Dr Georgina Binnie
I joined the University of Leeds as a Masters student in Modern and Contemporary Literature in 2011. I began working as a Project Officer in 2016 and was appointed to Impact and Research Fellow (Writing Back) in the following year. I obtained my PhD from the University of Leeds in 2017 with a thesis on 'James Joyce and Photography'. I am the Editorial and New Media Assistant for the James Joyce Broadsheet, which has been published at the School of English since 1980.
In 2014, I founded the University's Writing Back project, a scheme which matches students as pen pals with older, Yorkshire residents. My postdoctoral fellowship examines the relationship between letter writing and health in contemporary culture.
My PhD thesis considered the relationship between paralysis and photography in the works of James Joyce. Joyce's intention in Dubliners to 'betray the soul of that hemiplegia or paralysis which many consider a city' is complicted by his explicit references to photography and photographic devices. Like hemiplegia, the paralysis of just one side of the body, the photograph performs a dual function in Joyce's work, both reinforcing domestic and emotional stasis whilst inviting the possibilities of innovation and escape. Joyce's fascination with cinema and proto-cinematic devices has been well-documented but there has been no comprehensive study of the influence of photography on his work. Just as the interplay between Joyce's writing and photography has been largely neglected by critics, so too has the history of Irish photography. My PhD thesis built on recent work by Justin Carville and Kevin and Emer Rockett on Irish photographic history and, by merging literature and photography, provided an indepth, cross-disciplinary approach to Joycean study.
My interest in visual culture and the role of archival imagery has proved instrumental to Writing Back, an intergenerational letter-writing programme that I founded in 2014. Writing Back matches undergraduate and international postgraduate students as pen pals with older, Yorkshire residents and uses their epistolary narratives to explore loneliness and wellbeing. Now in its fourth year, the project has seen 340 people write to one another so far. University of Leeds students are often away from home for the first time and welcome the chance to write to somebody new. By further providing students with historic images of Yorkshire, and encouraging them to share these with their letters, a knowledge exchange is generated in with the older participants share their personal histories in return.<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>
- PhD James Joyce and Photography
- MA Modern and Contemporary Literature
- BA English Literature
- Leeds City Council Age Friendly Partnership
- Campaign to End Loneliness Research Forum
- British Society of Gerontology
I have taught and delivered lectures on a range of modules at the School of English, including Modern Literature, Contemporary Literature, Prose: Reading and Interpretation, Poetry: Reading and Interpretation and 20th Century Fiction in English.