Isabelle Coy-dibley

Doctoral researcher

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I am a doctoral researcher within the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies under the supervision of Dr Georgina Colby, Dr Leigh Wilson, and Dr Simon Avery. My predominant research interests focus on women’s experimental literature with an interdisciplinary theoretical approach, presently exploring concepts of female corporeal memory, bodily semantics and methods of inscription upon and within the female body.

I received a BA with First class honours in English Literature (University of Westminster, 2012), an MA in English: 1850-Present (King's College London, 2013) and an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture (Birkbeck, University of London, 2014).

Visiting Lecturer, Cinematic Justice Module, Law Progression Summer School Programme, University of Westminster, August 2016 and August 2017.

I am presently an ALD Learning Assistant at the University of Westminster.

My tentative thesis title is “Sexual Memory and Bodily Semantics: Inscribing the Female Body in Experimental Women's Writing”. I analyse the writings of Anaïs Nin, Marguerite Duras, and Kathy Acker through a theoretical framework examining female corporeality and the way in which touch functions within the texts. Through researching their works, manuscripts and archives, I explore both social and individual methods of inscribing the female sexual body, the materiality and intimacy of such inscriptions within the writing process and the role of touch and memory in these formations. The research also focuses on bodily semantics – a term I conceptualise to mean trigger words that embody the sexual inscriptions of female corporeality – and how they have undergone temporal modifications due to societal changes in the way in which women’s bodies are perceived. Ultimately, I explore the relationship between touch, memory, and language in the materiality of the female sexual body within women’s experimental writing.

Funding and Awards

Sir Richard Stapley Trust, £800 grant awarded for the 2016 academic year.

English, Linguistic and Cultural Studies department funding: one bid of £350 awarded in 2016 to attend a conference in Lisbon and one of £900 awarded in 2017 for an archival research trip to UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library, Special Collections to access the Anaïs Nin Papers.

125 Award Fund of £263 for the Talking Bodies conference fees in 2017.

IAFOR conference scholarship to attend The Asian Conference on Literature in Kobe, Japan in 2017 (three awardees in total).

Publications

Coy-Dibley, I. (July, 2016). “Digitised Dysmorphia” of the Female Body: The Re/Disfigurement of the Image. Palgrave Communications. 2:16040 doi: 10.1057/palcomms.2016.40.

Coy-Dibley, I. “The “Homofeminine” Lesbian: An (Un)intelligible Identity?”. University of Brighton, Critical Studies, 2 (2016): 50-57.

Conferences

“Reconceptualising Elizabeth Bowen’s WWII Stories and the Queer Perspective” Queer London Conference, University of Westminster, London, UK, 23rd March 2013.

“The Institutionalisation of Lesbianism as an Adolescent Stage of Becoming a Woman: The Power Dynamics of Age within Same-Sex Relationships through the Analysis of the Graphic Novel, Skim,” Lesbian Lives Conference, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK, 20-21stFebruary 2015.

“The “Homofeminine” Lesbian: Am I (Un)Intellgible?” RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, 1-4th September 2015.

““Digitised Dysmorphia” of the Female Body: The Cyber Re/Disfigurement of the Self,” III European Geographies of Sexualities Conference, Sapienza Universitὰ di Roma, Rome, Italy, 16-18th September 2015.

“Medicalising Our Ontology: The Problematic ‘Hysterisation’ of Female Corporeal Semantics,” 21st Century Feminist Praxes, Ontologies and Materialities Conference, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 13-14th May 2016.

“Anaïs Nin’s Diaries: Revising Identity and Sexual Histories in Literary Narratives,” The Asian Conference on Literature, Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan, March 30th- April 2nd 2017. 

“Embodying the Erotically Obscene in Anaïs Nin’s Experimental Literature,” Talking Bodies, University of Chester, Chester, UK, 19th-22nd April 2017.

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