Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Doctorate success for the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

Monday, 14 December 2015


Congratulations to Mary O'Neill, who last week successfully defended her PhD thesis, entitled "Model Citizens: Fisherfolk imagery from West Cornwall, 1860-1910." The thesis recovers the ways largely metropolitan artists depicted Cornish fishing culture during the mid- to late Victorian period; or rather, as Mary argued, selectively packaged this culture for an urban art market hungry for images of a "real" - but in fact romanticised- Cornwall. Mary's research was supported by a prestigious AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, and was directed by Professor Christiana Payne, with further advice from Dr Matthew Craske and Dr Peter Forsaith. After the exam, a delighted- and relieved- Mary joined her supervisors, examiners and fellow students for some celebratory drinks in the Tonge common room. A fine start to the festive season for all concerned! Speaking about Mary's success, Tom Crook, the Postgraduate Research Tutor, said:
"This is a wonderful achievement for Mary, and we're very proud not just of her brilliant thesis but also her contribution to our postgraduate research community in both the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion and English and Modern Languages - she will be much missed."
Mary is the third student this semester from the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion to obtain a doctorate.