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Hannah Kershaw


Title of research

Multiculturalism, Culture and Controversy: Literary Representations of Muslims in Contemporary Multicultural Britain

Brief overview of research topic

Hannah’s thesis addresses how contemporary British literature deals with ideas of multiculturalism. She will primarily be looking at authors of Muslim origin, from the more secular such as Salman Rushdie and Hanif Kureishi, to the more pious such as Leila Aboulela . Through examining these works of literature, she hopes to understand how a variety of authors address issues of racism, ethnic tensions, cultural offence, religious identity, and gender relations in multicultural communities in Britain today.

Hannah is supervised jointly between the Department of English and the Department of Politics. She is funded by the ESRC and is part of a network called ‘Reshaping Multiculturalism through Cultural Practices’ which is supported by academics at York, Leeds, and Sheffield universities.

Hannah's PhD was confirmed in 2017.


2013 MA Cultures of Empire, Resistance, and Postcoloniality, Department of English & Related Literature, University of York

2012 BA English Literature, Department of English, University of Southampton

Publications / Conferences

4 July 2014 ‘Between the Hysterical and Historical: The Exploration of British Multiculturalism in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth’. Presented at Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network Symposium, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool

11 December 2014 'Why study Politics through Literature? British Muslim fiction and contemporary multiculturism." Presented at The Arts, Activism, and Social Inclusion: York Researchers and Practitioners Showcase, Department of Education, University of York


2014 Academic Mentor (PGWT) for Next Step York scheme

2014 Academic Mentor (PGWT) for Realising Opportunities scheme

2015 Seminar tutor for undergraduate module Global Literature (Department of English and Related Literature). Texts include (but are not limited to): Beowulf, Othello, Season of Migration to the North, Foe and Oroonoko

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Hannah is supervised by Dr Claire Chambers and Professor Matthew Festenstein

Contact details

Ms Hannah Kershaw