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.
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 AloneandAnastasia, 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, All the Orphans in the Galaxy, was published in 2022 from Speculative Books. This is her fourth 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. She is a doctoral candidate in the DFA programme in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. She holds a MA in Creative Writing with distinction from the University of Birmingham and a MPhil in American Poetry from the University of Wales, Swansea. She is a Tutor of Creative Writing at SUISS in Edinburgh and a Tutor of Creative Non-Fiction: Autobiography, Memoir and Autofiction at the University of Glasgow. She has lectured in several Colleges in Greece over a period of twenty years. Her first novel, The Loving Chef, was published in Athens in 2014 by Kedros Publishers, and she has just completed her second novel, Hotel Stories. She has published two books of poetry, one in the US and one in Greece, and is the recipient of the Nancy P. Schnader poetry award from the Academy of American Poets. For the DFA programme she is working on a novel on the theme of erotic passion, titled In Bed with Kierkegaard. Her future plans include travelling in a camper van, in the company of her beloved dog and her very weird cat. Author’s webpage: https://www.doravalkanou.com/
Lauren Cooper | Contemporary Literature
Lauren has taught English and Comparative Literature and is finishing up 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 was the Lead Organiser of Autotheory: Thinking through Self, Body and Practice and has hosted research-based writing workshops, including a manifesto workshop as part of the 2021 Being Human festival. Website: laurencooper.info
Sarinah O’Donoghue | Contemporary Literature
Sarinah O’Donoghue is a final-year PhD student in English Literature at the University of Aberdeen. Her research focusses on contemporary narratives of autism in a global context, drawing on works by various authors of the autistic self-advocacy movement to argue that different ways of relating to the world confer new and exciting ways of narrating it. Sarinah is passionate about pioneering new, more inclusive ways of conducting research, and to this end, has co-founded two networks, each bringing together researchers and community members keen on championing neurodiversity: The Narratives of Neurodiversity Network and the Neurodivergent Humanities Network (funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Northern Network for Medical Humanities). She has presented at several conferences including the Interdisciplinary Autism Research Festival (2021) and the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research Congress (2021 and 2023). She has also written several publications on neurodiversity, narrative, and social inclusion. These include “‘Thinking with Sticks”: Autistic Life Narratives and their Material Components’, Interconnections, (forthcoming), and ‘“Read Between the Signs”: Autism, Sensory Anthropology, and Literary
Invention’ (forthcoming), in (Neuro)Divergent Textualities: Representations, Readings, Responses, ed. by Jenny Bergenmar, Louise Creechan, and Anna Stenning (London: Bloomsbury). When she isn’t researching, she enjoys reading (twenty-first century women’s writing and environmental writing are her current favourites), sewing, going for long walks, and surveying the myriad lifeforms in her small garden pond.
[Image description: a selfie of a white woman in her mid-twenties, with blue eyeliner and shoulder-length wavy hair, wearing a black and white zebra print crop top.]
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.
Sandro Eich | Theatre and Performance
Sandro is a PhD researcher and Graduate Teaching Assistant in English at the University of St Andrews, researching the forms and functions of whistleblowing in fiction and non-fiction writing between 1994 and 2022. Conceptualising whistleblowing as a form of storytelling, the project seeks to re-define whistleblowing beyond its legal and ethical discourse into a form of individual and collective meaning-making that impacts our networked information economy. His research interests include representations of espionage and secrecy from the 18th to the 21st century, the intersection of drama, media and form; contemporary forms of cultural production, and inter-, cross-, and transdisciplinary approaches towards reading and interpreting fiction. Sandro also works as a Senior Library Assistant (Metadata and Repository Services) for the University Library of St Andrews and is the Postgraduate Academic Convenor (university-wide postgraduate student representative) for the academic year 2022/23.
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.