2011-2015 -B. A. Joint Honours English Literature and Fine Art, Aberystwyth University and Aberystwyth School of Art2015-2016 –M. A. Eighteenth Century Writing and Romanticism, Aberystwyth UniversityPhD project with working title: “The Art of Suggestivity in Henry James’ Ghost Stories,” HHU
My thesis isprimarily concerned with self-experience and autonomy through the power of hypnotic suggestion in Henry James’ ghost stories. I am fascinated by the ways James deals with the power of mass influence upon writerly practice and the marketplace. Additionally, the project considers how the narrative appropriates an organic consciousness, whereby past experiences become equally part of the present. This enables James to explore the boundaries of self-experience and autonomy. My work focuses upon theories of time and hypnotic suggestion proposed by Le Bon, William James, and Henri Bergson. My research interests also deal with spiritualism, hypnotism, and the boom in psychoanalytical research that took place in the 19th century. An area the project also aims to address in relation to James’ Ghost stories.
My undergraduate seminars consider the impact of suggestion, symbolism and mesmerism in 19thand early 20thcentury fiction. The seminar focuses on how the technologies of suggestion are utilised in literature and its effects upon readership. Furthermore,anadditional focus is placed upon themes that find their way into the discourse of suggestion and mesmerism in the 19thcentury including insanity, witchcraft, degeneration, death and mass control.