Lightning Talks

Daniel Barrow: "Shallow Time: 'Crisis' as Figure in the Contemporary Novel."

Daniel Barrow is a writer and researcher based in Birmingham. He graduated with a PhD in contemporary literature from Birkbeck, University of London in 2019.

Helen E. Mundler: "The 'Pandemic Uncanny' in Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam Trilogy."

Dr. Helen E. Mundler is Associate Professor (Université Paris-Est Créteil). She studied at Durham and Strathclyde before obtaining her PhD from the University of Strasbourg and her Habilitation from the University of Nanterre. She has published two monographs, the first on A.S. Byatt (Harmattan, Paris, 2003), the second on Liz Jensen (Camden House/Boydell and Brewer, 2016), as well as a wide range of articles on a number of contemporary writers. She has also published two novels and a few short stories. In 2019, she spent six months at Western Michigan University as a Fulbright Research Scholar, working on rewritings of the Noah myth in contemporary clifi. She is currently writing a book on this subject entitled Visions of the Flood: Rewritings of the Noah Myth in the 21st-Century Novel.

Orlaith Darling: "The Body (Politic) in Crisis in Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones."


Orlaith Darling is a first year PhD candidate in Trinity College Dublin School of English, where she researches association and alienation in contemporary Irish women’s short fiction. In particular, she is concerned with how contemporary writers relate to history, engage with foundational ideologies of Irish society, and challenge gendered traditions. She previously completed an M.Sc. in Literature and Modernity at the University of Edinburgh (2019) and a B.A. in English Literature and History in Trinity College Dublin (2018), where she was elected to scholarship in 2016. She has published with Estudios Irlandeses AEDEI, Forum and Rejoinder, and is interested in the intersection of women’s studies, contemporary politics, and literature.

Sarah Wagstaffe: “Movement and Memory: Travelling Through Space and Time.”

Sarah Wagstaffe is a first-year PhD candidate in English Literature studying at Lancaster University. Her research examines psychology, religion and gender in relation to politics in contemporary fiction. She also holds a Master’s degree in English Literary Research, which was focussed on dystopian fiction.

Poppy Wilde & Scott Hamilton: “Fear, Death, and Exploitative Bio-Power in Mira Grant’s Newsflesh”

Dr Poppy Wilde is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at Birmingham City University. Her work focuses on what it means and how it feels to be posthuman, by exploring how posthuman subjectivities are enabled and embodied. Upcoming projects explore posthuman conceptions of death, and posthuman considerations of the contemporary media fascination with zombies.

Dr Scott Eric Hamilton is a lecturer of English Literature and Academic Writing at University College Dublin and a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the UCD Humanities Institute. His primary research topics are Samuel Beckett, Flann O’Brien, and Zombiism. Hamilton has organised international conferences related to these research topics, published in various journals on Beckett, edited a special issue of The Parish Review: Journal of Flann O’Brien Studies, and co-founded the Zombie Studies Network.