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The University of Southampton
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Mr Mike Witcombe 

Postgraduate research student

Mr Mike Witcombe's photo

Mr Mike Witcombe is Postgraduate research student within English at the University of Southampton.

I came to Southampton after having undertaken previous degrees at the Universities of Glasgow (MA (Hons) in English Literature, 2008) and Edinburgh (MSc in American Literature, 2010), initially drawn towards the university's scholarly expertise and warmer climate. In 2010, I was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council scholarship to pursue my research on the American author Philip Roth. I am supervised by academics who also work within the Parkes Institute for Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations, an association which has helped take my thesis in a number of unexpected directions.

Research interests

My research is focused on fictional depictions of sex, with a particular emphasis on Jewish masculinity. Philip Roth's recent retirement has either meant that my project is being undertaken at the best or the worst possible time, but it has been a rewarding process regardless.

Thanks to the PhD funding I received from the University, I spent four months researching the Philip Roth Papers at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. I have also given several conference papers - including two papers on Roth that I presented in New Jersey and Canterbury respectively, both of which I was able to secure additional funding for.

Other Activities

Whilst studying at Southampton I co-ordinated one of the faculty's annual postgraduate conferences (‘Memory and Myth', April 1st 2011), which featured several panels - including, for the first time, scholars from other universities. I have also run peer-led training sessions on ‘Organising Conferences' and ‘Researching Abroad' for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Gradnet social group.


I have published articles in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities-run journal Emergence and in a postgraduate journal based in Edinburgh, both of which can be found online. An article I have written on the author Michael Chabon will also be published as part of an edited collection by Scarecrow Press (due winter 2013).

Mr Mike Witcombe
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom
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