Leeds, UK)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? My research is mainly on representation of women within the area of modern and contemporary British Muslim literature – focusing on issues related to feminism, politics of dress, identities, cultural translation, nostalgia, migration, marriage, and motherhood.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I used to love reading as my favourite past time hobby before it becomes the nature of doing research. I enjoy running, hiking and travelling with friends.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I chose to study in Aberdeen due to the supervisory team I am working with, and the support I get from the School and University, especially in terms of providing opportunities to attend and participate in international conferences, workshops, PG symposiums, and some UG and PG modules or classes that I am interested with that are in line with my area of interest.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Aberdeen offers a friendly atmosphere – a vibrant city centre, nearby the Northern sea, historical castle and ruins: Dunnotar Castle, Urquhart Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, and breathtaking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands for a weekend trip to relax and freshen up of minds.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? I believe my experience in Aberdeen will aid me in prepping myself to become a great educator based on how my supervisors guide and support me in completing my PhD journey. Working independently alongside constructive criticisms and advises from people working within the same research area will also help me to become a better researcher, and learn to embrace Life as it is.

Jan Simpson

Thesis Topic: Haunted by Use: A creative writing project leading to a full-length, publishable work of prose fiction engaged with theories and uses of post-industrial space and place.

Supervisors: Dr Wayne Price and Professor Ali Lumsden

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.):

1990 – 1994 University of Aberdeen MA (Hons) History

2012 – 2016 The Open University BA (Hons) Humanities with Creative Writing

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

Defensive architecture and the exclusion of homeless people in our cities

The political countryside: the price of driven grouse shooting for the elite

The sun is shining: disappearing tourism and British coastal towns

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)?

Arts critic for The Wee Review, active member of Mearns Writers, play the saxophone, mum and carer

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?

Live in Stonehaven, completed first degree here, my parents both studied here.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

Beautiful buildings and being by the sea.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future?

As someone more than halfway through their lifespan my experiences in Aberdeen are exactly that, my life and I take each day as it comes.

Helen Steadman

Thesis Topic: Elsewhere To Be: Running Wolves, a novel and ‘An author prepares: how might a creative writer use psycho-physical techniques to reincarnate once-living people into authentic fictional characters?’

Supervisor: Dr Helen Lynch

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA Literature; MA Creative Writing

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Learning blacksmithing (and swordmaking) to see if I can get into character prior to writing a historical novel about 17th century swordmakers.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I research and write historical fiction. I’ve just had my debut novel published by Impress Books (Widdershins), which was inspired by the Newcastle witch trials of 1650. I’m currently writing the sequel to that… Otherwise, I work full time, raise my children (teenager taming) and walk my two dogs in the lovely nearby woods.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? My chosen supervisor felt like a perfect fit in terms of her interests and background. I was also keen to have access to the folklore resources of the Elphinstone Institute, Aberdeen has an excellent academic and writing reputation, and it’s a beautiful university set in a lovely city. I could go on…

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? I really enjoy my supervision sessions. My supervisor is a font of wisdom; she’s always supportive, uplifting and inspiring, and I draw a huge amount from her.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? It will give me excellent research skills and help me to hone my craft for future writing.

Lucinda Rose Stroud

Thesis Topic: Exploring Loss and melancholia in UK Real Life women's weekly magazines 1985-2017

Supervisors: Professor Edward Welch and Dr. Edward Campbell

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): First Class BA (hons) degree in Publishing with Journalism from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Before starting my PhD I worked for several years as a national journalist in London across national newspapers and women’s magazines. It is this first-hand experience that has given me invaluable insight into the workings of the mass media within the United Kingdom. My research is ultimately interested in Real Life women’s weekly magazines in the UK. These magazines focus on the real lived experiences of their interviewee who is simultaneously the reader of the magazine. Thematically the stories are told from a first person point of view and deal extensively with loss. The range of losses can be from the murder of a relative to sexual abuse. The Real Life genre of magazine only really came in to existence during the early 1990s .Through extensive research at the British Library in London I have managed to track from the mid to late 1980s this movement towards Real Life as a genre of magazine. Real Life as a genre publication is specific to the UK and is extremely popular. My thesis seeks to theorise why these magazines are so successful. By utilising the great work of the Frankfurt School and in particular Critical Theory as methodology it discusses how far the thought of Theodor Adorno can help illuminate aspects of contemporary mass media society. It places his thought in relationship to current debates around what has been termed neoliberalism. Furthermore, the thesis discusses how a psychoanalytic lens can help illustrate unconscious desires, drives or demands that perhaps have been repressed within society. It argues that with the economic but ultimately political movement towards neoliberalism these motivations may reveal themselves within the Real Life genre of magazine.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I practice yoga at least six days a week and am currently doing the Yoga Scotland Foundation Course.  I also love spending time with my husband and going to the cinema as well as looking after my nieces and seeing my family.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I chose Aberdeen because there was The Centre for Modern Thought. When I had been an undergrad previously the centre had not been in existence. However, by the time I had gone away to work as a journalist and wanted to move back to Aberdeen there was this centre that really spoke to my interests in Critical Theory and Psychoanalysis.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? I love being close to my family. I also enjoy how you can go to the seaside or the countryside with relative ease. Aberdeen is so beautiful with its granite buildings and is becoming more exciting as a city with all the music, art and dance festivals that are now on.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? Through the PhD I have enjoyed the research, reading, writing and thinking deeply.  It has really opened up my mind and a framework to orient myself as a theorist and, as a person.  I do not say it lightly when I tell people that my PhD has been extremely enriching and life changing.

Malin Christina Wikström

Thesis Topic: Trauma and Translation in the work of James Clarence Mangan

Supervisors: Patrick Crotty and David Wheatley

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA in English Literature (Universitetet i Oslo), MLitt in English Literature (University of Aberdeen)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? My research interests are gender and sexuality; translation; and the representation of mental health in literature.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I work full-time as a support worker within the mental health sector, I teach Norwegian, dance at the Aberdeen University Dance Society and enjoy doing anything creative.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I chose to come to Aberdeen for my ERASMUS because of the closeness to the highlands and the literature courses offered at the university. I returned to the university for the amazing professors I had teaching the courses my first time at the university and for the great university experience of being at the University of Aberdeen.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? My favourite parts of living and studying in Aberdeen are: the size of the city where the university is located; the international environment at the university; and the beautiful university buildings.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? My experience in Aberdeen will prepare me for a future where I will need to work independently.