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Robert Lloyd

Research student, English Literature, School of English, Communication and Philosophy


I graduated with a BA (First Class) in English Literature from Cardiff in 2013, and MA (Distinction) in 2015.

My doctoral thesis examines spectral modalities of subjectivity in the writing of the twentieth-century American author Shirley Jackson (1916-1965). 

In addition to my research, I am also a postgraduate tutor for Year One of the undergraduate programmes in English Literature. 


Research interests

Shirley Jackson's Writing 
Contemporary Ghost Stories
Spectrality Studies
Gothic Fiction
Contemporary Women's Writing
Twentieth-Century American Fiction
Literary Theory
Horror Cinema 

I have presented the following papers at acadmic conferences and research seminars:

11/06/2019 - '"X" and the City: Missing Woman as Spectral Presence in Shirley Jackson's "Nightmare"', ENCAPsulate Postgraduate Research Conference, Cardiff University 

21/03/2019 - 'Missing Women and Spectral Presence in Shirley Jackson's "The Missing Girl" and "The Good Wife"', Tales of Terror: Gothic, Horror, and Weird Short Fiction Conference, University of Warwick

02/08/2018 - 'Shirley Jackson In (and Out of) American Gothic', International Gothic Association's 14th Conference - Gothic Hybridities: Interdisciplinary, Multimodal and Transhistorical Approaches, Manchester Metropolitan University

08/06/2017 - '[L]ike children playing ghost': Spectral Adolescence in Shirley Jackson's Hangsaman', ENCAPsulate Postgraduate Research Conference, Cardiff University

22/02/2017 - 'A Nightmère in Suburbia: Mother and/as Monster in The Babadook', Assuming Gender Research Seminar, Cardiff University

08/02/2017 - 'Haunted Rooms and Haunted Women: Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, Cardiff BookTalk Event




As a Postgraduate Tutor, I have taught on the following Year One modules:

English in Practice and Theory (Core Module, 2016/17)
Critical Reading, Critical Writing (Core Module, 2017-)
Authoring the Self: Romantics and Victorians
Transforming Visions: Text and Image 
Drama: Stage and Page 


Hauntographic Femininity: Ghost-Writing Women in the Work of Shirley Jackson

My thesis is an examination of how literary subjectivity is indebted to the operations of spectrality in a selection of writing from the American author Shirley Jackson (1916-1965). 

My definition of spectrality is drawn both from a combination of different critical accounts, such as Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx and Esther Peeren's The Spectral Metaphor, as well as detailed analysis of Jackson’s work to identify the key textual or narrative components which lend themselves to spectral interpretation. The focus of the thesis is not on adducing examples from Jackson’s writing which conform to a pre-existing theoretical framework; rather, it synthesises critical accounts with close-readings of individual texts to produce an argument about how subjectivity and identity are informed by a spectral modality in the work of a particular writer.

The thesis takes as its focus three of Jackson's novels - The Haunting of Hill HouseHangsaman, and The Bird's Nest - as well as a selection of short stories from The Lottery and Other StoriesLet Me Tell You, and Just an Ordinary Day. The final chapter of the thesis then considers atuo/biographical constructions of Jackson herself as a ghost(ed)-writer, incorporating her two collections of autobiographical writing - Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons - as well as the three biographies on Jackson written by Lenemaja Friedman, Judy Oppenheimer, and Ruth Franklin. 


Areas of expertise