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Miss Sabrina Ahmed-Qureshi

Member of the Department of English Studies
Research Student in the School of Education


A local student living in Stockton-on-Tees, Crystalle (Sabrina) completed her BA in English Studies and Creative Writing at Teesside University. After receiving her First Class award she undertook an MA with Durham university in English Literature. Both her dissertations utilised British-Asian literature with different points of focus. The undergraduate dissertation examined the migrant identity and the options of integration for the characters in Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. This dissertation encompassed theories of hybridity and mimicry which will be re-visited for the doctoral thesis. The MA dissertation focused on the importance of Bollywood in British-Asian literature, which can also be used as a tool for integration or social marginalisation. The dissertation revealed that Bollywood allowed forms of escape for some characters, whereas too much loyalty to a simulated world such as Bollywood produced damaging effects on other characters. By combining the extra research from both dissertations ample questions that require further exploration sparked the need for a doctoral thesis. By concentrating on British-Asian fiction Crystalle hopes to obtain a well rounded understanding of the issues regarding social acceptance for the Asian ethnic minority in Britain and how generations adapt over time. As generations progress, the changes to cultural traditions imported from the East are sometimes lost in translation, rejected or taken too literally, which can lead to inter-generational tensions. The focus throughout the thesis will be around the notion of 'the old way' and 'the new way' of integrating. By exploring major cultural milestones such as marriage, adulthood, career choices, religion, and parenting, it may be possible to determine whether a pattern of progress exists for the British-Asian identity in regards to integration and amalgamation of both cultures.

Crystalle is simultaneously completing a Phd at Durham University and a PGCE with Teesside University, with placement hours in teaching at Middlesbrough College. As a student teacher, Crystalle teaches English Literature for adults on Access to Higher Education course. The modules include poetry, drama and prose where authors such as Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, Arthur Miller, and Charles Dickens will be discussed. Crystalle's other areas of interest are in the Romantic and Victorian era, and authors such as Austen, Dickens and Thomas Hardy.