Current Research Students

From medieval heraldry to the reception history of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels, our research students are making significant contributions to their fields. 

Sadaf Fahim

Supervisor: Professor Sarah Churchwell (IES/SAS)

Thesis: 'The Pitch and Beat of the Jazz Age: "Jazz" and the Reception of This Side of Paradise'


Sadaf Fahim is a PhD candidate at the Institute of English Studies. She holds an MA in American Literature from the University of East Anglia. Her dissertation topic is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s early fiction and the birth of the Jazz Age. Research interests include twentieth-century American literature, jazz, and comedy.

Matthew Fay

Supervisor: Professor Warwick Gould (IES)

Thesis: ‘The Fay Archive: Towards a Checklist and Copy-specific Analysis of Key Research Items by W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge and Lady Gregory.’


Over the years, Matthew has turned his hand to several disciplines, from high school teaching to theatre directing, before taking the MA in the History of the Book at London University. He is now undertaking research for a PhD on an archive formed by his great-grandfather, Frank Fay (1870-1930), an Irish actor and producer, who collaborated with W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory on the plays that were performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Matthew is interested in the provenance of books and theatre history.

Carey Adina Karmel

Supervisors: Dr Wim Van Mierlo (Loughborough) and Professor Rick Rylance (IES, supervisor of record)

Thesis: 'Dislocation: The Psychogeography of T.S. Eliot's Poetry'


Decades ago, as a Harvard undergraduate, Carey Adina Karmel first delved into dusty archives to examine marginalia on T.S. Eliot’s personal copy of Dante’s Commedia. That first academic foray combined with published treks in Let’s Go: Europe led her to win a scholarship to obtain an M.A. in Italian literature at the University of Florence. While raising two sons, Carey attracted awards in multiple fields: design, property, and journalism. In 2010, she mounted a version of her “Class Notes” exhibit from Harvard in Senate House Library and offered to lead her “Unreal City” walking tour for those enrolled in the T.S. Eliot International Summer School.  She has returned every summer since. Carey is currently in her writing up year of the thesis, combining her passion for both the pedestrian and the poetic. For the 2017 Summer School, Carey’s walking tour adds coordinates in Marylebone, while location has taken on more prominence in her thesis whose subtitle is now: The Psychogeography of T.S. Eliot’s Poetry

Margaret Joachim

Supervisors: Dr Nigel Ramsay (UCL) and Dr Cynthia Johnston (IES)

Thesis: 'The Significance of Heraldry in Illuminated Manuscripts produced in England from the Thirteenth to the Late-Fourteenth Century'


Initially a geologist (PhD in Pleistocene Entomology - fossil beetles), Margaret then became (concurrently) an IT programme manager, Anglican priest and political campaigner. Having now retired, she combines a long-standing amateur interest in heraldry with a new-found enthusiasm for book history, alongside trying to disinter O-level Latin from 50 years ago.

Luna Liu

Supervisor: Dr Andrew Nash (IES)

Thesis: 'A Study on the History of George Allen & Unwin — The intersection between the publishing output and the wider business context, 1914-1968'


A partly qualified accountant. A business student interested in the secondhand and collectable book trade, recently graduated from MA Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. A Tolkien fan, whose PhD topic is the history of his publisher. Main research interests include the history of the book, and publishing, since 1800, in particular, the history of individual publishing houses, and the author-publisher relationship.


Martina Mastandrea

Supervisors: Professor Sarah Churchwell (IES/SAS) and Professor Maria Wyke (UCL)

Thesis: Echoes of the Silent Movie Age: F. Scott Fitzgerald on the 1920s Silver Screen


Born and raised in Venice, Italy, Martina Mastandrea is a PhD candidate at the Institute of English Studies. Her research interests include twentieth-century American literature, silent film history, and celebrity culture. She holds degrees from the University of Udine and the University of Padua. 

Anthony ('Tony') Russ

Supervisor: Professor Henry Woudhuysen (Oxford, SRF IES)

Thesis: 'Shakespeare's First Folio: A Study of Copy Provenance, 1623-2016'


Tony, a retired Army colonel, has recently completed the London University MRes in the History of the Book, and is now undertaking research for a PhD exploring the provenance of Shakespeare’s First Folio and the quarto editions of his playbooks printed before 1623. Tony has a long-standing interest in collecting early printed classical and renaissance texts and is also a highly skilled bookbinder.

Stephen Thompson

Supervisor: Professor Rick Rylance (IES, SAS)

Thesis: 'Informing, motivating and diverting the citizen-soldier: The provision and use of books, pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals by the British Army in the Second World War (1939-1945)'


Stephen Thompson has an M.A. in the History of the Book from the Institute of English Studies, University of London. His interests include English private presses and British book history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and he has written about the Beaumont Press and other publications of Cyril W. Beaumont between 1917 and 1931. He has studied the role of the Army Bureau of Current Affairs in informing the British citizen-soldier during the Second World War and is now researching the entire use of books and other print materials by the British Army between 1939 and 1945.

Stavroula Zarra

Supervisor: Dr Andrew Nash (IES)

Thesis: 'Gender and Politics in Naomi Mitchison’s historical novels set in Ancient Greece'


My name is Stavroula Zarra and I am a PhD candidate at the Institute of English Studies. After completing my first degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Athens, Greece I moved to London to pursue postgraduate Studies. I also hold a Masters Degree from the IES in National and International Literatures in English. My main research interests are feminist and gender theory, post colonial literature, as well as Greek classics. Other interests include English Language teaching, editing and literary translation.