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Postgraduate Profiles

MA Candidates

Beth Chapman
Pearl Gray
James McCulloch
Orion Carey-Clark
Nat Moore
Virginia Sutherland

Beth Chapman

BA English Studies (Otago)

Topic: Animal Language: Interspecies Interactions in the Works of Clarice Lispector and Jorie Graham

Beth can be contacted at

Pearl Gray

BA English Studies (Otago)

Topic: Beyond the Psychoanalytic: The Critical and Historical Representation of Undiagnosed Mental Illness in Fiction

Pearl can be contacted at

Nat Moore

BA English Studies (Otago)

MA Topic: Computational Poetry

Nat can be contacted at

James McCullochjames mcC

BA English Studies (Otago)

MA Topic: Irish Science Fiction: A Comparative Cultural Study with America, Comparing Irish Science Fiction between 1929-1969

Research Interests: science fiction, Irish studies, cultural studies, literature/literary theory, pulp magazines, history of publishing

James can be contacted at either or

Orion Carey-Clarkorioncareyclark

BA Hons (Otago)

MA Topic: Violence in the Theatre and Film of Martin McDonagh

Research Interests: Irish Theatre and film, Martin McDonagh, Representation of violence in Irish theatre, Irish theatre history,

Orion can be contacted at

Virginia Sutherland

Virginia can be contacted at

PhD Candidates

Demi Chen
Majella Cullinane
Sarper Dorter
Jasmine Gallagher
Roberto Suazo Gomez
Stephanie Kaefer
Paramjeet Kaur
Claire Lacey
Emer Lyons
Robyn Maree Pickens
April Salchert
Suzanne Sun
Elizabeth Wilson
Sue Wootton
Yu Zhang

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

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

Sarper Dorter

Topic: From Yesterday’s Rubble to the Futuer Edgelands: Designated Temporalities and the Ruinscapes of Africa

Sarper can be contacted at

Jasmine Gallagher

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

Jasmine can be contacted at

Roberto Suazo Gomez

(or Robert if you prefer that)

Topic: Women’s Laughter in Classical and Medieval Literature and Culture

Roberto can be contacted at

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

Claire Lacey

Topic: Poetry and Brain Injury

Claire can be contacted at

Emer LyonsEmer

Qualifications: B.A. (Joint Honours) Archaeology and Sociology, UCC, Cork, Ireland ; M.A. Sociology, UCC, Cork, Ireland

PhD Topic: Shame in Queer Contemporary Poetry in Ireland and New Zealand

Research Interests: Queer Theory, Poetic and Lyric Theory, Feminism, Affect Theory, Sociology of Emotion, Queer Theology, Irish Studies, Performance Studies.
Emer can be contacted at: /

Robyn Maree Pickens

Qualifications: MA in Art History

PhD Topic: An eco-poetics of love: eros, saina and syntropy in the work of Juliana Spahr, Craig Santos Perez, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy.

Research Interests: Ecological aesthetics in critical and creative practices. Robyn's poetry and text-based work was exhibited at Artspace, Auckland in March 2018, and she curated an exhibition on ecological themes at Blue Oyster Project Space, Dunedin in May-June 2018. Robyn’s poetry has appeared in SAND (2018), Cordite (2018), Plumwood Mountain (2018), Matador Review (2017), Jacket 2 (2017), and her poetry criticism has appeared in Rain Taxi (2018) and Jacket 2 (2017). She was a finalist of the 2018 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize judged by Eileen Myles, and the winner of the takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize 2018.
Robyn can be contacted at:

April Salchertaprils

BA English (University of Illinois at Chicago), MA English Literature (Uppsala University)

PhD Topic: "Encounters with the Other in Digital Fiction" examines how authors of digital fiction express Otherness, and how digital fiction may provoke or prevent empathy for the marginalized Other.

Research Interests: digital fiction, game studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies, and the digital humanities

April can be contacted at

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

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