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School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Student experience

Watch some of our PhD students make 'elevator pitches' as they explain their theses in short video presentations

Elevator pitches

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Find out more about the PhD students who feature in the elevator pitch videos:

Fabienne Cheung, PhD student in French studies

I am a second-year PhD student in French studies, having completed my Masters and undergraduate degrees at the University of Oxford, before spending a year at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. I am studying the autobiographical writing of three experimental authors, spanning the mid-to-late twentieth century to the present day: Michel Leiris, a Surrealist; Georges Perec, an orphan of the Holocaust; and Marcel Bénabou, a Moroccan Jewish historian who writes in French.

David Hartley, PhD student in Creative Writing

My project will explore autism in relation to the fantastical other. I will write a fantasy novel which will explode apart the cliches of autistic representation, and my critical work will examine autistic identity and empowerment in relation to popular figures of the fantastical genres.

For more information about myself, including links to some of my published writing, please visit my website.

Yi-Chi Chiu, PhD student in Chinese Studies

I am exploring how decadence is defined in the context of Taiwan’s urban literature. Many people link decadence with a more negative idea, for example, individualism, indulgence and demoralisation. But, in this research, I would like to reverse the primary negativity of decadence.

Sarah Botfield, PhD in Archaeology

I am studying part-time for a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Manchester and my thesis is entitled 'Representations of the Natural and Cultural World in Mid-Late Neolithic Ceramics'.
Although interested in all periods of history and prehistory, it is the Neolithic period I am most drawn to. 

I completed an MPhil at the University of Birmingham, 'Grooved Ware Pottery In the Upper Thames Valley: Context and Design', in 2011 which left me with so many questions I wanted to answer that the most natural step was therefore a PhD, hence my thesis subject.

I also work part-time in the heritage sector as a Historic Environment Records Officer for a local unitary authority and am also an active member of a local Archaeological Group and have been involved in several excavations spanning the Bronze Age, Early Medieval, Medieval and Post Medieval periods.

Stefano Locatelli, PhD in Economic and Social History

I am currently reading for a PhD in Economic and Social History at the University of Manchester. Previously, I studied History (BA) and Historical Sciences (MA) at the University of Milan, where I met Professor Lucia Travaini and her passion for Medieval Numismatics, which is also mine now. I collaborated on several projects involving the University of Milan and other institutions, such as the Coin and Medal Department of The British Museum, for which I am volunteering. Finally, I am an alumnus of the School of Archival Science, Palaeography and Diplomatics of the State Archives of Milan.

•    View Stefano Locatelli's LinkedIn profile
•    View Stefano Locatelli's PhD student profile

Rajbharat Patta, PhD in Religions and Theology

My research tests the relevance of Christian faith in the Indian Public Sphere. The term ‘public’ has been problematic, for there has been lots of ambiguity and fluidity to the term and therefore ‘which public’ and ‘whose public’ came to the fore in my discussion. If you are interested in my work please feel free to get in touch with me or if you are working on similar projects I look forward to mutual and collaborative learning from you.

Maria Montt Strabucchi, PhD Latin American Cultural Studies

I am a final-year PhD student in Latin American Cultural Studies at The University of Manchester. My research focuses on how Latin American writers have represented China and Chinese in their texts, shedding light on their imaginaries on China and the ‘Orient,’ thus engaging with discussions which explore the influence and role of China in Latin America. I studied History as an undergraduate at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and completed an MA in Chinese Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. My research interests include Chinese-Latin American cultural, economic and political relations, poststructuralist and postcolonial theories, and cosmopolitanism. I am also interested in geographical, political and temporal echoes, and reformulations of ideas, beliefs and imaginaries in transnational contexts.

Get to know our postgraduate research community

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures PhD researcher Johnannes Lotz discusses his fascination with China, its language and culture, and how it has guided his research.

Final year PhD researcher Edmund Chow was a 2015 finalist in the University's 3 minute thesis competition. In his short film he goes through his presentation on the day.

Robots and Religion is a short film about Scott Midson, a PhD researcher studying Religions and Theology. Scott tells us about the journey his research has taken him on.

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