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PhD in English




The English Department offers promising students the opportunity to pursue a PhD with any of its permanent members of staff (professors and maîtres d’enseignement et de recherche, also known as MERs). Currently we have eighteen doctoral students working towards their degrees. There is no doctoral-level course-work so we expect students to have excelled at a high-quality MA program before they arrive and be able to carry out independent research. Advanced training is, however, available to UNIL students through the CUSO-funded Doctoral School in English in Western Switzerland (encompassing the universities of Lausanne, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, and Bern) which offers doctoral workshops, seminars and conferences several times a year.

There are several ways to finance a doctorate degree. The English department employs some doctoral students as assistants (5-year research and teaching positions) in the different fields taught in the department. These assistant positions are advertised quite rarely (see job.unil) and are extremely competitive. Other options include self-funding (working part-time as you write). Or applying for funding through the FNS (National Science Foundation). In any case, the first step to inquiring about doctoral study is to talk to a potential supervisor and determine if that person is willing and able to take you on based on a solid research proposal.  We privilege close working conditions with a small group of highly qualified students and many staff members are already working with a full load. When contacting a prospective supervisor by email or post, please send a research proposal and cover letter explaining why that person would be ideal to direct your project. Please be aware that we do not offer financial aid or scholarships so please be prepared to explain how you will fund yourself.

If you have the agreement of a supervisor in the department, you may enroll either in October or February (students without a UNIL degree need to apply in July) and submit a 5-10 page thesis proposal (including bibliography). You will find more administrative and practical information about doctoral study on the Faculty of Arts Decanat webpage.

Publications by our current PhD candidates

Diana Denissen

“De meerstemmige auteur: Het auteurschap van Maria Bosch, Aagje Deken en Betje Wolff.” Vooys. Tijdschrift voor Letteren 32:1 (March 2014), 25-34.

Isis Giraldo

“Coloniality at work: Decolonial critique and the postfeminist regime”. In: Feminist Theory 17.2 (2016), pp. 157-173.

“‘Freakish Fat’, ‘Wretched Black’: Female Abject Beings in Contemporary Colombian Media and Culture.” Feminist Media Studies 15:4 (2015). Free limited access here.

“Machos y mujeres de armas tomar. Patriarcado y subjetividad femenina en la narco-telenovela colombiana contemporánea.” La manzana de la discordia 10:1 (2015), 67-81. Access here.

“Post-feminismo y performance en la televisión colombiana contemporánea.” Boca de Sapo 17 (2014), 16-20.

with Kirsten Stirling. Review of Barrie, Hook, and Peter Pan: Studies in Contemporary Myth: Estudios sobre un mito contemporáneo, ed. by Alfonso Muñoz Corcuera and Elisa T. Di Biase. Scottish Literary Review 5:2 (2013), 130-132.

Cécile Heim

"Performing History on Stage: The Re-creation of a Historical Narrative in Marie Clements's Burning Vision". ABD Journal (Anthropology: Bachelors to Doctorates). 3.1. Nov. 2015. 3-10.

Roxane Hughes

"Cinderella from a Cross-Cultural Perspective: Connecting East and West in Donna Jo Napoli's Bound." Cinderella Across Cultures: New Directions and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Ed. Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère, Gillian Lathey and Monika Wozniak. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2016. 232-252.

Philip Lindholm

with Rachel Falconer. “John Keats.” In: Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature. Ed. Andrew Hadfield. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Camille Marshall

"Doubting the Middleman: Mediated Instruction and Divine Authority in the Towneley Mystery Plays." In: Drama and Pedagogy in Medieval and Early Modern England. SPELL 31. Ed. Elisabeth Dutton and James McBain. Tübingen: Narr, 2015. 53-70.

"Figuring the Dangers of the 'Greet Forneys': Chaucer and Gower’s Timely (Mis)Reporting of the Peasant Voice." Comitatus 46 (2015), 75-97. Restricted access here.

Tino Oudesluijs

“Britons in Anglo-Saxon laws and charters.” In: Proceedings of the first European symposium in Celtic Studies. Berlin: Curach bhán publications, forthcoming.

“Problematische Brits-Keltische plaatsnamen in het noordwesten van Engeland.” Kelten: Mededelingen van de Stichting A.G. van Hamel voor Keltische Studies 69 (February 2016), 13-20.

translator (English to Dutch) of  ““Totally ignorant of the English language” - Henry Jenkinsons verslag van eentalige Manx-sprekers in 1874,” by C. S. Miller. Kelten: Mededelingen van de Stichting A. G. van Hamel voor Keltische Studies 68 (November 2015), 2-3.

Review of The English Isles: Cultural transmission and political conflict in Britain and Ireland, 1100–1500, by Seán Duffy & Susan Foran (red.). Kelten: Mededelingen van de Stichting A.G. van Hamel voor Keltische Studies 64 (November 2014), 9-11.

Review of Myth and history: Ethnicity and politics in the first millennium British Isles, by Stephen James Yeates. Kelten: Mededelingen van de Stichting A.G. van Hamel voor Keltische Studies 59 (August 2013), 11-12.

“Angelsaksische percepties van Kelten.” Kelten: Mededelingen van de Stichting A.G. van Hamel voor Keltische Studies 53 (February 2012), 5-7.

with Willemijn van klingeren. A Supplement to Koert van der Horst, Illuminated and Decorated Medieval Manuscripts in the University Library, Utrecht (1989). Vol. 1: Manuscripts acquired 1989 – 2011 & loose Manuscript fragments (first section). Utrecht: University Library of Utrecht, Special Collections, 2011. Full access here.

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