Dr Karin Koehler | Modernism
Karin received her PhD from the University of St Andrews, where she currently works as a research, teaching, and administration assistant. Her research explores the multifaceted significance of written communication, and of media, technologies, and networks of communication, in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century writing. Her first monograph Thomas Hardy and Victorian Communication: Letters, Telegrams, and Postal Systems is due for publication with Palgrave in 2016. Karin is also the author of a forthcoming book chapter about Thomas Hardy’s short stories as well as a Victorian Review article exploring the impact of postal reforms on nineteenth-century communities, and she has co-edited an interdisciplinary essay collection on letters and letter writing practices. She is currently preparing a postdoctoral project on epistolary poetics and working on a number of articles.
In addition to her work on the role of media and technologies of communication – especially letters and the postal service – in Victorian literature and culture, Karin is interested in the literary construction of the concept of privacy, the literary history of sexual knowledge and sex education, and the works of inter-war woman writer Winifred Holtby.
Karin has taught Anglophone literatures, as well as a number of interdisciplinary courses, at the University of St Andrews and, more recently, Strathclyde University. She joined the SUISS team in 2015, and very much looks forward to meeting a new group of students in July.
Dr James Leveque | Modernism
James has done research in a range of fields, from Biblical to Modernist literature, and has published articles on the subjects of comparative literature, avant-gardism, and apocalypse. Along with the above, his research interests include: poetry and aesthetic philosophy; literature, politics, and sociology; Marxist literary theory; comparative and transnational literatures. In 2014, he completed his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Edinburgh. His thesis focused on the poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire, F. T. Marinetti, and Ezra Pound, and he is preparing to publish this this work as a book on the subject of prophetic and apocalyptic themes in the European avant-garde. He is also preparing a postdoctoral project on the relationship between avant-garde aesthetics and reactionary politics from 19th century France to American Beat literature.
He has taught at the University of Edinburgh since 2013 in the department of English, where he has led tutorials that span the history of English literature, from medieval to contemporary literature. He joined the SUISS team in 2015.
Dr Calum Rodger | Scottish Literature
Calum recently completed his doctoral dissertation (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, focusing on the work of Scottish poet, artist and ‘avant-gardener’ Ian Hamilton Finlay. His research interests include Scottish modernism and counterculture, experimental poetry, performance poetry and the intersections between literature and the visual arts. He is a passionate advocate for the study of electronic literature, having published ground-breaking research into online poetry-generating robots and contributing regularly to the I <3 E-Poetry website.
Calum is also a performance poet, co-hosting regular live poetry night The Verse Hearse (running in Glasgow since 2012) and performing widely at venues throughout Scotland, including the National Museum of Scotland, BBC@Potterrow (for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), The Stand Comedy Club and TEDxGlasgow. His first collection, Know Yr Stuff, was published by Tapsalteerie Press in March last year, and he blogs at All Real Culture Is Free.
Jim Benstead | Scottish Literature
Jim grew up in the south of England, and moved to Edinburgh to start a Master’s degree in English Literature in 2005 having completed an undergraduate degree in Mathematics at University College London. It was during this Master’s that he discovered the work of Hugh MacDiarmid, Alasdair Gray, and Lewis Grassic Gibbon; he’s still puzzled as to why these writers appear so rarely on literature courses outwith Scotland.
After working on various charitable and commercial projects, Jim started a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. He is currently writing his thesis on the mature work of the Scottish modernist poet Hugh MacDiarmid. He also teaches undergraduate tutorials for the University’s Scottish Literature course, and provides digital humanities training within the School of Humanities and Social Science.
Dr Hannah Tweed | Contemporary Literature
Hannah was awarded her PhD in 2015 and is currently employed as a Teaching Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Glasgow. Her thesis focused on representations of autism in contemporary literature and film, drawing on disability studies and work from within the medical humanities. She is now working on a project on paratexts and the use of medical images in a range of modern and contemporary literature.
Hannah is the co-founder of the Disability Studies Network, and runs the Medical Humanities Research Centre blogsite. She also reviews regularly for Disability Studies Quarterly, H-Disability, and The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. Hannah joined the SUISS team in 2015.
Dr Michael Rodgers | Contemporary Literature
Michael obtained his PhD in English Literature from the University of Strathclyde in 2013 and has worked there as a Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant and Summer School Class Coordinator. His thesis explored the ways in which Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy interacts with a number of key literary and ethical problems in Vladimir Nabokov’s fiction. His wider research interests include twentieth-century literature, theory, and culture; the intersection between literature and philosophy; Bob Dylan; and humour. His work has been published in Philosophy and Literature, Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies and The Shades of Laura: Critical Approaches to Vladimir Nabokov’s Last Novel, The Original of Laura. His first edited collection — Nabokov and the Question of Morality: Aesthetics, Metaphysics and Ethics of Fiction — comes out with Palgrave in May 2016 and he is currently revising his thesis for publication as a monograph while continuing to work on another project titled Modernism and Literary Laughter. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, chess, 8-ball pool and shaking his fist at the Cyrillic alphabet. Michael taught at SUISS as a Contemporary Literature Tutor between 2012 and 2014 and very much looks forward to returning
Dr Justine Seran | Contemporary Literature
Dr Russell Jones | Creative Writing
Russell is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor. He has published four collections of poetry and has written two novels for young adults. He has also published travel writing and academic research. Russell was a guest editor for The Interdisciplinary Science Reviews and is the editor of Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK. He is the poetry editor and deputy editor of Shoreline of Infinity, a sci-fi magazine from Scotland and runs monthly sci-fi events. He is currently co-editing an anthology of poetry about Edinburgh, is writing a third novel, and enjoying writing restaurant reviews for Lunch Quest. Russell has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. He likes White Russians, cheese and karaoke. This is Russell’s 7th year at SUISS and he can’t wait! Stalk him www.poetrusselljones.blogspot.co.uk/
Dr Defne Çizakça | Creative Writing
Defne is a Turkish writer, editor, and lecturer in love with Scotland. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow (2015) where she worked on a historical and magically real novel about fin de siècle Istanbul, Κωνσταντινούπολη.
She is the fiction editor of Unsettling Wonder: A Journal of Folk and Fairy Tales and the co-editor of three books, Tip Tap Flat: A View from Glasgow (Freight, 2012), New Fairy Tales: Essays and Stories (Unlocking Press, 2013) and Miscellaneous: Writing Inspired by the Hunterian (The Hunterian, 2014). Her creative work has appeared in such journals as New Writing Scotland 31 and 33, Gutter, Fractured West, Spilling Ink Review and Time Out Istanbul, among others. Defne has tutored in the departments of Comparative Literature, English Literature and the Programme of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, and was Writer in Residence at the Hunterian Museums from 2012 to 2014, where she researched, wrote and conducted creative writing workshops about the un-exhibited artefacts of the collection. Her PhD novel, which she is currently preparing for publication, was the 2014 recipient of the Gillian Purvis Award for New Writing.
Defne currently lives in Istanbul where she works as a part-time lecturer at Koç University, and where she has initiated a programme to teach creative writing to women who have had to flee their homes – Syrian refugees, Kurdish immigrants, residents of trans guesthouses, and women’s shelters. She joined the SUISS team in 2015.
Katy Hastie | Creative Writing
Katy Hastie is a writer of short fiction, essays and experimental poetry based in Glasgow. Her work has appeared in From Glasgow to Saturn, Zest, The Kelvingrove Review and Gutter. She regularly performs her work, organises events, edits and teaches in places as diverse as HMP Low Moss, Aye Write, the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde. She is the recipient of the Martha Hamilton Essay prize, the SGSAH pilot Bothy Project Residency and an AHRC scholarship at the University of Glasgow where she is completing her PhD on Proust and working on a novella.
Her research interests include Modernism, experimental poetry forms, Creative Art writing, lyrical essay, feminism, queer theory and the representation of surveillance in twentieth Century literature.
She also runs the book review section of Gutter Magazine and dabbles in radio work, co-producing two radio dramas on Sub City Radio and a radio essay series on Walter Benjamin for the Radiophrenia project at the CCA in 2015. When she isn’t writing, she’s sleeping, running, and drinking coffee, pretty much in that order.
Mark Brown | Theatre & Performance
Mark is one of Scotland’s best known theatre critics. He has been theatre critic of the Scottish national newspaper the Sunday Herald since 2003 and is also Scottish critic of the UK national paper the Daily Telegraph. In 1999 he received the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s Allen Wright Award for young arts journalists. He is a member of the executive committee of the International Association of Theatre Critics, for which he is adjunct director of young critics’ seminars. He has taught international groups of young, professional critics at seminars in many countries, ranging from Spain to Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia and China. He is a member of the editorial board of the IATC’s webjournal Critical Stages.
Mark holds a Master of Research degree on the radical, United States-based theatre company The Riot Group from the University of Strathclyde and is currently a doctoral researcher at the University of Dundee. He has taught at the universities of both Strathclyde and Dundee, and is a regular teacher at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The author of many articles in books and journals, Mark’s critical writings have been translated into Czech, Farsi, Finnish, German, Polish, Portuguese and Slovene. He is the editor of Howard Barker Interviews 1980-2010: Conversations in Catastrophe (Intellect Books) and Oily Cart: all sorts of theatre for all sorts of kids (Trentham Books). He is delighted to be joining SUISS.
You can read Mark’s work on his personal blog: scottishstage.wordpress.com.
Deryl Davis | Theatre & Performance
Deryl Davis has worked in theatre and television in Washington, D.C. over the past decade, and many years ago, was a student actor at the University of Edinburgh’s Bedlam Theatre. An award-winning TV and radio reporter in the United States, he also adapted and directed some of the first English-language, student-acted productions of Shakespeare to be nationally broadcast in the People’s Republic of China. As an educator in drama, literature, and film studies, Deryl has taught at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and at universities in China. He also has worked as a professional theatre and arts critic, publishing in leading reviews and magazines in the United States. Deryl holds master’s degrees in literature and theology from the University of Edinburgh and is a second-year PhD student in Theology, Literature, and the Arts at the University of Glasgow, where he also teaches. Deryl’s particular interests are modern drama, drama in performance, and Romantic and modern literatures. He is a member of the Massachusetts-based Shakespeare & Company and of the Washington Playwrights Forum.