Christopher Chang is a second-year PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of English at the University of Kent. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, he completed his BA and MA at Ryerson University in Canada before moving to the UK in pursuit of further study. His MA thesis was entitled “It’s Not All Black and White: Questioning ‘Creole’ in the Work of Earl Lovelace.”
In that vein, Christopher’s research aims at exploring differing formulations of creole identity in the French, Spanish and English Caribbean in order to understand both why it is such a prevalent theme in Caribbean literature and how these contesting definitions of creoleness can speak to one another and inform a Caribbean aesthetic or identity. As such, he is interested in questions of migration, multiculturalism and hybridity, and language.
Christina Chatzipoulka is a second-year PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Architecture at the University of Kent. She has a Diploma (Dist.) in Architectural Engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Master of Science degree (Dist.) in Environmental Design of Buildings from the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff University. She has awarded honors and grants from Greek and British institutions throughout her studies, among which a GTA scholarship from Kent University to conduct her own research project.
Her PhD thesis, entitled “Synergies and conflicts between environmental objectives in urban design”, questions to what extent urban morphology, as a chief object of the urban design, can promote equally indoor and outdoor environmental quality, with emphasis put on temperate climates.
Christina has developed a passion for urban environmental design and its significant implications for urban microclimate and buildings’ environmental potential. However, her research interest in environmental design, integrated with the values of sustainability for social equity, economic vitality and community engagement, encompasses all scales of space-making and place-making.
Her first intellectual encounter with homelessness was during the two-week workshop “Common place” in Budapest, organized by European Architecture Students Assembly, in 2006. Asked to develop an urban art project discovering / uncovering the identity of the city, she selected to deal with a major issue of Budapest, its homeless people. Her project proposed the facing of urban public space as a potential space of housing and was performed through a process of identifying, signaling and mapping of the hospitable and welcoming spots.
Barbara Franchi is a second-year PhD candidate and Assistant Lecturer at the School of English of the University of Kent. Her research focuses on strategies of intertextuality and ekphrasis in A. S. Byatt’s fiction. In particular, her thesis explores how the presence of past literary and ekphrastic sources affects five major discourses across Byatt’s narratives: geographical oppositions, war narratives, science, visual arts and literary creativity.
Her research is strongly informed with the Bildungsroman tradition and cultural memory studies. Her other research interests include the novel in the 19th and 20th century, gender studies and oral genres of literature.
She is currently co-editing a Special Issue, titled Feminist Movements Across the Board, for Contention: the Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest and she is an active member of the Centre for Gender, Sexuality and Writing of the University of Kent.
She will participate to the Feminist Theory Workshop at Duke University in March 2014, for which she won an award from the Faculty of Humanities, and she was selected as Postgraduate School of English Delegate for Dickens Universe in August 2014, at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Luca Di Gregorio
Luca is a second-year PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the School of European Culture and Languages of the University of Kent, where he was awarded a GTA Scholarship to join the Italian Department in September 2012. His PhD thesis is entitled Aesthetics of the Real. Massimo Recalcati and the Lacanian Theory of Art. He graduated cum laude in Contemporary Aesthetics at the University of Bologna (IT) with a Master’s thesis entitled ‘Conflicting Aesthetics: Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger and Lacan’.
Luca’s main academic interest is the relationship between psychoanalysis and aesthetics, a subject on which he has published a few articles and which has given rise to a column he authors for the online art journal ARACNE. Luca has also translated in Italian essays on this topic written by members of the Bloomsbury Group.
Recently, he has presented the paper Psychoanalysis of art: a matter of power abuse? Massimo Recalcati on Giorgio Morandi and Alberto Burri at the Society for Italian Studies Postgraduate Colloquium 2013, University of Reading (UK); the paper Aesthetics of the Real. A Lacanian perspective on Contemporary Art at the Kent Postgraduate Conference in Aesthetics 2014, University of Kent and the paper L’inconscio all’avvenire: Memory, Repetition and Subjectification in Massimo Recalcati at CHIASMI 2014: Harvard and Brown Graduate Student Conference in Italian Studies at Brown (USA).
Luca’s passion for art, literature and theatre has developed and deepened not only through purely academic endeavours such as his graduate research, but also through more practical experiences as an actor and as a cultural events organiser in Italy.