School of the Arts, English and Drama

Postgraduate research

Amanda Bigler

Photo of  Amanda Bigler

PhD student

Amanda received her BA in Literature with a Creative Writing Emphasis, with a minor concentration in French, from the University of Kansas in 2012. During her undergraduate studies, she was accepted as an Erasmus student to study language and literature at La Sorbonne, Paris IV, where she received her French language certification.  She also received the University of Kansas Fiction Writing Award in 2010 for her short story “Tightrope.”

She then decided to travel to the UK to pursue an MA in Creative Writing from Loughborough University, which she received with merit in 2013. After completing the MA, she was accepted to study as a PhD research student at Loughborough University in 2014.

Currently, she is a part of the Modern and Contemporary group as well as the American Studies group at Loughborough University. Outside of the university, she is an International Baccalaureate examiner for both prose and poetry essay examinations.

Amanda’s research focuses on contemporary American short fiction in relation to the construction of empathy. Her thesis is part-creative, and therefore she is studying to ways in which short fiction is created and how a reader can relate to the subject matter and/or the characters of a short piece. One focus is on Suzanne Keen’s theory on narrative empathy and how certain tools can be used in order to create an empathetic connection.

She will break down short fiction structure into two sub-sections: Narrative Perspective and Story Format. In regards to narrative perspectives, she will look at contemporary uses of first, second, and third person in relation to how the reader is connecting with the character. In regards to story format, she will focus on the short-short story, the segmented story, and the Q&A story format to see how abnormal (or less popular) methods of story creation affect the emotional connection between the literature and the audience.

Some contemporary collections that Amanda is basing her research on are Lydia Davis’ Collected Stories, George Saunders’ Pastoralia and Tenth of December, and David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and Oblivion.

Finally, she will create a short story collection consisting of 16 short fictional pieces that will experiment with the researched techniques on their effectiveness in evoking an empathetic response from the reader.

Kerry Featherstone, Lecturer in Creative Writing
Paul Jenner, Lecturer in English


  •  “Situational Irony in Contemporary American Humorist Literature,” New Writing: Journal for Contemporary Literature
  •  “Cloven,” Goldsmiths Literature Seminar E-Journal   
  • “Breaking Post-modernism: The Effects of Technology and Writing Programmes on Contemporary literature,” Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities
    ISSN: 0975-2935
  • “The Abacus and the Alphabet,” Teaching as a Human Experience: An Anthology of Contemporary Poems
  • “Narrative Perspectives and Empathy in Contemporary Short Fiction,” New Directions in the Humanities
  • “The Millenial Break: Contemporary Literature’s Departure from Postmodernism,” American Studies Eurasian Perspective
    ISSN: 2147-3498 (Print), 2149-0481 (Online)


  •  “Tightrope,” University of Kansas
  • “Golden Brown Market,” Tales from the Punkside
    ISBN-10: 1500912522, ISBN-13: 978-1500912529
  •  “Organis(z)ed Chaos,” You Is for University
    ISBN: 978-0-9928241-0-5
  • “On the River’s Edge,” The StoryGraph
  • “Cloven,” Haunted, Boo Books Publishing,
    ISBN: 9-780992-728557
  •  “Cardinal,” Wicked Young Writers Award 2014
  • “The Last Dinner,” Boo Books Publishing (due out May 2015)
  • “The Takers,” Ravenswood Publishing (due out November 2015)


For full published works see: AmandaBigler - Published works