PhD project

Writing trans and non-binary lives in the 20th and 21st centuries: autobiography, autofiction, autotheory

On this page
Application deadline

30 June 2024

About the Project

This research project aims to explore the ways in which trans and non-binary people have been using different approaches in writing about their lived experiences. Writing trans and non-binary lives and publishing about it is met with various expectations which can be difficult to balance: the interest of reading publics in engaging and often sensationalist stories, the need to make oneself heard as a member of a marginalised group, and the pressure to act as a role model for other individuals in similar circumstances.

Autobiography, autofiction, and autotheory each offer distinct modes of representation and communication which help negotiate the tension between constructing an autobiographical self and (sometimes concurrently) transitioning. Trans and non-binary authors align their personal social presentation and embodiment with their innate knowledge about a non-standard gendered identity whilst being involved in constructing texts.

This project lends itself to a comparative approach between different language areas and the diverging societies in which the texts are written and read. Equally, this project may include elements of participatory research (working with trans, non-binary and queer community groups) and/or an element of practice research (creative writing as a complementary form of knowledge production to standard academic research).

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses, via external sponsorship or self-funding.

Diversity statement

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.

How to apply

  1. Email Professor Michael Gratzke to:
    • Send a copy of your CV
    • Discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).
  2. After discussion with Professor Gratzke, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. 

Candidates must apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in English and Creative Writing.

Learn about applying for a research degree


Principal supervisor