Student Profiles

What Our MA and PhD Students Say About Studying English Literature and Creative Writing 

Katrina Campbell

Katrina Campbell

English Literary Studies MA

Hello! My name is Katrina Campbell and I am doing my Masters degree in English Literary Studies with a pathway in Romantic/Victorian literature. Being from Canada, I find Lancaster to have so much history and charm contrasted with the forward thinking of the university. I wanted to be student rep so I could meet more of my fellow students, see what their concerns are and get better acquainted with the workings of the university. 

Inés Gregori Labata

Inés Gregori Labata

Creative Writing PhD

Hi, my name is Inés and I’m doing the first year of my PhD in Creative Writing. Lancaster is a great place for storytellers and book lovers, with lots of inspiring activities and passionate artists. I’m very happy to be the rep of the PhD students in English Literature and Creative Writing so that I can contribute to this vibrant literary community.

Warren Mortimer

Warren Mortimer

Creative Writing MA

My name is Warren Mortimer, and I am currently studying a taught MA programme in Creative Writing. After having spent the last two years of my BA degree as a student representative, I was drawn to the position after having witnessed first hand how student voice is able to achieve such a difference. This is especially the case, when aiding students who would feel more comfortable speaking to somebody that is at a similar stage of learning. As Lancaster is such a liberal place of learning, student opinions are taken very seriously, and contribute to some of the largest departmental changes. 

Chris Witter

Chris Witter

English Literature PhD Student and AHRC Award holder, 2009 - 2014

My research explores American short fiction, during the 1960s and 70s, focused around conceptions of experimentation, metafiction, and modernism. My aim is to reformulate current understanding of the works of this period; to historicise and politicise the textual practice of authors such as Donald Barthelme, William H. Gass, Walter Abish, Stanley Elkin, Thomas Pynchon and Robert Coover. I am currently writing two short pieces: the first explores reoccurring sexual metaphors in Gass’ In the Heart of the Heart of the Country and Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife. The second piece considers Donald Barthelme’s textual engagement with critical and artistic theories of la vie quotidienne, and I hope to deliver this as a conference paper in early 2010.

Read Chris's full profile

Aroosa Kanwal

Aroosa Kanwal

English Literature PhD student, 2009 - 2013

I am originally from Pakistan and I obtained my MA in English Literature from International Islamic University, Islamabad. Pakistan. I am currently in the first year of my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Lindsey Moore. I chose Lancaster for my PhD because my supervisor is well respected in my chosen field. Moreover, the researchers particularly in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing are allowed to follow a much more flexible approach to their research than was previously thought possible.

Read Aroosa's full profile

George Murgatroyd

George Murgatroyd

English Literature PhD student, 2007 - 2013

Having completed my BA further afield, I returned to Lancaster, my hometown, in 2006 to study for my Research MA. From the off I found the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing to be an incredibly friendly place in which to work, so much so that once I had finished my MA I applied to stay on and study for a PhD. One of the best things about the Department is that the administrative and academic staff are always happy to help out or just have a chat, however busy they are, which makes for a very open and welcoming environment. I have been given a great deal of support and advice throughout my time at Lancaster from many members of staff, but have also, importantly, had the freedom to shape and direct my own research...The archival focus of my research has taken me to various libraries in America during the past two years - including those of Princeton, Yale and Chicago - and I will be travelling to the University of Pennsylvania next year to conclude the archival research of my PhD

Read George's full profile

Xavier Aldana Reyes

Xavier Aldana Reyes

English Literature PhD student, 2009 - 2013

Lancaster is quickly becoming the place to be for anyone with a serious interest in the field of Gothic literature, cinema and culture. It is also one of the few places in the country where Contemporary Gothic is taught and researched, and with such renowned scholars in the field as Catherine Spooner or Fred Botting and at least another five knowledgeable PhD students working on similar projects, it is not hard to see why Lancaster University feels like home to me....The first thing that drew me to Lancaster was the sincere warmth and understanding with which such a ‘transgressive’ PhD proposal was received, and my supervisor has been an immense source of support for me. Since my first prospective e-mail I have discovered other things that have reassured me that this is indeed the right place to undertake my PhD. Some examples are the extensive library collection, or the very interesting postgraduate societies that I have joined and that keep me intellectually stimulated outside of my research. What I find extremely engaging about working in and for the English Department is that the barrier between ‘time to work’ and ‘time for leisure’ is extremely thin and that I am learning in more ways than one.'

Read Xavier's full profile

Steve Curtis

Steve Curtis

English Literature PhD student (part time), Completed 2012

I completed my undergraduate degree at Bangor University back in 2000 and then took some time away from the academic world whilst my wife was studying. Her studies lead us to Lancaster and in 2003/2004 I carried out the MA in Shakespeare and Cultural Theory.

My MA thesis was an investigation into Shakespeare’s representation of ghosts, particularly in connection to contemporary ideas of Purgatory and demonology. I began my Phd research in 2005 and have been working part-time since then. I have always found the department to be an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating place in which to carry out research, with helpful and friendly academic and administrative staff. I look after my toddler daughter alongside my research and the department has always been supportive in the pastoral issues that inevitably arise from juggling family and academic commitments.

Read Steve's full profile

Geraldine Green

Geraldine Green

Creative Writing PhD student and AHRC Award holder, 2006 - 2012

Here's what I do for a living: I'm a published poet, I run creative writing workshops as a freelance. I mentor and teach creative writing part time at the University of Cumbria; tutor on Cont. Ed. creative writing courses, Lancaster University, both face to face and online distance learning; give poetry readings, mainly in the UK and north America, tho' I have read in Greece and Italy. I also enjoy organising and MC-ing poetry readings at the Bluebell Bookshop Penrith. My PhD is an 'Exploration of Identity and Environment through Poetry'

Read Geraldine's full profile

Chris Witter

John Rippey

Creative Writing PhD student, 2007 - 2012

I have lived most of my adult life in Tokyo. (I am originally from the U.S.) My particular literary love is poetry. I have become increasingly interested recently in the formal dimension of writing, in those elements of organization that align and combine to construct the poem as the writer works at expressing something of personal significance. I am also vitally interested in the longer poem and am currently writing a poetic sequence which is set in everyday life and in which the stanzas are sonnets. The critical side of my research involves reflection on the poetics and craft issues implicated in this creative endeavor.

Read John's full profile