Presenters’ Biographies

Gina Nadal  – Department of Design

Gina Nadal is a first year PhD practice-based student at the Design Department at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. After she finished her undergraduate in Arts and Design in Barcelona, she moved to the UK to study and MA in Fashion Graphics at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. During her postgraduate studies, she looked at the relationship between digital jacquard textile practice and the emotional value, which was the predecessor of her Ph.D. Currently she is looking at the factors that generate emotional attachment into the practice of digital jacquard textiles, using digital coding as an interactive and participatory tool.


Owen Rees – Department of History, Politics and Philosophy

Owen Rees is a 3rd year PhD candidate in Ancient History. His research focuses on the military to civilian transitions undergone by ancient Athenian warriors. Owen is the founding Editor of HIVE: The Postgraduate Journal of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. He is also the author of Great Battles of the Classical Greek World (2016) and Great Naval Battles of the Ancient Greek World (2018). Other research interests include ancient tattoos, dogs in the ancient world, and the logistical commitment involved in the repatriation for the ancient war dead.


Halima Benzdira – Department of Languages, Information and Communications

Halima Benzdira, first year Ph.D. student at the department of Languages, Linguistics and TESOL. Before coming to the UK, she earned bachelor and master degrees in English language, literatures and civilizations. She is interested in interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and politeness studies, thus her thesis investigates the patterns of politeness within email exchanges. She is enthusiastic about her work and eager to spread it over politics, economy, and every domain that necessitates social interaction, to avoid discrimination, false stereotypes, impoliteness, and wars. She simply desires to spread harmonious communication in a digital world where social cues absence might result in miscommunication.


Teresa Fitzpatrick  – Department of English

Between completing a BA (Hons) in Humanities & Literature through The Open University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Teresa completed an MA in English Studies: The Gothic at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2014. Sparked by an interest in the emerging ecoGothic, her MA dissertation focused on poison gardens as a gendered trope in Gothic literature and Teresa’s doctoral research builds on this to consider the role of plant monsters, gardeners and greenhouse spaces in twentieth and twenty-first century Gothic Science Fiction. Through a blend of material ecocriticism, eco-feminism and Female Gothic theories, Teresa’s research investigates plant and greenhouse monsters (both vegetable and human) within the hybrid genres of Weird/Gothic/Science Fiction and aims to establish them as ecoGothic motifs that engage with continually changing gender debates.


Daniel Bennett – Department of History, Politics & Philosophy

Daniel Bennett is a first year PhD student studying Politics at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research focuses on US-Russia relations post-Cold War. His presentation will focus on why relations failed to improve, analysing a few of the key reasons for this.


Andrew Forster – Department of English

Andrew Forster has published three collections of poetry. Homecoming was shortlisted for the Lakeland Book of the Year Award and Fear of Thunder was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. He worked in Literature Development for 19 years, latterly as Literature Officer at the Wordsworth Trust. He now works as an Associate Lecturer at MMU and is involved in a number of freelance projects, including the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets and, as co-editor, the online poetry magazine The Compass. He is in the final year of a PhD is focused on poetry and environmentalism.


Paul Proctor – Department of Media

Paul Proctor is a photographer, and academic at Manchester Metropolitan University. Paul’s photographic practice uses digital technologies to make photographic images of objects that he creates through modeling and simulation performed in a 3D computer environment. Recent exhibitions of his work include ‘Beyond the Camera’ Pingyao International Photography Festival 2016. Last year he presented a paper at The Image Conference, Venice 2017. Paul is currently studying for a PhD at MMU, his thesis asks ‘How is Photography Performed in a Virtual Digital Space?’ He has developed a specialist interest in human and non-human agency as expressed through his practice and the theories of New Materialisms, Virtuality and Technicity.


Sumayah Bayounis – Department of Languages, Information and Communications

Sumayah Bayounis is in her first year of her research in the Information and Communications department at Manchester Metropolitan University. She graduated in information management and worked as a lecturer at Umm Alqura University. She is interested in the field of information seeking behaviour and knowledge sharing. Particularly, she is looking into international students’ information, seeking to manage cultural adaptation in a new country using social networking sites.


Michael Orr – Department of Design

Michael Orr is currently following his MA in Graphic Design and Art Direction at MMU. He is researching a creative approach to design using digital audio, code and other applications. He has been included in the 2018 submission for The Big Chip awards for Digital Innovations. Michael is an experienced audio professional having studied electronic music productions with SAE in Amsterdam and more recently in obtaining a BSc. (Hons)(1st) in Media Technology & Production from UCLAN. Michael’s background spans many disciplines including image manipulation, animation, web and page layout, video and lighting applications.