I am a PhD student at the University of Sheffield, studying English Language and Linguistics.
My research looks at the cognitive linguistics of how death is approached in popular YA fiction. I will be using Text World Theory and metaphor, as well as other cognitive poetic aspects of the books I’m examining.
I can go on and on about this for hours, and may add further posts with more detail.
Before starting my PhD, I graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MA in Literary Linguistics (distinction).
My BA was from the Open University, in Humanities (English Language). I started, as a mature student with a toddler and a child in Reception, with an Open Degree, wanting to complete a degree as part of unfinished business. About half way through, I discovered the English Language and Stylistics modules, and quickly ended up specialising in an area I just fell in love with.
What started as unfinished business became a passion and I couldn’t give up the studying bug, so began looking around for a Master’s Degree that I could do, again via Distance Learning, and was lucky enough to find Nottingham, with modules and staff specialising in the subjects I loved, including names familiar from my stylistics modules which clinched the deal.
Eventually through my MA I discovered that I enjoyed, and was good at, cognitive poetics, and something really clicked. Again, I couldn’t give up and began the search for a PhD while I was working on my dissertation (Text World Theory and Harry Potter, if you’re interested; looking particularly at how embodiment draws the reader in to the wizarding world). I sent an application to the person who literally wrote the book on Text World Theory, Joanna Gavins, and now I’m lucky enough to be part way through my first year (part time, again at a distance) and ready to dive into the challenges ahead.