School of the Arts, English and Drama

Postgraduate research

Teresa O'Rourke

Photo of  Teresa O'Rourke

PhD student

Teresa began her undergraduate studies in the Department in 2007, graduating in 2010 with a First Class Honours degree in English with North American Literature and Film. She was awarded a Department scholarship to continue on to postgraduate study, and graduated from the Masters programme in 2011, achieving a Distinction in the Modern and Contemporary Pathway. Teresa began her doctoral studies, funded by a Loughborough Doctoral College Studentship, in 2012.

Teresa is currently writing her doctoral thesis on contemporary American women’s writing, specifically the work of Rebecca Solnit, Marilynne Robinson, Etel Adnan and Annie Dillard. The project considers how their writing reworks many thematic and stylistic elements of nineteenth-century New England Transcendentalism in order to articulate their experiences of place, race, language and gender in contemporary U.S. culture. Previous projects include an exploration of the father figure in the novels of Toni Morrison, and the literary kinship of George Egerton and James Joyce.

Alongside her studies, Teresa has taught on two first-year undergraduate modules: 'Introduction to Film Studies' and 'An Introduction to Language'. Teresa is also a member of the Department's Modern and Contemporary Research Group. In 2014, she co-led the organising committee of the research group's inaugural conference, 'Transitions and Transgressions'. The conference brought together postgraduates and early-career researchers from the UK and beyond. Papers considered how both literary and visual texts effect and are affected by shifts in historical and cultural perspectives, with a specific focus on ways of seeing and ways of experiencing change.

Dr Jennifer Cooke, Senior Lecturer in English
Dr Andrew Dix, Lecturer in American Studies

 ‘Writing Liminality: Transitional Surfaces in Marilynne Robinson and Etel Adnan’, Margins: English Faculty Graduate Conference, Oxford University, 6 June 2014.

‘‘We go westward as into the future’: Towards a New Transcendentalism in Annie Dillard’s The Living (1992)’, Transitions and Transgressions, Loughborough University, 11 September 2014.

‘The orphan child of a brilliant century’: Beyond Genre and Gender Dichotomies in Marilynne Robinson’s Lila (2014), HERA Conference 2015, San Francisco, 11 April 2015.