Dr Barbara Vrachnas | Modernism
Barbara is a Teaching Assistant at the University of Edinburgh and an Associate Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University and has taught extensively on all periods of English literature. She has published work on Ouida, gender roles, publishing, material games and fashion in mid-late Victorian literature and periodicals. Among other topics her research interests also include Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Margaret Oliphant, Lucas Malet, Vernon Lee, the Gothic, mythology and children’s literature.
Nadia Franks | Modernism
Nadia is an American researcher working on a PhD in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her thesis focuses on analysing and defining post-truth literature, and, so far, includes a chapter on the post-truth iteration of the crime story and one on post-truth dystopia, centring on Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam trilogy. Nadia recently chaired a panel on “News Media in Times of Crisis” at the MLA National Symposium in Glasgow, and has presented at several conferences, most recently PMLA 2019 (“Send in the Trolls: The Weaponization of Irony Within the Alt-Right Movement”). Nadia has taught Freshman Composition and English Literature at California Polytechnic University Pomona as well as Norco College. Her areas of interest include trauma theory, gender theory, British modernism, American postmodernism (particularly post-9/11 literature), and speculative fiction. Nadia’s hobbies include record collecting, bike-riding, video games and competitive swimming; she also teaches swimming lessons. Future plans include driving a convertible across the continental United States and swimming the Catalina and English channels.
Dr Anna Girling | Modernism
Anna Girling recently completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh on the US author Edith Wharton. She has taught English at the University of Edinburgh, Napier University, and York University in Toronto. She is broadly interested in Anglophone modern and contemporary literature, and has published work on Edith Wharton and Nancy Cunard, among others.
Dr Carly Brown | Creative Writing
Dr Carly Brown is a poet, author and academic originally from Austin, Texas and now living in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is the author of a bestselling children’s picture book, I Love St Andrews, and two poetry pamphlets, Grown Up Poetry Needs to Leave Me Alone and Anastasia, Look in the Mirror (commended for the 2021 Callum MacDonald Memorial Award). Known for her lively and witty spoken word poetry, Carly has performed at Glastonbury Festival, StAnza Poetry Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. She was Scotland’s National Champion of Slam Poetry (2013) and ranked fourth at the World Series of Slam Poetry in Paris. She holds a Doctorate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. Her debut sci fi novella is forthcoming from Speculative Books and she’s currently working on a full-length poetry collection about cosmic wormholes. This is her third year teaching at SUISS! Website: carlyjbrown.com
Dr Dorothy Lawrenson | Creative Writing
Dorothy is a poet who has been teaching creative writing, academic writing and English and Scottish literature for a number of years and has also worked as an editor, artist, designer and musician. Originally from Dundee, Dorothy writes in English and Scots, and she is particularly interested in exploring the areas where literature overlaps with folk music and traditional culture. Her poetry is concerned with landscape and especially with rivers, estuaries and shorelines, and her critical research centres on aspects of poetic form. Dorothy has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and an MFA from Texas State University, both in Creative Writing, as well as an MA in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh. Website: dorothylawrenson.com
Dora Valkanou | Creative Writing
Dora Valkanou is a bilingual writer from Greece, currently working towards a Doctorate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. She holds an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from the University of Birmingham and an MPhil in American Poetry from the University of Wales, Swansea. She has lectured in several Colleges in Greece over a period of twenty years and recently taught a course titled ‘Crafting the Erotic Scene’ at the University of Glasgow. Her first novel, The Loving Chef, was published in Athens in 2014 by Kedros Publishers, and she has just completed her second novel, Hotel Eros, a series of interrelated love stories taking place in hotel rooms. Her future plans include travelling in a camper van, in the company of her beloved dog and her very weird cat.
Lauren Cooper | Contemporary Literature
Lauren is currently working on a PhD in English Literature at the University of Glasgow, researching ‘autotheory’, which is an emergent term for literary and artistic works that merge theory and autobiographical practices. Her thesis considers the socio-political interventions that autotheory makes and makes a claim for feminist zines and manifestos to be read as autotheory. Lauren is currently organising the first conference on autotheory – Autotheory: Thinking through Self, Body and Practice: a three-day, cross-disciplinary conference featuring paper, performances and workshops, that will take place in Glasgow and online. Lauren also teaches English Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Glasgow and has hosted writing workshops, including a manifesto workshop as part of the 2021 Being Human festival.
Dr Maria Sledmere | Contemporary Literature
Maria Sledmere is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde. She recently completed a DFA in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where her thesis of ‘hypercritique’ offered a performance of im/possibility and coming-to-thought within the situated and saturated encounters of the anthropocene. Widely published and anthologised, Maria’s work as a poet and critic is situated at various folds and entanglements of interdisciplinary thought and practice, where contemporary literature meets visual art, theory, music and pop culture. Her research interests are wide-ranging, encompassing everything from ecology and environmental humanities to everyday studies, technology and the internet. At Strathclyde, she convenes two courses across the BA and MLitt programmes: The Made Project and Writing Short Fiction and Poetry. At the University of Glasgow, she has taught on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in English Literature and Creative Writing, including Poetry and Poetics and Poetry Intervenes Now: Diverse Queer Strategies of Making. In spring 2022, she taught a seven-week course, ‘Writing the Everyday’ at Beyond Form Creative Writing; she has also led various writing workshops across festivals such as UNFIX, Glasgow Goes Green and the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities. She is editor-in-chief of SPAM Press, an independent post-internet poetry publisher, and member of A+E: a Glasgow-based collective of artists concerned with ecology and future imaginaries.
In 2020, with Rhian Williams Maria co-edited the anthology, the weird folds: everyday poems from the anthropocene, which was recognised in places such as The Poetry Project and BBC Radio 3. Her debut collection, The Luna Erratum, was published in 2021 by Dostoyevsky Wannabe, following a selection of pamphlets including Rainbow Arcadia (Face Press, 2019) and neutral milky halo (Guillemot Press, 2020). Her most recent publication is a book-length poem, String Feeling, out now with Erotoplasty Editions. In 2020, she was highly commended in the Forward Prize for her poem ‘Ariosos for Lavish Matter’. Currently, she is researching ‘solarity’ in contemporary lyric, ‘meadowing’ as a commoning gesture in poetic fieldwork and theories of elemental media. She is a member of an interdisciplinary working group in poetry, biology and ecology based at the University of Bangor.
Photo credit: Alice Hill-Woods.
Gina Lyle | Scottish Literature
Gina Lyle is a final year PhD researcher in the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Literature department, where her thesis analyses the uses of ‘meat’ in contemporary Scottish fiction with a focus on gender and class. Her research interests include the Anthropocene, the body, and providing critical engagement with under-examined women’s writing. You can read about Gina’s research on the body as meat in eSharp, and her writing on Scottish women writers and their work on scottishwomenwritersontheweb.net and The Bottle Imp.
Gina is an intern with the Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies and a GTA for Scottish Literature’s first year courses, and she relishes any opportunity to celebrate Scottish fiction.
Fiona Paterson | Scottish Literature
Fiona is currently working on a PhD in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her thesis focusses on the idea of ‘world language’ in the work of modernist poet Hugh MacDiarmid, exploring how linguistic practises interact with and inform his cultural and political priorities (and vice versa). She is interested in the study of Scottish and international modernism more broadly, particularly in the post-WWI movement known as the Scottish Literary Revival and its collaboration of artists, writers and political figures.
Fiona has taught on the Scottish Literature courses at Glasgow and was on the editorial board for The Kelvingrove Review, Glasgow’s postgraduate review journal (2020-21). When not wrapped up in poetry you’ll find her by the coast (even on a cold day!), island hopping or pretending to know something about coffee.
Rosaleen Maprayil | Theatre and Performance
Rosaleen Maprayil is a London based teacher and academic who is in the final year of her PhD at the University of Reading in the dept of Film, Theatre and Television. She holds degrees in English and History and a Masters in Modernism from Queen Mary College, University of London.
Her thesis focuses on a selection of Beckett’s plays in production. It seeks to present Beckett’s work for theatre as a means of exploring the wider themes of isolation, domesticity, ageing, gender and hostile landscapes that run through his work. The project explores how Beckett’s plays continue to be relevant to and resonate with modern audiences during times of socio-political crisis and intervening and engaging in debates around home and homeland that are pertinent to the lives of 21st century audiences.
Ros is a regular contributor to The Beckett Circle and has been published in the Journal of Beckett studies as well as Samuel Beckett Today with an article on Happy Days and Disaster in the most recent volume. She is currently co-editing a special issue of Samuel Beckett Today based on the conference she hosted at the University of Reading entitled Spectral Landscapes: Absence, Trauma and Nationhood.
She was awarded a bursary by the Beckett International Foundation to attend the Samuel Beckett Summer School at Trinity College Dublin in 2018 and was invited to return in 2019. Ros has also presented papers at conferences in Reading (Modernist Archives in Context), Brussels (Beckett and the Non-Human) and Galway (IFTR: Theatre Ecologies) and will be presenting at Trinity College Dublin, this July (Lost Bodies: Gender and Sexuality in Beckett). She is an English teacher in London where she has taught for 21 years in addition to having taught on Undergraduate and Masters modules in the Film, Theatre and Television Dept at Reading.