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Name: Connor Murphy

PhD: English Literature

Provisional Thesis Title: 'Love me or kill me': Desire and Trauma in the Theatre of Sarah Kane


Thesis Description:

My thesis explores the apparent representational code between desire and trauma: that these two concepts are twinned, and are the two mechanisms through which subjectivity is staged. By examining the queer inclinations of the work of British playwright Sarah Kane (1971-1999), I will investigate how her plays attempt to shatter familiarity, normativity, boundaries and binaries; I seek to argue that they bring the artistic linchpins of desire and trauma under intense scrutiny, and interrogate our individual and cultural processes of 'loving', 'remembering', and 'recovering'.


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Dr. Humaira Saeed (Nottingham Trent University)

Dr. Cüneyt Çakirlar (Nottingham Trent University)

Professor Lisa Downing (University of Birmingham)



  • Midlands3Cities/AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (Nottingham Trent University)
  • MRes in English Literary Research: Distinction (Nottingham Trent University)
  • BA (Hons) in English with Creative Writing: First Class Honours (Nottingham Trent University)


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:


  • Participated in various conferences and taught lectures throughout my Masters year at NTU.

Summer 2015:

  • Co-organised Queer Reading, a monthly LGBT+ public reading group, in Nottingham from August 2015 until 2016.
  • From June to September of 2015, I was granted a position as a research assistant for Dr. Humaira Saeed on her research project, 'Postcolonial Sexualities', enabled through the SPUR (Scholarship Projects for Undergraduate Researchers) project at NTU.

Other Research Interests:

  • Affect theory, narrative theory, postcolonial studies, semiotics & deconstruction
  • Fantasy literature and children's literature
  • Creative writing: performance poetry, short stories and novel writing
  • RPG and online gaming culture
  • 20th century poetry & stageplay
  • 1920-present gay & lesbian fiction



University email address:

Twitter: here here



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