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Miss Bryony Armstrong

MA MPhil (Cantab)

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Member of the Department of English Studies  


I am a Northern Bridge (AHRC) funded PhD student researching the modernist kiss. My thesis works at the intersection of haptic studies and literary criticism; it includes writing on kissing at speed, interracial kisses on screen, and women kissing women. I consider the writing of D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Rosamond Lehmann, Djuna Barnes, Radcylffe Hall, Nella Larsen, and Graham Greene. 

I am currently one of four Postgraduate Representatives for the British Association for Modernist Studies, which includes having the pleasure of co-editing the Modernist Review. In 2020, I was also co-convenor of Durham's Late Summer Lecture Series.

Before coming to Durham, I graduated with a First Class degree in English Literature and Mathematics at the University of St Andrews. I completed two dissertations: a mathematical project titled ‘Applications of Differential Geometry to Modern Cartography and Navigation’, which won the Duncan Prize and Medal, and a thesis on virginity in the works of Virginia Woolf. Following that, I did an MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where I also held a choral scholarship. My dissertation also focused on Virginia Woolf, this time on university education.

I welcome any enquiries about my research.

Twitter: @BF_Armstrong

Conference Presentations

''Kissing a negress in the dark': Racialised Skin and Tactile Perception in Virginia Woolf's Orlando', Northeast Modern Language Association's 52nd Convention, 11-14 March 2021.

''A delicious swoon of motion': Kissing and Somatosensory Experience of Space in D. H. Lawrence', at New Work in Modernist Studies 2020, organised by British Association for Modernist Studies, 11 December 2020.

‘Fusing Mouths: Tactility and the Kiss in Modernist Literature’, at New Work in Modernist Studies 2019, organised by British Association for Modernist Studies, University of Liverpool, 6 December 2019.

‘“Oxbridge is an invention”: Virginia Woolf’s Composite Oxbridge’, at the 29th Annual International Virginia Woolf Conference, Mount St Joseph University, 6-9 June 2019.

Funding and Awards

Durham University Student Achievement Award 2020

Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (Arts and Humanities Research Council), 2020-2023.

Parry Dutton Student Fund, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 2019.

Principal’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence, University of St Andrews, 2018.

Duncan Prize and Medal, awarded for the best senior honours dissertation in mathematics, University of St Andrews, 2018.

Isobel M. Milne Prize, School of English, University of St Andrews, 2016.

Class Medal, School of English, University of St Andrews, 2016.


ENGL1061 Introduction to the Novel


Book review

  • Armstrong, Bryony (2021). A Reunion of the Arts. The Edinburgh Companion to D. H. Lawrence and the Arts, eds. Catherine Brown and Susan Reid. Cambridge Quarterly

Journal Article

  • Armstrong, Bryony (2020). 'Just a pen, paper, and a little thought': E. M. Forster and Literary Labour. Postgraduate English 40.