Daisy Powell

Daisy Powell


I joined the School of English in October 2019 as a postgraduate researcher. My PhD explores depictions of disability, class and resistance in contemporary austerity Britain, with a focus on twenty-first century literature and film. I am supervised by Dr Clare Barker and Professor Stuart Murray.

I hold a Master of Arts by Research from the University of Leeds, titled Challenging Ableist Perceptions of Disability and Cure Through Contemporary Cultural Narratives. My BA (Joint Honours) in English and Sociology is also from the University of Leeds.

Between 2013 and 2019 I worked for a number of disability charities, gaining knowledge of contemporary disability politics and activism.

My PhD is funded by the AHRC through the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH).

Research interests

My PhD thesis explores post-2010 British literature and film, investigating the ways disability and class interact as a result of and in resistance to austerity. My primary texts include Ken Loach’s films I, Daniel Blake (2016) and Sorry We Missed You (2019), Niall Griffiths’ novel Broken Ghost (2019), Gail Honeyman’s novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (2017), and a growing canon of creative works emerging from the British disability film industry. My analysis of austerity fictions asks how depictions of disability are uniquely placed to expose, resist and challenge austerity politics while offering alternative models of labour, housing and care.

My research interests include:

  • Twenty-first century literature and film
  • Cultural disability studies
  • Medical humanities
  • Crip theory
  • Marxist theory

Conference papers

‘Revealing the violence of austerity through aesthetics of the undead’, Medical Humanities: (In)Visibility, the 4th annual congress of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, Durham University (virtual conference April 2021)

‘Challenging normalcy and ableism: perspectives from contemporary literature’, ENQUIRE postgraduate conference Normality in an Uncertain World, University of Nottingham (September 2013)

Panellist for ‘Extreme Sports: Challenging Myths of Disability Through the International Screen’, Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Leeds (March 2012)


Autumn 2020: Foundations of English Studies


WRoCAH Doctoral Studentship, Arts and Humanities Research Council (2019)

Arts and Humanities Research Council Block Grant Partnership Studentship (Research Preparation Masters Scheme) (2012)


  • Master of Arts by Research (University of Leeds)
  • BA (English and Sociology) (University of Leeds)