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Caroline Rae

Caroline Rae

Doctoral Student in Literature.

Email: c.e.rae2
Supervisors: Dr Stacy Gillis and Dr Fionnghuala Sweeney
Research Project Title: Uncanny Water: Haunting the Northern Atlantic Periphery

Brief Outline of Research Project:

My research examines representations of water and the ocean in contemporary fictions of an area I have identified as the Northern Atlantic Littoral  – rural and coastal spaces in Eastern Canada and the U.K. Responding to a call by scholars of critical ocean studies to ‘put the ocean’s agitation back onto our mental maps and into the study of literature’ (Yaeger, 2010), I theorise ‘uncanny water’ as a figuration within contemporary literature. I posit that as writers evoke or inhibit the uncanny in relation to water, they reconfigure representations of the ocean beyond hitherto simplified narratives of it as vast, inexhaustible and sublime. Instead by utilising uncanny tropes such as ghosts and sea monsters, these fictions draw attention to the interconnection that humans and water have across time and space and seek to cultivate greater responsibility toward the planet’s oceans in the Anthropocene.

Research Interests

  • Feminist Theory
  • Blue Humanities
  • Transatlantic fictions
  • Posthumanism
  • Ecocriticism
  • Gothic fictions

Funding and Awards

  • 2019-20 Robinson Library Bequest Bursary
  • 2018-19, Robinson Library Bequest Bursary
  • 2018, S.Y. Killingley Trust Scholarship
  • 2017-18, Robinson Library Bequest Bursary
  • 2017, S.Y. Killingley Trust Scholarship
  • 2016-17, Robinson Library Bequest Bursary
  • 2015, Prize: ‘Best Postgraduate Student Abstract’, Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment

Research Activities


  • Caroline Rae. ‘Altering Subjectivities: Place and the Posthuman in Michael Crummey’s Sweetland’. Studies in Canadian Literature (43.2)

Conference Presentations

  • February 2020, ‘Plastic Ghosts and Haunted Shores: The uncanny ocean in Lucy Wood’s The Sing of the Shore (2018),’ Flows and Floods (Warwick University)
  • December 2018, ‘Forgetting to Breathe’: Water and fear in The Town That Forgot How to Breathe,’ Wavescapes in the Anthropocene (Split University)
  • July 2017, '"Sense of place" in Creative Practice', English: Shared Futures
  • May 2017, 'Establishing New Ecologies: Place, Identity and the Transnational in Fiction of the Northern Atlantic Peripheries', Newcastle University Migration Showcase
  • Sept 2015, 'Rediscovering the Oikos: The Ecopoetry of High MacDiarmid', Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment

Conference Organisation

  • Sept 2017, Co-organiser, Anonymity (
  • July 2017, Co-organiser, 'Changing Ecologies, Persistence and Possibility,' and 'The Interdependent Presence', English: Shared Futures

Public Engagement      

  • Nov 2018 , 'Gothic Water and the Monstrous Reality of Interconnection’ talk for ‘Being Human’, Festival of the Humanities and Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute (NUHRI)
  • Nov 2017, ‘Relinquish Humanity’. Podcast for Shift + Signal with Alex Lockwood and The Newbridge Project. Episode #3. Available at:
  • June 2017, My Cousin Rachel, Tyneside Cinema Book Club

Research Assistantships

  • 2019, Research assistant, The Complete Poetry of Ben Jonson
  • 2016-17, Research Assistant, Writing the Wall: The Cultural Afterlife of Hadrian’s Wall.


  • 2020                Transformations, Newcastle University
  • 2019                Close Reading, Newcastle University
  • 2019                PARTNERS Summer School, Newcastle University
  • 2019                Transformations, Newcastle University
  • 2019                Introduction to Literary Studies II, Newcastle University
  • 2018                Close Reading, Newcastle University
  • 2018                Get Ahead, Newcastle University
  • 2018                Bitesize University, Newcastle University        
  • 2018                PARTNERS Summer School, Newcastle University
  • 2018                Introduction to Literary Studies I, Newcastle University
  • 2018                Introduction to Literary Studies II, Newcastle University
  • 2017                Introduction to Literary Studies I, Newcastle University

Academic Background

  • MA English Literature, University of Amsterdam
  • MA (Hons) German and English Literature, University of Edinburgh


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