Louise Goswell

  • Research Student

PhD Title: Requiring Mental Stability: Using Fiction to Explore the Role of Women in the SOE, With Focus on their Emotional and Psychological Experiences.

PGR supervision: Barbara Cooke and Kerry Featherstone.

Louise graduated from Loughborough University in 2019 with a BA (Hons) in English. During her undergraduate degree, Louise’s interest in Creative Nonfiction began; her dissertation was entitled ‘All Were United in Grief? A Creative and Critical Investigation of the Ethics and Representations of Public Mourning’.

In 2020, Louise graduated from Loughborough University with an MA in Creative Writing, where she continued her research interests in Creative Nonfiction writing. Her dissertation was entitled ‘Conflicting Histories and The One Creative History: Building A Grand Theory Through Historical Fiction’. During her MA, Louise’s play-script about Noor Inayat Khan was a winning entry for the LU Arts Inspirational Women’s Competition. The play was subsequently performed at the International Women’s Festival.

Louise began her PhD in January 2021. Her research is through critical and creative practice, examining female, clandestine espionage during World War Two. Her research focuses on the mental and psychological experiences of female agents in the Special Operations Executive in France. Her supervisors are Barbara Cooke and Kerry Featherstone.

Alongside her PhD, she is a Teaching Assistant in a primary school.

Louise is a member of the Women’s History Network and the Second World War Research Group.

My creative writing PhD focuses on the role of women in the Special Operations Executive during World War Two, focusing on the women deployed specifically to France. I am examining the experiences of these women, with particular focus on their psychological and emotional journeys. I am interested in the modern representations of these female agents in contrast to their lived experiences. My research will comprise of three strands: examination of post-war representations of female agents in newspapers, fiction and film, regarding the modern tendency for idolisation; analysis of real-life experiences in archival material and autobiography; the creative writing component.

Louise’s ‘Personal Essay’, which she wrote during her MA, will be published in Courtney Mcphail’s ‘She, Her, We’, a collection of short stories, memoirs and poetry written about women for women in summer 2021.