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Postgraduate Profiles

MA Candidates

Rachel Connor
Monique Hodgkinson
Iain Sutherland
Virginia Sutherland
James Tregonning

Rachel Connor

BA (Waikato), PGDip Arts English (Otago)

MA Topic: Memorials and the reputation of Criseyde in the works of Chaucer, Henryson, and Shakespeare

Research Interests: Medieval literature, with a particular interest in how English and Scottish texts relate to French and High German; medieval anti-feminist literature; early modern literature in English and French

Rachel can be contacted at

Monique Hodgkinson

BA (Hons) Otago, COP in French (Victoria) Monique Hodgkinson

MA Topic: Poetic and painterly collaborations in the work of Ralph Hotere and Colin McCahon

Research Interests: Art history and theory, fairytales and folklore, poetry, modernism and the avant garde

Monique can be contacted at

Iain Sutherlandiainsutherland

BA English and Film/Media Studies (Otago), BA (Hons) English (Otago)

MA Topic: The reception of Sean O’Casey’s work in New Zealand (1923–46): working class theatre and classical Hollywood cinema during the interwar years
Research Interests: New Zealand and Irish literature and history, literary censorship, literature and law, left and working class literatures, literary hermeneutics and philosophy

Iain can be contacted at

Virginia Sutherland

Virginia can be contacted at

James TregonningJamesTregonning

BA (Hons) Otago

MA Topic: God in the machine: religion in video games

Research Interests: Digital literature, video games, architecture, spatiality, Christian theology (especially the intersection between theology and art)

James can be contacted at

PhD Candidates

Demi Chen
Leila Crawford
Majella Cullinane
Judith Dobson
Jasmine Gallagher
Damien Gibson
Stephanie Kaefer
Paramjeet Kaur
Emer Lyons
Robyn Maree Pickens
April Salchert
Suzanne Sun
Loveday Why
Elizabeth Wilson
Sue Wootton
Yu Zhang
Eileen Yu

Demi Chen Demi Chen

MA English (Shenzhen University)

PhD Topic: Cross-cultural encounters in contemporary Chinese long poems

Research Interests: comparative literature; poetry and music; T. S. Eliot; modernism; intertextuality; feminism

Demi can be contacted at

Leila CrawfordLeila Crawford

BA Hons English (Williams College), MPhil (Cambridge)

PhD Topic: 'Hallucinatory and Familiar': Landschop and Landscape in Seamus Heaney

Research Interests: Irish studies, contemporary poetry, ecocriticism, geocriticism and spatiality studies

Leila can be contacted at

Majella Cullinane Majella Cullinane

BA English and Italian (University College Dublin) HDipELT (University of Limerick) MA Publishing (Oxford Brookes University) MLitt in Creative Writing (St Andrews University)

PhD Topic: Representations of the island in Irish fiction, with particular focus on the short story. My PhD is in Creative Practice, and will comprise of critical and creative writing.

Research Interests: Short story, poetry, fiction, and creative writing pedagogy

Majella can be contacted at

Judith Dobson

MA English (Otago)

PhD Topic: The Feminine as Illuminatrix: The Gnostic connection in Romantic literature

Research Interests: Feminism; Romanticism; 18th-century literature; radical religion and esoteric thought in Romantic literature

Judith can be contacted on

Jasmine Gallagher

PhD Topic: The New Sincerity in Contemporary New Zealand Poetry and Art

Jasmine can be contacted at

Damien Gibson

BA (Hons) Politics, LLB, PGDip English (Otago)

PhD Topic: Ethics: contemporary fiction and posthumanism

Research Interests: Ethics, Spinozan ethics, (critical) posthumanism, science and technology in literature, ecocriticism, animal studies

Damien can be contacted at

Follow Damien through his profile on

Stephanie Kaefer StephKaefer

BSc Linguistics, BA (Hons) Classics and History (University of Canterbury), PostgradDip Archives & Records Management (Victoria University Wellington), MA Linguistics (University of Canterbury)

PhD Topic: Codeswitching and multilingualism in 14th and 15th century manuscripts

Research Interests: Socio-linguisitcs, historical linguisitcs, philology, manuscript tradition, palaeography, archiving, history of writing, culture, history and language of classical antiquity, and the history of the Latin language

Stephanie can be contacted at

Paramjeet Kaur ParamjeetKaur

BSc (University of Delhi, India), MA in English Literature (Shiv Nadar University, India)

PhD Topic: Dynamics of spectacular theatrical violence in early modern tragedies

Research Interests: Early modern history and drama (tragedies specifically), violence and spectacle, punitive measures of the early modern times

Paramjeet can be contacted on

Emer Lyons

PhD Topic: A Critical/Creative Comparison of Queer Poetics Between Ireland and New Zealand

Robyn Maree Pickens

PhD Topic: Eco-poetics and the Haptic

Robyn can be contacted on

April Salchert

PhD Topic: Representation of the Other in Digital Literature

Suzanne (Zexuan) Sun Suzanne

BA British and American Literature (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies), MA Translation (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

PhD Topic: A quest for utopia in New Zealand: A comparative study of the utopian writings and practices of James K. Baxter and Gu Cheng

Research Interests: Comparative literature, Utopian studies, translation studies, poetry and politics

Suzanne can be contacted at

Loveday Why

BA (Warwick)

PhD Topic: A poetics of water: a comparative ecocritical study of water in contemporary poetry

Research Interests: Cross-cultural contemporary poetry and poetics, comparative ecocriticism, cross-media poetry and performance

Loveday can be contacted at

Elizabeth Wilson

MNZM, BA French and German (Canterbury), MA (Hons) First Class German (Canterbury),
GradDip (Otago) Endorsed in English, DipTchg (Christchurch Teachers' College), CELTA (CCEL)Elizabeth Wilson

PhD Topic: Re-gendering the discourse of settler colonialism. An analysis of selected works by Robin Hyde and Elspeth Sandys and their contributions to the re-gendering of the settler colonialist discourse in New Zealand literature through metaphors related to family, marriage, motherhood, childhood, adolescence, illegitimacy and adoption, and through their depictions of a re-gendered search for personal and creative identity against the backdrop of New Zealand's settler colonial and post-colonial search for self-definition and national identity

Research Interests: New Zealand literature; settler colonialism and post-colonialism; gender and identity; autobiography and memoir

Elizabeth can be contacted at

Sue Wootton Sue-Wootton

PhD Topic: Beyond disease to human meaning: discovering illness in literature

Research Interests: Medical humanities, creative writing

Sue can be contacted at

Please also see her entry on the Scottish Studies webpage and her creative writing website

Yu Zhang 张宇

PhD Topic: Reading Poetry in English through the Chinese Poetic Concept of “Idea-scape,” or yijing 意境

Yu can be contacted on

Eileen Yu Eileen

BA English (University of International Business and Economics), MA Journalism (Hong Kong Baptist University)

PhD Topic: “Windows should be open and doors shut”: Woolf’s window and beyond

Research Interests: Virginia Woolf; feminism; literature and film; modernism, postmodernism and philosophy

Eileen can be contacted at

Find out more about Eileen through her profile on