Donna McCormack

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

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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.


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