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Zoƫ Brigley: Research

I am currently writing up my PhD thesis to be handed in September 2007. The thesis is entitled, ‘Women in Exile: The Poetic Practice of Gwyneth Lewis, Pascale Petit and Deryn Rees-Jones’ and it argues that the poets discussed do not feel the need to shore up their Welsh nationality, but rather embrace an identity that is permeable and indefinite. Their project challenges the notion of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’ and their poetic techniques reach towards the unspeakable, silence and the unsaid. I argue that such a movement turns away from the preoccupation with shoring up a culture and language and it becomes more outward looking. Some of my research interests are explored on my research blog (


I have a number of publications forthcoming. This includes an essay about Petit’s use of the Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, in her poems. The essay will appear in the Journal for International Women's Studies (after being shortlisted for the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (FWSA) Graduate Essay Prize). I also have an essay coming out in A Critical Survey comparing Rees-Jones’ treatment of the clone to Donna Haraway’s cyborg.


I am co-editing a special issue of the journal, Orbis Litterarum, with my colleague, Jon Morley. Featuring essays on devolved British literatures, it will be published this autumn. The special issue emerges from a conference that we held in November 2006 entitled The Riddle of Devolutionary Identity and it will feature essays by Prof. Michael Gardiner, Prof. Susan Bassnett, Dr. Graeme MacDonald, David Morley and others. The focus is on literature from regions of Britain such as Scotland, Wales, Northern-Ireland, Cornwall or the North and to British cultures such as that of Black British culture, Islam or the Roma nations. The central aim is to question whether cultural, social and psychological issues of these minor British cultures can be explored using postcolonial theory.


I am proactive in organising events related to my research interest. One example is the above mentioned conference, ‘The Riddle of Devolutionary Identity’, for which I won funding (£500) from the university’s Humanities Research Centre. For April 2007, I am managing a symposium, entitled Women Writing Rape: Literary and Theoretical Narratives of Sexual Violence. The funding (£650) was won from the Feminist and Women Studies Association and departments at the University of Warwick. It is no coincidence that both events also contain a creative element, since I am very interested in how creative and critical approaches intersect. ‘The Riddle of Devolutionary Identity’ featured a reading by the poets, Medbh McGuckian and David Morley, while ‘Women Writing Rape’ includes a creative writing workshop to provide ways into rethinking categories such as ‘active’, ‘experience’, ‘survivor’, ‘passive’ and ‘victim’.

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Curriculum Vitae


Research Links




Main Supervisor:

Dr. Emma Mason


English and Comparative Literary Studies

The University of Warwick, CV4 7AL.


David Morley

Warwick Writing Programme Director and Senior Lecturer

English and Comparative Literary Studies

The University of Warwick, CV4 7AL.