Hi Regina, congratulations on passing your viva! How does it feel?!
Absolutely thrilled! I have to admit that it took me some days to realise that I have passed my viva – despite the whole department celebrating with me!
What was your PhD title?
Towards a New Theory of Metafiction: Literary Self-Reflexiveness in Contemporary British Fiction
Can you explain in a couple of sentences what your PhD was about?
My research focuses on how literary criticism is incorporated in fictional works in order to comment on the fictionality, artefactuality, and constructedness of literary works. My corpus consists of postmodern British novels, which have been largely ignored in research to date. The outcome of my thesis is a system-categorical approach to metafictional devices that considers the place they take in reference to the text they appear in, other texts, and reality.
Can you sum up your PhD experience in three words?
Enjoyable, stimulating, challenging.
What was the viva like?
Despite being nervous for the first few minutes, it was one of the best experiences I have had so far in Higher Education. It lasted 90 minutes and it gave me the chance to talk about something I am passionate about with experts in the field. My examiners were honestly interested in my research and thus the viva did not feel like an exam, but rather like a sophisticated discussion about something I know better than most other people.
What are your top tips to someone preparing for their viva?
I summarised my thesis chapter by chapter, I found a list of potential viva questions online and answered them, I noted down some content-specific viva questions and their answers, I had a very good mock viva in my department and one with a friend.
Top tip: I was far too over-prepared! In retrospect, I should have relaxed more.
Any advice you’d tell your earlier PhD self now you’ve made it to the other side?
Calm down, take (creative) breaks, stop stressing too much (I am a notorious perfectionist).
What are you up to now and any exciting plans for the future?
I currently hold a post-doc fellowship at BCU, which allows me to write a funding application for a game studies project I want to pursue, finish two journal articles, and approach publishers who might be interested in the publication of my PhD.
My plans for the future are to secure a permanent post in Higher Education, which is situated on the crossroads between English literature, philosophy, and game studies.
Thanks so much for your time Regina, we wish you all the best for the future!