James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Ashleigh Sullivan

A PhD is a considerable undertaking with many challenges, but also incredible rewards. The continued support of the James Pantyfedwen Foundation has allowed me to not only pursue, but ultimately achieve my doctorate in English Literature free from any financial worry or strain. My thesis, which will hopefully one day become a monograph, examines the ways in which Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) uses the Gothic as a device to explore her own conflicted gender identity through fiction, a line of enquiry I successfully defended during my viva without the need for corrections. This journey, though long and sometimes fraught, has brought me that step closer to accomplishing my dream of becoming an academic. During my time as a PhD candidate, I have developed my skills as a researcher and gained invaluable archival, publishing, conference and teaching experience that will no doubt help me with my future career aspirations. Without the Foundation’s help, I am not sure any of this would have been possible, and for that I will always be eternally grateful.