PhD Students in Literature, Language, and Theatre Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities

Name: Benedetta Basile

Supervisors: Dr Maria Arche, Dr Cécile Laval, Dr Justine Baillie

Thesis Title: The relative effects of Processing Instruction and re-exposure on sentence and discourse-level production: The case of the Japanese Causative

Name: Yasmin Begum

Supervisors: Dr Justine Baillie, Dr John Morton

Thesis Title: 'Consequences of Clothing: The significance of dress in the work of postcolonial South Asian authors'

Biography: Yasmin began her thesis in January 2014 after completing a Masters Degree in English: 1850 – Present at King's College London.  Her research focuses on Postcolonial Literature and in particular identity politics as a result of colonisation and its legacy.  In her thesis, Yasmin focuses on fiction by South Asian authors examining the significance of dress and the consequences of clothing.  Yasmin has studied a range of writers from the cusp of Indian Independence to the present. As part of her research, she has been keen to explore the work of lesser known writers such as Santha Rama Rau (1923-2009) and Attia Hosain (1913-1998) as well as incorporating theoretical perspectives in acclaimed writers such as Edward Said and Salman Rushdie. Yasmin also teaches in the department of Literature, Languages and Theatre on a range of undergraduate courses in English.

Name: Deborah Canavan

Supervisors: Professor Andrew King, Dr John Morton, Dr Deborah Mutch

Thesis Title: The significance of gender in the production and representations of two temperance magazines, The British Workman (and Friends of the Sons of Toil) (1855-1921) and The British Workwoman (Out and At Home) (1863-1913?). 

Biography: Deborah Canavan began her research in October 2016 in receipt of a Vice-Chancellor's scholarship. She had previously completed an MA in Literary London at the University of Greenwich in 2015. Her dissertation topic – the 'fallen women' in nineteenth-century literature ‑ ignited her interest in the archival research of marginalised periodicals. In 2016 Deborah was engaged as a research assistant on a University of Greenwich pilot project 'Nineteenth Century Business, Labour, Temperance, And Trade Periodicals' ( The project aims to encourage students and educators to access and engage with digitised nineteenth-century periodicals. In 2017 she was a recipient of a Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) Curran Fellowship to aid access to primary print and archival sources critical to her research.

Name: Siyu CHEN

Supervisors: Dr. Xin Wang, Dr. Claire Monks

Thesis title: The effect of Supra-segmental information on cross-language segmental processing in bilingual speakers.

Biography: Siyu got her BA (First-Class Honours) from the University of Surrey in 2012, followed by an MA from the University of Bristol in 2014. She initially worked in Dongbei University of Finance and Economics as a teaching assistant. During this period, she learnt how academics live their lives and admired this pure academic lifestyle. So she started to wish to pursue further study. From 2015, she worked in the New Oriental Education & Technology Institution as a full-time English teacher. During this time, she noticed that there is an interaction between people's L1 and L2 experience. These phenomena sparked her interest and she started to explore the rationale. Her research question concerns the interaction between languages differing in the status of lexical tone, as is the case in Mandarin-English Bilinguals. She is currently (2017) in the first year of her MPhil/PhD study.

Name: Julian E. Day

Supervisors: Professor Andrew King,, Dr Sara Pennell, Professor David Finkelstein

Thesis Title: Refashioning Careers: Periodical Journalism, the Theatre    and Professional Actresses in Eighteenth-Century London.

Biography: Following a senior management career in international publishing, exhibitions and arts development, I have now returned to full-time academic study. I completed an MA in 'Shakespeare and the Theatre' at the University of Birmingham (Shakespeare Institute) and my research centres on the professional relationships between periodicals, the theatre and actresses in eighteenth-century London. I have specialist knowledge of the theatre, particularly the history of Shakespeare in performance. My areas of expertise include Shakespeare at the Lyceum in the nineteenth century and I have also researched all the performances of the Victorian actress Dame Ellen Terry. I have presented papers on both 'Restoration Drama' and the rise of the 'Professional Actress' at Royal Museums, Greenwich, as part of their adult learning programme. In my current research I am exploring the transient connections and social networks operating between the theatre and periodicals through case studies of key events, plays and actresses in eighteenth-century London. This interdisciplinary study reflects on the importance of these intermedial relationships at a time when they have previously been seen as separate disciplines for academic study.

Name: Beth Gaskell

Supervisors: Professor Andrew King, Dr Gavin Rand, Professor Laurel Brake

Thesis Title: The Development of Military Periodicals and the Making of the Military Professional

Biography: Beth's research, funded through a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship, investigates military writing, military-media relations and the professionalisation of the British Army in the long nineteenth century, with a particular focus on the rise of the professional periodical press. She is a committee member of HistoryLab, the national postgraduate network for historians, based at the Institute of Historical Research, and has been involved in organizing and running events and conferences on their behalfer. She is a qualified Librarian currently undertaking project work at the Royal Astronomical Society, and has previously held posts at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, the National Army Museum and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. She has won two grants from RSVP (2015 and 2016) and a Cardiff University vlogging bursary to attend BAVS 2016 (her vlogs can he found here). Her chapter on "Bibliographic Issues: Titles, Numbers, Frequencies" will appear in Researching the Nineteenth-Century Press: Case Studies (Routledge) in July 2017.

Name: Ash Gopaul

Supervisors: Dr Justine Baillie, Dr Claire Sheridan

Thesis Title: 'Literature after 9/11: South Asian Diaspora and the Politics of Representation'

Biography: registered February 2015 (full-time)

Name: Ann M. Hale

Supervisors: : Professor Andrew King, Dr John Morton, Professor Laurel Brake

Thesis Title: Law and Nineteenth-Century Periodicals

Biography: Ann M. Hale is a PhD candidate at the University of Greenwich, in receipt of a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship. Her research focuses on law and nineteenth-century periodicals. In addition to her thesis, she is collaborating with Shannon R. Smith on "Mapping the Strand Magazine," a digital humanities project centred on the publication's creative and corporate geographies (2015-present). An article on this can be seen in the Special Issue of Victorian Periodicals Review that she and Smith edited in 2016. Hale had previously been awarded the 2014 Rosemary VanArsdel Prize for the best graduate student essay investigating Victorian periodicals and newspapers published in Spring 2015. Other outputs include essays and curation for BLT19 and several commissioned research blog posts such as  "on Serendipity" for RSVP and on gender and the law for BAVS.  Hale holds an M.A. in English literature from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and a member of the State of Minnesota Bar.

Name: Gwyn Jenkins

Supervisors: Dr Daniel Weston, Dr John Morton

Thesis Title: 'The Presentation of Education in the Literature of the Modernist Period (1890-1939)'

Biography: registered October 2013 (part-time)

Name: Harriet Lowe

Supervisors: Dr Cécile Laval, Professor Michael Sharwood Smith

Thesis Title: Explicit Information and Cumulative effects of Processing Instruction in regards to trainable aspect of Grammatical Sensitivity

Biography: Harriet is currently researching individual differences in second language acquisition, primarily the role of foreign language aptitude in the field of processing instruction. Her interest in the field came from teaching foreign languages in England and Italy, receiving a TELF certificate and Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults. This interest has continued alongside her PhD research in language processing, teaching Academic Writing at the University of Greenwich. Her current research questions the stability and trainability of language learners' aptitude. Additionally, she is using eye-tracking technology to measure the effects of the pedagogical intervention, processing instruction. More details of her research can be found on her website She is an active member of CAROLE (Centre for Applied Research and Outreach in Language Education) and Teaching House.

Name: Agnieszka Anna Marciszewska

Supervisors: Dr Cécile Laval, Professor Michael Sharwood-Smith

Thesis title: Processing Instruction: language typology and L3 grammar

Biography: Multilingualism sparked Agnieszka's interest in 2001, which resulted in her pursuing research into language typology and its role in the acquisition of lexical items in L5. She went on to study translation, linguistic discourse and the relationship between language and gender. Her teaching qualifications include IELTS and Cambridge academic suite courses as well as a Certificate in Teaching English for Academic Purposes. Being a practitioner, Agnieszka places a high value on classroom-based research that has practical application. Currently, Agnieszka is continuing her research in the area of structural proximity and transfer in third language acquisition with the focus on grammatical input in the formal context. More information about Agnieszka's project may be found on<>

Name: Fiona Snailham

Supervisors: Professor Andrew King, Dr John Morton, Professor David Finkelstein

Thesis Title: More than a Misogynist? Re-visiting the works of Eliza Lynn Linton

Biography: Fiona's thesis aims to re-evaluate the work of the novelist and journalist Eliza Lynn Linton, seeking to re-establish her reputation as an actor of note in the nineteenth-century literary market in order to investigate our own investment in disparaged figures in literary history - 'bad mothers' of modern women.  Fiona won a Vice-Chancellor's scholarship and began work on her thesis in January 2016 after a career as a secondary school teacher. She holds BAs in Law (Oxford) and in English (OU), and an MA in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture (Reading).  Her wider research interests include the nineteenth-century novel, women in nineteenth-century journalism, Victorian periodicals and gender studies. In 2017, she won a Santander Networking Award and was awarded a travel bursary by the British Association for Victorian Studies. This funding will enable Fiona to travel to Florence in May 2017, to share some of her research at a conference co-hosted by the North American Victorian Studies Association and the Australasian Victorian Studies Association.

Name: Niall Somerville

Supervisors: Dr John Morton, Dr Daniel Weston, Professor Tracey Reynolds

Thesis title: 'The reappropriation of the Victorian by modern women writers: Angela Carter & Margaret Atwood'

Biography: Niall began his thesis in early 2012. His research interests are in twentieth century fiction, with his thesis focusing on the influence of Victorian and Edwardian literature on the novels of both Carter and Margaret Atwood. This is to consider how their motifs, themes, and structures are used and subverted by their contemporary set works in addition to their 'neo-Victorian' fiction. He has previously completed a Masters degree in English with the dissertation topic examining Angela Carter's use of place in her novels, as well as a Bachelors degree in Creative Writing & English.

Name: Gillian Stacey

Supervisors: Dr Carolyn Brown, Dr Justine Baillie

Thesis Title: Lee Miller. Beyond the Muse: A Very Modern Woman. A Woman of Her Time

Biography: Gillian began work on her thesis in April 2013 after graduating with a Distinction in her Masters from the University of Greenwich in 2012. She worked previously as an English teacher in a secondary school in South East London after achieving qualified teacher status in 1998. Having several positions of responsibility within the department and across the school, she became an Advanced Skills Teacher in 2008 and worked alongside the Senior Leadership Team to improve teaching and learning. Deciding to study for a Masters' degree in 2011, she became interested in British surrealism. Her current research challenges the dominant view of Lee Miller (fashion model, surrealist artist, muse, photographer, war correspondent) as defined by the familial discourse and its associated narrative arc of trauma, success, and decline. It emphasises her years in Egypt and the Balkans as formative of her engagement with documenting life, and with contemporary technological and artistic developments.

Name: Kathy Watson

Supervisors: Professor Andrew King, Dr Stephen Kennedy

Thesis Title: How are the wants and needs of specialist audiences met in an Internet age using the experiences of readers of Farmers Weekly pre and post the 1997 launch of its online publication?

Biography: Kathy spent more than 25 years as a business journalist and trainer in technical magazines and newspapers, specialising in building and civil engineering, transport, logistics and manufacturing.  In 2000 she joined Birkbeck, University of London, as a sessional lecturer, later becoming an academic advisor, teaching journalism.  In 2007, Kathy moved to the University of Greenwich and launched the BA (Hons) in Journalism and PR the following year.  She has two degrees from the Open University, including a Masters in Media and Cultural Studies, a PgCert TILL (Teaching in Lifelong Learning) from Birkbeck, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Kathy is a committee member of the Association for Journalism Education. She began her thesis part-time in 2014.

Recent PhD students (completed since 2014):

Name: Dr Polly North

Supervisors: Dr Justine Baillie, Dr Emrys Jones

Thesis Title: 'The 'I' in Diary'

Completed:  October 2016

Name: Dr Stephanie Peter - 3/12/12 - 08/07/16;

Supervisors: Professor Alessandro Benati, Dr Cécile Laval

Thesis Title: 'Thinking outside the Box – Processing Instruction and Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity'

Completed July 2016

Name: Patricia Vazquez-Lopez

Supervisors: Dr Maria Arche,  Professor Alessandro Benati

Thesis Title: 'The acquisition of alternation in a second language'

Biography: In 2016 Patricia Vazquez submitted her PhD in Applied Linguistics at the University of Greenwich, where she was the beneficiary of a Vice-Chancellor Scholarship. She investigated the pathway of acquisition of the Spanish copular verbs ser and estar by English speakers of L2 Spanish who have only one copular verb in their L1 (i.e. be). Her cross-sectional study containing four elicitation tasks was administered to 71 English-speaking undergraduates of Spanish at three levels of proficiency and 25 Peninsular Spanish natives. Additionally she has taught Spanish to undergraduates at all proficiency levels and is currently teaching linguistics at the University of Greenwich. Her research interests lie in second language acquisition, specifically copular verbs, adjectives, native-likeness and the syntax–pragmatics interface.