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Biography

I am a current PhD Researcher looking at Lateness in Modern Literature at the University of St Andrews under the supervision of Dr Peter Mackay and Professor John Burnside, having recently graduated with a Master of Studies from the University of Oxford and a Master of Arts from the University of St Andrews. Alongside my academic work, I have also consistently worked to shape and improve Higher Education policy and Pedagogical practices at various institutions. As of September 2023 I am a tutor in the School of English at the University of St Andrews on the following module(s):

– EN1003: Culture and Conflict: An Introduction to Nineteenth- and Twentieth Century Literature

 

Research interests

My academic interests primarily surround Modern Irish and Scottish Literature, as well as the conversations that arise between the ‘new’ and the ‘traditional’, and the inheritance of earlier work and myths in the creation of new writing – part of which feeds into the broader phenomenon of lateness, stretching from cultural and literary expressions of memorialisation and elegy as they emerged predominantly in the Romantic moment – but having precursors in Early Modern, Medieval, and Antique authorship – though to the present day.

My doctoral research builds upon my two previous pieces of extended, independent research: 'Death of The Naturalist: The Late Seamus Heaney' (Supervised by Professor Don Paterson in 2021); and '"Seen at the End of Day": The Lateness(es) of W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, and W. H. Auden' (supervised by Professor Seamus Perry). My thesis – provisionally titled, 'The First Certainty' – aims to address the troublesome phenomenon of 'lateness' by offering a taxonomy and theory of lateness in literature, using theories from other disciplines, and exploring how poets approach and deal with death and endings in their work and how this contributes to their ‘late style’. Demonstrating the variety of authorial manifestations of lateness, from unburdenings of public responsibility to serene ‘life reviews’, particularly in close readings of poets from the 20th and 21st centuries in Britain and Ireland, this thesis will work towards defining the limits and the ascription of ‘late styles’.

Future research

Self-reflexivity in authorial and personal development continue to engage me, though I am currently developing works on the following topics: John Clare and Sex; Embarrassment; Poetic Closure; The Poetry Collection; Seeking the Scottish Voice in Literature; Performativity, Wit and Subversion in [Douglas] Dunn, Don [Paterson], and [John] Donne; Legitimising Rural Voices in Clare, Kavanagh, and Heaney; Heaney's Bad Spirits; Heaney and Italy; The Mid-Century (Urban) Pastoral; 'The Tradition of Late Style'; 'Lateness and the (Self-)Archivist'; Hugh MacDiarmid's 'Mature Art'; and Poets and their Pets.

I am currently preparing work on 'Another Version of the Pastoral, or, A Country and a City (Scotland and Nottingham)' to present at the Fourth World Congress of Scottish Literatures in 2024, as well as contributing my work on Hugh MacDiarmid's 'Mature Art' – presented at the inaugural MacDiarmid conference in Brest (2023) – to a proposed edited collection of essays (published by BRILL) on MacDiarmid's life and work.

Other expertise

Throughout all of my degrees, I have held a number of representative posts in societies and academic settings. Higher Education Policy and Pedagogical Practice are important to me, and as such, I was consecutively elected to serve as the President of the School of English in both Honours years at St Andrews, then as President of the English Graduates at Oxford (EGO), and now I am serving my second consecutive term as the President of Postgraduate Researchers at the University of St Andrews, and for a period of this, the Acting President of Postgraduate Taught programmes.

In these roles, I've sat on and chaired various committees bringing together students and staff members (e.g. the Staff-Student Consultative Committee, the School Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, the School Council, the Student Representative Council) and senior management (e.g. the University Senate, the Postgraduate Group, Postgraduate Forum, Libraries and Museums Committee, the Student Experience Strategic Management Group, the Research, Innovation, and Impact Committee) to address institutional equality, diversity, and inclusion, student experience, academic and institutional strategy, research impact, culture, and environment, and have contributed to reviews and audits at faculty and institutional levels (such as the University Review of Learning and Teaching for the School of English and the University Libraries and Museums Unit at the University of St Andrews, and the Enhancement-Led Institutional Review). In my roles, I have also engaged with external organisations to aid in making partnerships and mutual improvements, such as with the Scottish Universities Press and their provision for Early Career Researchers.

My work in these areas has been recognised repeatedly, with multiple nominations for the Proctor's Award for Academic Representation, and most recently, in the role of Postgraduate President being elevated to sit on the Student Representative Council of the St Andrews University Students' Association and the Senatus Academicus of the University of St Andrews, both of which are the highest-level decision making committees of the university and students' union.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Studies, Master of Studies – MSt, Modern and Contemporary Literature (1900-Present), University of Oxford

Jun 2021Jun 2022

Award Date: 5 Aug 2022

Master of Arts, Master of Arts – MA (Hons), English Literature, School of English

Sept 2017Jun 2021

Award Date: 24 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • PE English
  • PR English literature
  • PN0080 Criticism
  • LB2300 Higher Education

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