At York, we have have one of the largest and most diverse PhD communities in the UK, with over 80 registered research students.

Our students undertake wide-ranging research and many of our PhD graduates have transformed their research into monographs.

Current PhD students

Name Thesis title Supervisor(s)
Bryony Aitchison The Queer Gardens of Modernism
  • Dr Hannah Roche
Haleemah Alaydi

How to Become a Refugee: A Collection of Short Stories and Critical Commentary

  • Dr Claire Chambers
  • Dr Juliana Mensah 
Hannah Armstrong

'Sheaves from Sagaland': Ecomedievalism and the Norse North Atlantic in British Writing (1860-Present)

  • Professor Matthew Townend
Lauren Berghorst  ‘Optimam partem elegit’: Mary Magdalene in Early Modern Literature and Art
  • Professor Helen Smith
Elise Bikker  Mind over Matter: The Body Machine in Fiction of the long Nineteenth Century
  • Professor Geoffrey Wall
  • Dr Mary Fairclough
Hayley Braithwaite

Excavating the City: The Gothic Impulses of George W. M. Reynolds’s The Mysteries of London/The Mysteries of the Court of London

  • Dr Alison O'Byrne
  • Dr Deborah Russell 
Katie Crowther  Georgian Paper Traces: Women’s Stories, Ephemeral Texts and Hidden Objects
  • Dr Chloe Wigston Smith
Sarah Dara

Am I a Victim: Agency and Sex Trafficking Narratives in South Asian Literature

  • Dr JT Welsch
  • Dr Juliana Mensah


Joshua D'Arcy

Weird Infrastructure: The Weird in the World Literary System

  • Dr Claire Westall
  • Dr Bryan Radley 
Rebecca Drake The sea in Middle English romance and Old Norse-Icelandic fornaldarsögur
  • Dr Nicola McDonald
  • Dr Matthew Townend
Catherine Edwards Literary Covers: Secret writing in Cold War spy fiction and film
  • Professor Helen Smith
  • Dr Bryan Radley
Ellen Gallimore The Anglo-Saxon Church in the Nineteenth Century: Anglo-Saxon Religious Prose and Anglican and Anglo-Catholic Writings
  • Professor Matthew Townend
  • Dr Emma Major
Dominic Gavin 

Marvell and the Book of Nature. The reading and misreading of nature in seventeenth-century pastoral

  • Professor Kevin Killeen
  • Dr Jane Raisch 
Sauleha Kamal

Can Words Save the World? The Contemporary Pakistani Novel, Human Rights and the Global Literary Marketplace

  • Professor Claire Chambers  
Francesca Killoran 

Whores, Harlots, and Harlequins: Locating Female Sympathies in 1790s Prostitute Narratives

  • Dr Emma Major 
Mengchen Lang Rethinking the Literary Concept of Authorship Through Vladimir Nabokov and W. G. Sebald
  • Professor Richard Walsh
Hannah McAuliffe 'I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Mans': System in the work of William Blake
  • Professor Jon Mee
James Mortimer Adapting Agatha: Gender, Sexuality and Nation in the Television Adaptions of Agatha Christie, 1976-2022
  •  Dr Melissa Oliver Powell
  • Br Bryan Radley
Diana Mudura Echolalias; or Retrieving Lost Languages in J. M. Coetzee's Post-apartheid Writing
  • Professor David Attwell
Adriana Murad Konings

Literature of Suspicion: A Post-1945 Metaphysics

  • Dr Alexandra Kingston-Reese 
Grace Murray

Imagining a Space for Science in Early Modern How-To Manuals 

  • Professor Helen Smith
Charlotte Newcombe

Formal Forces: Mid-Seventeenth Century Women’s Poetry and Natural Philosophy

  • Professor Kevin Killeen
  • Dr Namratha Rao
Elizabeth Potter  William Blake, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Marginalia
  • Professor Jon Mee
Jun Qiang Place and Space in Edith Wharton's Fiction
  • Dr Victoria Coulson
Alice Rhodes  “Mechanic Art and Elocutionary Science”: Speech Production in British Literature, 1770s-1820s
  • Dr Mary Fairclough
Caroline Anjali Ritchie Visionary mapping in the work of William Blake
  • Professor Jon Mee
  • Dr Amy Concannon (Tate)
Zaynab Seedat Writing the South Asian Muslim Terrorist: Politics, Religion and “Terror” Through a Postcolonial Lens
  • Dr Claire Chambers
Sam Sheppard “The knowledge of good and evil”: Religion, War, and the Law in Dorothy Sayers’ Detective Fiction
  • Dr Bryan Radley
Zara Stubbs Eating Bodies, Assembling Selves: Mystic Women, Transformation, and The Uncanny Gastronomic in Contemporary Literature
  • Dr Alice Hall
  • Dr JT Welsch
Miya Treadwell Art as Activism: Ava DuVernay, Black Narratives, and Netflix
  • Dr JT Welsch
Wiktoria Tunska Community of Emotions: Brexit, Contemporary Literature, and Affect
  • Dr Alexandra Kingston-Reese
Anjali Vyas-Brannick  Theorising Biocitizenship, 1550-1700
  • Professor Helen Smith
Katrina Wong Empathic Engagement with the Unreliable: A Case Study of Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Professor Richard Walsh

Xin Zhao

Rereading Exoticism: Race, Gender, and Intersectionality in Angela Carter

  • Dr Bryan Radley

Current MA by research students

NameThesis title Supervisor(s)
Michael Farley The Representation, Parody and Mythologies of Richard Wagner in Novels by G├╝nter Grass, Anthony Burgess and Angela Carter
  • Bryan Radley
Inga Piotrowska  Gestalt Psychology in the Modernist K├╝nstlerromane of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf 
  • Bryan Radley

Daniel Vince

The Working-Class Novel, Post-War Counterculture and Social Realism       Bryan Radley