Mr Barney Samson

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United Kingdom
University Essex
Literature, Film and Theatre Studies
Short description: 

PhD Candidate, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex 

Supervised by Professor Marina Warner and Dr Jeffrey Geiger 

My PhD is on the literary desert island from Robinson Crusoe to the present. My thesis is that the desert island, due to its dualities and contradictions, is a site that facilitates narratives of ambiguous meaning. I will examine and investigate how its polysemic significance has become culturally ingrained through representations of the desert island in cultural production since the second world war. 


Research areas: 

Narrative theory 

Adaptions, including re-tellings and reformulations of myths

Island stories across media: literature, film, theatre and the visual arts

Foucault and heterotopia 




My academic background ranges across areas within Cultural Studies, a field in which I first became interested during my undergraduate Music degree. I have since worked on topics including bibliomania, genre in musical theatre, film sound, the televisualisation of football, and superheroes as sufferers of psychological trauma. My MRes thesis was a Foucauldian analysis of the Harry Potter novels focussing on the concept of Heterotopia. Outside of academia I am an active musician, playing trumpet with Brasswire (an experimental music ensemble), Zadok Big Band and occasionally as a freelancer. I work in music education as Artist in Residence with ensembles in various schools, as well as teaching trumpet lessons. I have worked in Campaigns and Events for Global Poverty Project, Pants to Poverty and Positive Women. Previously I was Artistic Administrator for Music Link International and a freelance researcher.


I will be presenting a paper in September 2013 at the 5th REELC-ENCLS Congress: Islands and Continents: (Re)constructions of Identity at the University of Madeira.