Name: Sofia Aatkar
PhD: English Literature
(Provisional) Thesis Title: 'Strangers to these shores; strangers to themselves': An Exploration of Anglophone Caribbean-British Travel Writing
My thesis focuses on post-1948 anglophone Caribbean-British travel narratives and explores to what extent travel writers of Caribbean descent work within or against the genre's imperial inheritance. Some of my primary texts include: Edgar Mittelholzer's With a Carib Eye (1958), Caryl Phillips's The European Tribe (1987), Amryl Johnson's Sequins for a Ragged Hem (1988), Ferdinand Dennis's Behind the Frontlines: Journey into Afro-Britain (1988), Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place (1988) and 'On Seeing England for the First Time' (1991). My research sits at the intersection of travel writing studies and postcolonial literary theory.
Supervisors and Institution(s):
Professor Tim Youngs - Nottingham Trent University
Dr Jenni Ramone - Nottingham Trent University
Dr Nicole Thiara - Nottingham Trent University
Associations: I am a postgraduate associate of the Centre for Travel Writing Studies (CTWS) and of the Postcolonial Studies Centre (PSC) at Nottingham Trent University. In addition, I sit on the Student Advisory Forum as Nottingham Trent's PhD representative.
Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):
- In collaboration with Richard Bromhall, 'Critical Interventions: Home, Belonging and Krisis', Postcolonial Studies Centre at NTU (2016) < https://postcolonialstudiescentre.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/critical-interventions-home-belonging-and-krisis-by-sofia-aatkar-and-richard-bromhall/ >
- 'Response: Of Warriors and Soldiers: Explorations of the Noble Warrior in Contemporary New Zealand Literature', Postcolonial Studies Centre at NTU (2016) < https://postcolonialstudiescentre.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/of-warriors-and-soldiers-explorations-of-the-noble-warrior-in-contemporary-new-zealand-literature-and-culture-ulla-ratheiser-by-sofia-aatkar-26-april-2016/ >
- 'Response: Africa in Oceana: Thinking Besides The Subaltern', Postcolonial Studies Centre at NTU (2015) < https://postcolonialstudiescentre.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/responseafrica-in-oceania-thinking-besides-the-subaltern-sofia-aatkar/ >
- '"To be static is to be dead": An Interview with Jacob Ross', Peepal Tree Press (2018) < http://www.peepaltreepress.com/blog/news-authors/be-static-be-dead-interview-jacob-ross >
- Aatkar, Sofia, 'Behind the Frontlines: Journey into Afro-Britain', Literary Encyclopedia (2016) < http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35705 >
- Aatkar, Sofia, 'Ferdinand Dennis', Literary Encyclopedia (2016) < https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=13667 >
- Butler, Rebecca, and Sofia Aatkar, 'From “colour and flair” to “a corporate view”: evolutions in guidebook writing: an interview with Jenny Walker', Studies in Travel Writing, 21.2 (2017), 208-220
Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:
CONFERENCE PAPERS (all abstracts can be found here: https://nottinghamtrent.academia.edu/SofiaAatkar)
- 'Expressing the In-between: The Representation of Cultural Liminality in Second-Generation Migrant Characters'. European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Languages Studies (EACLALS), Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich (October 2016)
- 'Contact Zones and Conflict in Amryl Johnson's Sequins for a Ragged Hem'. University of Birmingham (May 2017)
- 'Writing Back and Looking Inward: Edgar Mittelholzer's With a Carib Eye', Society for Caribbean Studies (SCS), University of Essex (July 2017)
- 'Motivity and Mobility in Jamaica Kincaid's "On Seeing England for the First Time" (1991)', Centre for Travel Writing Studies (CTWS) and Network for American Periodical Studies (NAPS), Nottingham Trent University (September 2017)
- 'I'm a Female Travel Writer - Get Me Out of Here! Caribbean Women, Travelling and Writing', Women's Paths Research Group at University of Leeds, Wharf Chambers, Leeds (March 2018)
'“A street-name plaque was coloured red, gold and green over the black lettering”: Counter-mapping in Ferdinand Dennis’s Behind the Frontlines', Orientations: A Conference of Narrative and Place, University of Nottingham (May 2018)
- 'Unlearning and Re-learning: Counter-mapping in Caribbean Travelogues', Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), University of Havana, Cuba (June 2018)
- 'Reading Caryl Phillips and Ferdinand Dennis as Postcolonial Flâneurs', Borders and Crossings, University of Pula (September 2018)
Year: 2015 - 2016
- Research assistant for Dr Beth Driscoll from the University of Melbourne.
- Research Seminar 'Brown Bag' (April 2016), Nottingham Trent University.
- Co-organised and co- hosted a research seminar entitled 'Crime and the Postcolonial in Australian Literature' with Dr Carina Hart (April, 2016), Nottingham Trent University.
- Hosted a session, 'Talking About Caribbean Travel Writing', as part of Nottingham Trent's Global Week (March 2017)
- 'Caribbean Journeys' project through Journey to Justice, with Kelsyn Delany (ongoing). An article by J.H. Lewis (Nottingham Post) about the first workshop can be found here: https://repeatingislands.com/2017/05/30/how-nottingham-is-keeping-caribbean-heritage-alive/. The participants produced two collective poems, one about what home and the other about journeys (see below).
- PubhD (August 2017)
- SAF representative for M3C students at NTU
- Hosted a session about "Impact" at the student-led Midlands Research Skill Share (October 2017)
- Held a Caribbean travel writing workshop at Nottingham Central Library as part of Black History Month with Kelsi Delany. Our session featured on Notts TV (October 2017)
- Kelsi and I spoke during October Dialogues at Nottingham Contemporary about our work with Journey to Justice and the National Caribbean Heritage Museum (October 2017)
- Undertook a 2 month placement with Peepal Tree Press
- Presented a paper at the public-facing seminar Caribbean Feminisms, Diasporic Identities. See section titled Conference Papers for details.
- Co-organised Orientations: A Conference of Narrative and Place. This took place 30th-31st May 2018 at University of Nottingham. It was funded by a CDF.
- 2018 M3C Cultural Engagement Award.
Other Research Interests:
- Travel writing
- Postcolonial theory
- British migrant fiction
- Romani Literature
University email address: email@example.com
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