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Tracy Brain

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, University of Sussex
  • MA, University of Sussex
  • BA, University Of California, San Diego

Recent professional training

  • UK Council for Graduate Education Event. ‘PGR Employability in 2020 and beyond: New Agendas and Developing Practices’, April 2020.
  • Spanish, Upper-Intermediate, ongoing classes.
  • Clinical and Scientific Expert Witness Bias: Sources and Expression, Royal Society of Medicine, 18 January 2020.
  • Working with the Prevent Duty, January 2020.
  • Research Integrity, November 2019.
  • Investigating A Complex Murder: Combining Forensic and Legal Medical Expertise, Royal Society of Medicine, 19 October 2019.
  • AHRC/UKRI Leadership Fellows Workshop, University of Bristol, 18 July 2018.
  • Coping with Losing a Baby: Medicine and Me, Royal Society of Medicine, 2 June 2018.
  • Quality Public Engagement Workshop, 30 November 2017.
  • Research Bidding Masterclass led by Professor Andrew Derrington, 19 May 2016.
  • Discoverability of Creative Writing PhDs, NAWE / British Library EThOS / AHRC Academic Book of the Future Project. 5 May 2016.
  • Social Media Training. Webinar with HarperCollins USA Marketing Director, May 2014.
  • Giving Interviews. Society of Authors Workshop, April 2014.
  • Giving Readings. Society of Authors Workshop, April 2014.

In addition to the training that I have undertaken, as detailed above, I have also delivered the following training to colleagues and PhD students:

  • ‘Recruiting and Supervising Creative Practice PhDs’, Event for Academic Staff, June 2019.
  • ‘Developing and Running a Low Residency PhD Programme’, Event for Academic Staff, June 2019.
  • ‘When Chairing is Challenging’, Event for PhD Examiners and Chairs, May 2016.
  • ‘Creative Practice and Academic Writing for PhD Students’, Research Week, Workshop for PhD Students, May 2016.
  • ‘Getting Through Your Viva’, Workshop for PhD Students, February 2016.

  • The Royal Society of Medicine
  • The National Association for Writers in Education
  • The Higher Education Academy (formerly the Institute for Teaching and Learning)
  • The UK Council for Graduate Education
  • The Association of Writers and Writing Programs
  • The Society of Authors

Key roles at Bath Spa University

  • Course Director, PhD in Creative Writing
  • Member of the University's Postgraduate Research Management Group
  • Higher Degrees Tutor, School of Creative Industries
  • Line management and operational management
  • Creative Writing Subject Lead for the AHRC South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP)
  • Member of the AHRC SWW DTP Programme Delivery Board
  • Member of the AHRC SWW DTP Awarding Board

External examining

I have held long-term external examining appointments on undergraduate and Masters level degrees at a number of higher education institutions.

  • MA in Creative Studies, University of Wales, Bangor, 2001-2005.
  • Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Arts in Professional Writing, University College, Falmouth (now Falmouth University), 2001-2005.
  • BA in Creative Studies, University of Sussex, 2006-2010. 
    BA in Creativity and the Arts, University of Sussex, 2007-2010.
  • MA in Creative Writing, Birkbeck College, University of London, 2011-2014.
  • Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing, University of Oxford, 2016-2019.

In addition to acting as internal examiner for multiple PhDs at Bath Spa University, I have acted as external examiner of PhD theses in the UK and abroad, including:

  • PhD on Sylvia Plath, University of New South Wales, 2004.
  • PhD on Sylvia Plath, Leeds Metropolitan University, 2008.
  • PhD in Creative Writing by Publication, Oxford Brookes University, 2014.
  • PhD on Sylvia Plath, University of Ulster, 2017.
  • PhD on Sylvia Plath, University of Pretoria, Summer 2020.

Other external roles

Editorial work:

  • I regularly act as a reader/reviewer for the following peer reviewed academic journals:  English, Textual Practice, The Review of English StudiesThe Journal of American Studies, The Journal of  Victorian Studies.
  • I regularly act as a reader/reviewer of book proposals and manuscripts for Cambridge University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, and Ashgate (now Routledge/Taylor & Francis).
  • I am on the editorial board of the academic journal Plath Profiles (Indiana University). 

Teaching specialisms

  • Psychological Thrillers
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Ted Hughes
  • The Nineteenth Century Novel (especially Dickens, Hardy and the Brontes)
  • Samuel Richardson
  • Literature and Reproductive Medicine
  • I was awarded a Bath Spa University Teaching Fellowship in 2007/2008

Current scholarship

Books:

  • Pregnancy and the Novel: Representation and Concealment from Richardson to Hardy. Scholarly monograph to be published by Palgrave Macmillan
  • Novel to be published by HarperCollins.

Bath Spa University research centre membership

  • Steering Committee, Research Centre for Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Empathy and Writing Research Group
  • Making Books Research Centre
  • Creative Writing Research Centre
  • Evidence-Based Policing Board

Research supervision

PhD in Creative Writing Programme. 

  • I designed this Programme in the early 2000s, and continue to manage and develop it as Course Director. We have an exciting mix of campus-based and low residency students from the UK and all over the world.
  • One of the great privileges of my career is that I continue to act as a PhD supervisor for numerous brilliant students.

Supervision to Completion of Doctoral Research

  • As of May 2020, I have supervised twenty Creative Writing PhDs to completion.
  • I have also supervised two English Literature PhDs to completion.

Intensive Low residency PhD in Creative Writing programme for international students:

  • I designed and continue to lead this full time, specialist strand of Bath Spa University's PhD in Creative Writing programme.
  • Together with Professor Gerard Woodward, I successfully supervised our first cohort, who began in October 2012.
  • Professor Woodward and I began working with our eighth cohort in October 2019.

PhD in Creative Writing Research Forum

  • Together with Professor Gerard Woodward, I convene this specialist forum, which meets each month.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Fiction published under a pseudonym
book

Brain, T (2019) Fiction published under a pseudonym. Harper Collins, London.


Sylvia Plath in context
book

Brain, T, ed. (2019) Sylvia Plath in context. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9781108470131


Fiction published under a pseudonym
book

Brain, T (2017) Fiction published under a pseudonym. Harper Collins, London.


Fiction published under a pseudonym
book

Brain, T (2014) Fiction published under a pseudonym. Harper Collins, London.


Representing Sylvia Plath
book

Brain, T and Bayley, S (2011) Representing Sylvia Plath. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9781107006751


The other Sylvia Plath
book

Brain, T (2001) The other Sylvia Plath. Pearson Education. ISBN 0-582-32730-X


Sylvia Plath and you
book_section

Brain, T (2019) 'Sylvia Plath and you.' In: Brain, T, ed. Sylvia Plath in context. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 84-93. ISBN 9781108470131


Sylvia Plath in the early twenty-first century
book_section

Brain, T (2016) 'Sylvia Plath in the early twenty-first century.' In: Spencer, E, ed. American poetry since 1945. Palgrave, London, pp. 111-132. ISBN 9781137324467


Story, body and voice: dating and grouping Sylvia Plath's poems
book_section

Brain, T (2013) 'Story, body and voice: dating and grouping Sylvia Plath's poems.' In: Critical insights: Sylvia Plath. Salem Press, Ipswich MA. ISBN 9781429838337


Fictionalising Sylvia Plath
book_section

Brain, T (2011) 'Fictionalising Sylvia Plath.' In: Bayley, S and Brain, T, eds. Representing Sylvia Plath. Cambridge University Press, Cambrige. ISBN 9781107006751


Hughes and feminism
book_section

Brain, T (2011) 'Hughes and feminism.' In: Gifford, T, ed. The Cambridge companion to Ted Hughes. Cambridge Companions to Literature . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9780521145763


Unstable manuscripts: the indeterminacy of the Plath canon
book_section

Brain, T (2007) 'Unstable manuscripts: the indeterminacy of the Plath canon.' In: Helle, A, ed. The unraveling archive: essays on Sylvia Plath. University of Michigan Press, Michigan, pp. 17-38. ISBN 0472099272


Sylvia Plath's letters and journals
book_section

Brain, T (2006) 'Sylvia Plath's letters and journals.' In: Gill, Jo, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Sylvia Plath. Cambridge University Press, pp. 139-155. ISBN 0-521-60685-3


Dangerous confessions: the problem of reading Sylvia Plath biographically
book_section

Brain, T (2006) 'Dangerous confessions: the problem of reading Sylvia Plath biographically.' In: Gill, Jo, ed. Modern Confessional Writing. Routledge, pp. 11-32. ISBN 0-415-33969-3


Stitching a life, telling a story: sewing in 'Jane Eyre'
article

Brain, T (2014) 'Stitching a life, telling a story: sewing in 'Jane Eyre'.' Women's Writing, 21 (4). pp. 464-487. ISSN 1747-5848


Medicine in Sylvia Plath's late poems
article

Brain, T (2013) 'Medicine in Sylvia Plath's late poems.' Plath Profiles: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Sylvia Plath Studies, 6 (Summer). pp. 9-26. ISSN 2155-8175


Sylvia Plath and you
conference_item

Brain, T (2017) Sylvia Plath and you. In: Transatlantic Literary Women, 3 June 2017, Glasgow Women's Library, Glasgow, Scotland.


Wish I had a Sylvia Plath
conference_item

Brain, T (2008) Wish I had a Sylvia Plath. In: Oxford Literary Festival after-performance discussion, 4 April 2008, Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, UK.


Presenting Sylvia Plath
conference_item

Brain, T (2007) Presenting Sylvia Plath. In: Syliva Plath 75th Year Symposium, 25-27 October 2007, Balliol College, Oxford, UK.


The manuscripts of Plath's last poems
conference_item

Brain, T (2007) The manuscripts of Plath's last poems. In: Modern Manuscripts Series Seminar, 20 November 2007, University of London, London, UK.


Plath the working writer: editing and the manuscripts
conference_item

Brain, T (2002) Plath the working writer: editing and the manuscripts. In: Sylvia Plath 70th Year Symposium, 31 October - 2 November 2002, Indiana University IN, USA.


Rethinking the Plath canon
conference_item

Brain, T (2002) Rethinking the Plath canon. In: Research Series, December 2002, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.


"It's not just about the writing": effective personal and professional development for creative writing PhD candidates
commissioned_report

Fenby-Hulse, K, Whiting, M, Middleton, T and Brain, T (2015) "It's not just about the writing": effective personal and professional development for creative writing PhD candidates.


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