Mr Aidan Bracebridge
|Member of the Department of English Studies|
I am a Wolfson Foundation Doctoral Scholar (2021–present), researching the contemporary anglophone South Asian literary representations of Western universities, these institutions’ implication in the continued global universalisation of colonial knowledge structures, and the possibilities they offer for disrupting these structures. Focusing on the novels of South Asian and diaspora authors including Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie and Jhumpa Lahiri, my research explores the varying ways these writers exploit, challenge, and are constrained by the authority Western academia exerts both within and on their texts. In doing so, my research traces the colonial and neocolonial resonances across the varying institutional politics deployed by British and North American universities, the extent to which these institutional politics inflect internal critique, and how the texts themselves contemplate and anticipate this critical dynamic. My PhD is supervised by Dr. Maryam Mirza and Dr. Daniel Hartley in the English Studies Department at Durham, and is funded by the Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities.
Before my PhD, I received an MA with Distinction in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature at Durham University (2020–21), where my research focussed on issues of racism, patriarchy, agency, and decolonisation, in particular through my dissertation entitled ‘Thinking in Borders and Border Thinking in the Fiction of Arundhati Roy and Mohsin Hamid’. I studied for a BA in English Literature from Durham University in 2017, and was awarded First Class Honours. From 2019–20, I also worked as a theatre reviewer and then editor for the London-based publication A Younger Theatre. My reviews can be found here.
From 2020–21, I was the Academic Officer at University College Durham, organising a regular postgraduate academic seminar series, as well as Durham Castle Conference 2021: Power, Privilege and Possible Futures. This interdisciplinary, online conference addressed wide-ranging issues of social inequality, injustice, and decolonisation on and beyond British campuses. It featured exceptional postgraduate research from across the North of England and Scotland, an expert panel discussion on decolonising higher education, and a keynote speech from Professor Kehinde Andrews. Recordings of the keynote speech and panel discussion can be found here.