Donna McCormack


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Postcolonial Fiction and Theory
Queer Theory
Critical Disability Theory
Contemporary Science and Speculative Fiction
Monster Theory and Evolutionary Theory
Organ Transplantation and Biotechnologies
Chronic Illness

Personal profile

Personal Statement

My research is situated at the intersection of post- and anti-colonial studies, queer theory, and the medical humanities. In much of my work I formulate post- and anti-colonial, critical race and queercrip ways of analysing contemporary fiction in order to both critique systems of violence and to open up space for imagining what is possible. My focus is the body in the context of health and illness and trauma studies. I work across literatures from North Africa, the Caribbean and Canada. I am currently working on a monograph entitled Vital Death: Organ Transplantation in Contemporary Fiction.

I recently completed an AHRC Leadership Fellowship on Transplant Imaginaries: Haunted Times, Segregated Spaces and Embodied Ethics, which focused on organ transplantation in contemporary fiction. My long-standing interest in organ transplantation in memoirs and fiction (novels and films) is both a concern with how narratives of transplantation may be reimagined, and an analysis of how new bodily imaginaries may offer alternative ways of thinking belonging, community and nation. Indeed, this intersection of visceral body and community boundaries is at the heart of my research.

My first book Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing (Bloomsbury 2014) examined the relation between familial and national violence and trauma in Moroccan, Canadian and Trinidadian literatures. Exploring how trauma may be passed on through the generations without language and through the use of the senses, this book offers a theory of sensory knowledge as a mode of bearing witness to unspeakable and unspoken familial and national traumas. It explores the endless collective work necessary to remember these often silenced histories.

I also have a strong interest in monsters and am a founding member of the Monster Network. I have written on Richard Goldschmidt’s theory of hopeful monsters, and I am interested in alternative evolution theories as forms of anti-colonial, anti-racist, and anti-homo- and transphobic resistance. I am currently developing a project on Queer Fish.

I am currently the coordinator of the Nordic Network Gender, Body, Health.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where Donna McCormack is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Feminist Monster Studies

    Donna McCormack (Invited speaker), Ingvil Hellstrand (Invited speaker), Aino-Kaisa Koistinen (Invited speaker) & Sara Orning (Invited speaker)

    27 Jun 2022

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  • Monsters of the Anthropocene Halloween Event

    Donna McCormack (Participant), Sara Orning (Organiser), Ingvil Hellstrand (Organiser), Aino-Kaisa Koistinen (Organiser) & Line Henriksen (Organiser)

    21 Oct 2021

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganiser of special symposia