Meet our postgraduate researchers: Manos Apostolidis

Published on 14 August 2021

Manos is a postgraduate researcher at the School of Humanities. He is researching how current neuroscientific trend is reflected in literary studies.

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What’s your research project about?

I research how the act of telling a story—especially in an autobiographical context—shapes our perception of self. Turns out “storytelling” is not merely a way to entertain, but the way we are in this world; it is an extensive and crucial phenomenon of our daily lives, and it is directly linked with our mental health. In my practice-based research, I will write essays displaying the importance of storytelling using my personal experience as a case study that might eventually help others.

Why have you chosen to start a research degree? 

Before starting, I’d heard all the positive PhD cliches: it’s a journey; I will re-discover my practice (creative writing); it is the start of my research career… and I believed none of it, thinking they were exaggerations.

And yet, only 6 months in, my experience has vindicated the claims of the cliches: I’ve conducted research in topics that have always felt beyond my mental reach; I have networked and been presented with opportunities both professional and intellectual; I have absolutely rediscovered what it means for myself to be a writer. And—no matter how romantic this may sound—I do have the sense that this is only the start.

How do you value your research path?

Everybody at the University of Dundee has been great and very warm. No matter my distance from the campus, I have never felt shunned or excluded. In the future, I would love to pursue an academic career and continue my education with a post-doc program. It took me quite a few years to find my calling and now I’m not letting go!

Why the University of Dundee?

The first reason I chose to the University of Dundee was my supervisor, Dr. Aliki Varvogli. She provided such great guidance in scholarships and bureaucracy, guided me academically, and offered emotional support in difficult times. At the same time, both Dr. Varvogli and the University were very open to my interdisciplinary ideas. Here, I have also the opportunity to collaborate with the Comic Centre and the (neuro) psychology lab. Moreover, Dundee’s great reputation academically and in student satisfaction certainly played a role. Finally, the ability to study long-distance was vital—without it I wouldn’t have been able to study.

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