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Jacqueline Wilkinson

Photo of Jacqueline WilkinsonThe theme of my thesis was ‘Thomas Hardy and the Carnivalesque’ which involves an examination of Hardy’s use of such carnivalesque concepts as the choric element, the Wild Man, Devils, the ‘woman on top’, masking, music, feasts and the grotesque, all of which require an in-depth knowledge of both folk culture and socio-historical and socio-anthropological approaches to carnival. The thesis required an examination and application of the carnivalesque the theories of scholars such as Mikhail Bakhtin, Phythian-Adams, Peter Burke, David Gilmore, Natalie Zemon Davis, Barbara Babcock and Terry Castle among others.

My previous background is in teaching and Children’s and Youth Theatre. After gaining my teaching certificate from Edge Hill Training College in 1960 I taught English Language and Literature in secondary education, and after studying at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London (1965-66) I became involved in the Hampshire Children's Theatre and Basingstoke Youth Theatre. I retired from teaching on health grounds in 1990 but decided to pursue my studies as a means of pain management, thus in 2003 I gained my BA 1st Class Honours in Humanities with the OU, and then gained my MA with them in 2005. I am a member of The Thomas Hardy Association and submitted an article to their journal on ‘The Carnivalesque and the Grotesque in Far from the Madding Crowd’ in 2006.

I chose to take my M Phil/PhD at Lancaster on dual grounds, firstly because of the outstanding reputation of the English and Creative Writing Department and secondly because of wheelchair accessibility and a strong Student Support team. I commenced my M Phil/PhD under the supervision of Dr Tess Cosslett in April 2007. I enjoyed the work ethic which predominates at Lancaster but also the way in which I was made to feel a part of a lively and welcoming department. As a mature student,, I enjoyed Lancaster because when there I felt the same age as other students mainly because I am behind my face and therefore only saw myself reflected in their young faces, thus I become a 24-6 year old with visual and mobility problems. My main issue is what to do next – all ideas (constructive ideas) would be welcome!

Jacqueline graduated in 2010.

Student Journals

Cake publishes poetry, flash fiction and reviews with work from established poets and newcomers alike. Go to Cake»

Share research and make connections with other researchers. Go to the Luminary»


The Flash Journal is an undergraduate run termly journal which publishes fiction, poetry, critical and hybrid work by current Lancaster undergrads. Go to Flash»

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