5 Minutes With… Emma Flynn

In this series we interview PhD researchers across the arts and humanities in Scotland, and throughout the month of March we’re putting a special focus on women-identifying researchers. In this post, we hear from Emma Flynn, who is a PhD researcher at the University of Strathclyde.

A banner for the series with the words '5 minutes with Emma Flynn' next to a circular image of Emma.

What year are you in, and at what school?

I’m a first year PhD researcher in Gender Studies (with a focus on literature and film) at Strathclyde University.

What’s the working title of your thesis?

Now you’re asking! At the moment we’re working with: ‘MeToo and Text: Examining representations of sexual violence in English and French literature and film’.

How would you describe your thesis to someone you just met?

My thesis is a comparative project that examines examples of literature and film in English and French that feature sexual violence from about 2014 to present. I’m interested in the sometimes quite different responses to #MeToo (and adjacent movements like #balancetonporc) in the Anglo-American and French cultural spheres and am using this as a bit of a jumping off point for my comparisons. I’m keen to see the ways in which textual representations of sexual violence – and survivors, perpetrators and rape culture more widely – are similar and, perhaps more importantly, where they diverge.

And then I’d hope the person I’d described it to wasn’t running away screaming.

What do you like best about your PhD/research/experience thus far? Least?

I’ve loved connecting with others doing similar (and also completely different) research not just in the UK but across the world – being able to attend international conferences has been really exciting and an experience we potentially wouldn’t have had access to in the past. I’m also incredibly passionate about my work on sexual violence and feel very privileged to have this as my everyday ‘job’. My least favourite part has been the isolation, of course, and not being able to meet any of my new colleagues in person. I hope this changes soon!

What do you wish you’d known going into your PhD program?

You’re not the only one who doesn’t know that they’re doing!

What do you do for fun outside of academia?

I run a feminist/gender theory reading group called FEARY with Glasgow Zine Library which aims at making theoretical material accessible to all. When I’m not being a complete bore, I love psychic magazines, trash TV and sometimes messing about on community radio. I have also watched over 100 films this year so far, please don’t tell anyone…

If you’d like to be highlighted in our ‘5 Minutes With’ series, email Danielle.Schwertner@glasgow.ac.uk

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