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The University of Southampton
EnglishPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Miss Victoria L Dawson 

Postgraduate research student

Miss Victoria L Dawson's photo

Miss Victoria L Dawson is Postgraduate research student within English at the University of Southampton.

I have a BA Hons in English from the University of Ulster and a Postgraduate Diploma in Russian Language and Culture from the University of Surrey. In 2011 I completed an MA in English at the University of Southampton. As part of my MA, I undertook a creative dissertation and produced a novella of fifteen thousand words entitled ‘Lost Cause.' The back story of my novella concerned an unconventional relationship between Stella Cross, a Captain in the British Army's ‘official' secret intelligence department, the Force Research Unit (FRU), and the protagonist, a Targeting Officer from MI5. Under the supervision of Ms Rebecca Smith and Dr Will May, I am developing this novella into a full-length novel for my PhD in Creative Writing.

Research interests

I am concerned with Troubles fiction and my research will assess whether the portrayal of Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries and members of the security services echoes or complicates stereotypes. This research will inform a ‘Troubles' novel of my own so that I may avoid producing what J. Bowyer Bell has dubbed ‘Troubles-trash' in which, for example, the image of the IRA volunteer resembles ‘cardboard rather than Celt.' Instead, I hope to produce ‘a more literary form, which draws on serious political matters to reflect upon social and religious disputes,' where the repeated imagery of ‘good' Britain versus ‘evil' Northern Ireland is absent (Marisol Morales-Ladron). I will depict collusion between the security services and the loyalist paramilitaries but within a narrative that is equally concerned with the impact of mental and physical illness on families, lesbian sexuality and historical trauma and loss. My novel seeks to challenge the conventions of the Troubles thriller genre -  conventions that are found in novels such as Murray Davies', The Dogs in the Street - whilst aspiring to the more literary form exemplified by Deirdre Madden's, One by One in the Darkness. I anticipate that my novel and critical commentary will offer a useful contribution to contemporary genre studies.

Miss Victoria L Dawson
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom
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