PhD Projects

Jane Hincliff: Surveillance and 21st century dystopian novels from the global north and the global south

Jade Hinchliffe is a PhD candidate in the department of sociology and criminology at The University of Hull, funded by the North of England Consortium for Arts and Humanities. She has a first-class BA Hons and an MRes in English Literature from The University of Huddersfield. Her interdisciplinary thesis analyses the portrayal of surveillance and social sorting in a range of twenty-first century dystopian novels from the global north and the global south. Jade is supervised by Dr Michael McCahill (The University of Hull) and Dr Sarah Falcus (The University of Huddersfield).

Manos Karatzigianni: Loula Anagnostaki’s work

Loula Anagnostaki is considered the dramatic root of Modern Greek theatre. Although she is a playwright with considerable international impact, her work is to a great extent under-theorized in academic terms (main contributions have been from Doulis 1969; Constantinidis 1985; Patsalidis 1996; Sakellaridou 1996; Pefanis 2007; Hager 2007; Mandeli 2014; Tsatsoulis 2020). The rationale for my research is to highlight this omission and to develop a critical and analytical approach to her work. My approach includes a feminist theoretical understanding of her work, which will also consider gender, intersectionality, race and the audience. Anagnostaki, as Mandeli remarks (2018:24), is the most important playwright of her generation. Her theatre is a critical exploration of the dichotomies between the private and the public and their impact on the political discourse. Anagnostaki’s work is also significant in relation to the current sociopolitical and cultural crisis in Greece, beyond the economic turmoil the country has been experiencing the last ten years.

My eighteen years of experience as an actor, director and researcher on Anagnostaki’s drama, as well as the deep friendship I had with her led me to the conclusion that To You Who Are Listening To Me is essentially the spiritual consignment of Anagnostaki’s whole dramaturgy. That’s why Anagnostaki’s last play is the basic tool during my research in order to approach theoretically her drama and produce any public activity relevant to it. Moreover, my practical component includes directing Anagnostaki’s play To You Who Are Listening To Me, as well as cultural public activities, which are inspired by working on it.

Marc Powrie: Prison and dissociative disorders among young adult males

My research explores prisoner characteristics and the prison environment as mediating factors in the onset and maintenance of dissociative disorders among young adult male inmates aged 18-24 years-old.

The motivation for this study comes from published research that shows rates of dissociative disorder as being significantly more prevalent in prison populations than within the general community; suggesting that there is something specific to what the prisoner imports into prison, something specific to the prison setting, or a combination of both, that is causing the inmate to become more vulnerable. The primary purpose of this study is to examine two theoretical explanations for prison dissociative disorders (PDD). The first holds that PDD is a product of imported inmate characteristics. The second theoretical explanation holds that PDD is a product of structural and affective conditions found within the prison environment. Using this theoretical framework the study will undertake a ‘thick’ narrative around the phenomenon of pathological dissociation; through the lens of the prisoners worldview of childhood trauma experiences, community psychosocial vulnerabilities and the structural and affective pains of imprisonment.

Patrick Onyia: Military Corruption in Nigeria

Corruption, ‘‘the abuse of public office for private gain’’ (World Bank, 1997), is the greatest impediment to the achievement of Nigeria’s enormous potential. It siphons trillions of dollars from the economy, hampers development in the country and stymies her national security. One of the institutions where corruption is prolific in Nigeria is the armed forces. Since 15 January 1966 when they inserted and embedded themselves in the political landscape of the country through a military coup, the armed forces have persistently been mired in corruption scandals despite the plethora of anticorruption laws and institutions in the country. That the two are intricately associated is a cause for concern because the armed forces are the backbone of Nigeria’s national security. Nigeria is very strategic to both Africa and the world on account of her leadership roles on the African continent and large population, enormous oil wealth and logistical/financial contributions to international organisations. Should her armed forces fail because of corruption, Nigeria’s national security may likewise fail. Should Nigeria’s national security fail, Africa and the rest of the world may be negatively impacted. Yet, a perusal of relevant literature reveals a shocking dearth of research on the persistence of military corruption in Nigeria. Against the antecedents and peculiarities of the Nigerian military, my study employs interviews with military officers and secondary sources to qualitatively explore why military corruption is embedded in Nigeria for purposes of suggesting ways of ameliorating the situation.

Thaen: Development practices in Thailand

I’m Thaen from Thailand, doing PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology. I am working on developing the contextual understanding of development using Thailand as a case study. It shows that there are differences in foundations of ideas of progress between a locality and a dominant approach. This re-understanding of development will cause people in development practices to be aware and be more careful of a sociocultural context, and ideological foundation, and a different positionality before setting up, implementing and finalising development programmes.
My research also proposes better explanations for sources of development conflicts. It forces us to critically reconsider that people in distinct positions seemingly hold differing worldviews and experiences of ideas of progress. These different worldviews, in turn, play a crucial role in making their own sense of truth or reality concerning development ideas and practices. The research will argue that part of the tensions between a locality and a developer result from having different worldviews and ideas of progress.

Amy Francis: The witch and feminine powers

My research is predominantly concerned with the way in which identities of feminine power have been marginalised and demonised in western culture. In illustration of this, I am discussing both the image of the Witch and the she-demon, or goddess, Lilith. By charting how these figures have been represented differently through time, I am able to represent the historic and modern ‘othering’ that women seeking to possess independent power have experienced, and the oppression and violence that has been used against them. Additionally, my study will look at the ways these characters are being reclaimed by modern feminist spiritual movements and will explore and discuss why this reclamation process is so crucial to achieving gender equality today. My study draws from a variety of disciplinary areas, predominantly Social Anthropology, Gender Studies and Religious Studies and will incorporate a mixture of ethnographic and feminist research methodologies.