MemberSimon Briercliffe

…Black Country Living Museum/University Of Birmingham…
…MA Cities, King’s College, London 2010

PhD History, University of Birmingham (expected completion 2020-2021)…

I am a social and cultural historian with a primary focus on the Black Country in the West Midlands of England. I am a researcher at the Black Country Living Museum, and am writing up my PhD thesis on Irish immigration into Wolverhampton in the mid-19th century at the University of Birmingham.

MemberNila Namsechi

…University Of Birmingham…
…BA in Classic and Medieval Archaeology at Sapienza University of Rome.

MA Antiquity in Byzantine Studies at University of Birmingham.

PhD candidate in Byzantine Studies at University of Birmingham….

Nila Namsechi is currently a PhD candidate in Byzantine, Ottoman and Greek modern Studies at University of Birmingham where she offers the first systematic study of the Byzantine and Early Medieval Duchy of Naples from c650-1000.Drawing together over fifty years of textual and archaeological research, her thesis will address the transition period that Naples underwent during these centuries by examining the built environment and monumental topography of the city and the territory of Duchy of Naples. Furthermore, her thesis aims to understand the cultural impact of Byzantium alongside other regional cultures on Naples. She is also interested in the study of Persian literature and transcription of Medieval manuscripts in English.    

MemberBakir S. Mohammad, FRSA

My main career interests revolve around education, languages, translation, and particularly classical Islamic theology. I completed my PhD on the impact of a modern-day Islamic figure and his efforts in countering extremism at the University of Glasgow in 2020. I taught religion at Deerfield Academy (MA, U.S), King’s Academy (Jordan) and I am now a Research Associate & Translator for the GlobalLit project at the University of Birmingham. I am also a Board Member of a Utah-based (US) counter-extremism organisation as well as advising and consulting on multiple UK examination boards (theology & language).

MemberMichael DeVries

…Ph.D. (Cand.), University of Birmingham, UK
M.A., Biblical Studies, Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University
B.A. (Magna Cum Laude), Religion, Azusa Pacific University…

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Philosophy, Theology, and Religion at the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Charlotte Hempel. My research focuses on compositional and thematic elements the War Scroll and related war texts from Qumran. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Azusa Pacific University, where I teach courses on biblical literature, Hebrew, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. My research spans areas of sectarian ideology, ritual theory, purity, and priesthood within the Qumran corpus and the wider landscape of Second Temple writings.

MemberDavid Evans-Powell

…BA History with Ancient History & Archaeology, 2.1, University of Birmingham, 2003.

PhD Film Studies, University of Birmingham, ongoing (due for submission 2023)….

Hi!  I’m a part-time doctoral candidate in Film and Television Studies at the University of Birmingham studying folk horror on the British screen. My research interests include:

  • British cinema and television, particularly the horror, science-fiction, telefantasy, thriller, exploitation, comedy and historical genres;
  • British ‘low culture’ on screen;
  • Horror on screen;
  • Topographies, hauntology and psychogeography on screen;
  • History, heritage and landscape on screen;
  • British national identity mediated through film;
  • Genre theory.

MemberAdam C Schembri

…University Of Birmingham…

Adam Schembri is Reader in Linguistics in the Department of English Language & Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, UK. He completed a PhD in linguistics at the University of Sydney in 2002, worked at the University of Bristol 2000-2002, at the University of Newcastle (Australia) 2003-2005, and at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London during 2006-2010, where he initiated the British Sign Language Corpus Project ( His research and teaching experience has encompassed a number of areas in sign language linguistics, including work on aspects of the lexicon, grammar and sociolinguistics of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and British Sign Language. He is the co-author (with Trevor Johnston) of ‘Australian Sign Language (Auslan): An introduction to sign language linguistics’, and co-editor with Ceil Lucas of ‘Sociolinguistics and Deaf Communities’, both published by Cambridge University Press.

MemberChris Greenough

…Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education. Edge Hill University, 2019. Distinction.
PhD Theology and Religions. Supervisor: Dr Deryn Guest; Examiners: Prof. Andrew Yip (external) and Prof Ben Pink Dandelion (internal); Awarded with no corrections. University of Birmingham, July 2016.
M.A Theology. Liverpool Hope University, 2011
PGCE Modern Foreign Languages. Edge Hill University, 2003
B.A. (HONS) Modern Languages. The University of Liverpool, 2002.

I am currently Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religion at Edge Hill University. I gained my PhD in Theology and Religion from the University of Birmingham in 2016 and my Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education from Edge Hill University in 2019. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I am an external member of Sheffield Institute of Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies and on the editorial board of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies.  

MemberAnna Hegland

…y and Mortality Symposium (2019), research support – Warburg Institute (London)
Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Festival (2017-2018), chair of the organizing committee – University of Kent, Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Canterbury)
Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (2017 – present), PGR Student Rep – University of Kent and Kent Union (Canterbury)
World Shakespeare Congress (2016), student ambassador – University of Birmingham, Shakespeare Institute; Royal Shakespeare Company; International Shakespeare Association (Stratford-upon-Avon)
‘Whose Culture?’ Celebrating 10 Years of the Learning Performance Network (2016), freelance events consultant – Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford-upon-Avon)
British Graduate Shakespeare Conference (2015 – 2016), secretary and chair for publicity – University of Birmingham, Shakespeare Institute (Stratf…
…PhD, University of Kent (Medieval and Early Modern Studies) – in progress, expected 2021

AFHEA, Higher Education Academy & University of Kent – 2019

MA (Distinction), University of Birmingham, Shakespeare Institute (Shakespeare Studies) – 2016

BA (Hon), Coe College (English Literature, History, Classical Studies) – 2013

Funding and Awards

Graduate-Student Travel Grant, awarded as registration fee award (Shakespeare Association of America) – 2021
Short list: Resilience in a Pandemic, awarded to a female PhD student who has shown herself to be resilient, resourceful, inspirational, and proactive in dealing with the extraordinary challenges of the Covid-19 crisis that have disrupted their doctoral research plans (Chapelgarth Estate) – 2021
Physical Lockdown/Digital Freedom Award, for digital innovation (MEMSlib) during the Covid-19 pandemic (University of Kent) – 2020
Short list…

I am a VCRS-funded doctoral student in the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent (Canterbury campus), where my research centers on the language of violence in early modern revenge drama, and the intersections of rhetoric, materiality, and performance. My MA dissertation at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute explored the linguistic philosophy of Shakespeare’s curses. Further research interests include weaponized words and disease in early modern drama. I am also a member of Cultures of Performance in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, a research cluster at Kent dedicated to investigating performance events in Europe from c. 500 – 1700, and organize the postgraduate-led Coffee House seminars, an interdisciplinary series of workshops and discussions for early modernists at Kent.