About the Speakers

Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Dr. Rashmi Varma is Associate Professor in the department of English and Comparative Studies, University of Warwick. Her research areas include the posicolonial city, postcolonial Indian and African theory, literature and culture, feminism in a global context, representations of indigeneity in postcolonial India, and the theory of world literature. In 2011—2012, she won a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to complete work on her book entitled Modern Tribal: Representing Indigeneity in Postcolonial India. Dr. Varma is a member of the editorial collective of the journal Feminist Dissent.


Professor Laura Serrant is Professor of Nursing at Sheffield Hallam University in the Centre for Health and Social Care Research (CHSCR), Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. She is an appointed Ambassador for the Equality Challenge Unit for HE and was formerly a Non-Executive Director at Heart of England Foundation Trust and Skills for Health Academy, England. Her research and development work focuses on health disparities and diversity leadership. She has developed and published a new theoretical framework for conducting research in this area of work ‘The Silences Framework’. Her commitment to equality of opportunity, determination and leadership skills enable her to demonstrate this formally and informally with policy makers, charities, third sector organisations, colleagues and the local communities through mentorship, effective management and a sense of humour.


Conference Speakers


Sreemoyee Basu is currently pursuing her second Masters in English from Christ University in Bangalore, India. She achieved her first Masters degree in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, in the year 2011, following which she obtained a diploma in publishing from the Seagull School Publishing, Kolkata. She went on to work in the Delhi offices of eminent multinational publishing houses such as Dorling Kindersley and Cambridge University Press for a period of four years. She returned to academics with a special interest in women’s life writing and is currently nurturing a new found passion for sociolinguistics.


Valeria Morabito is a PhD student in the EDGES Program (European PhD in Gender and Women’s Studies) at the University of Bologna. She graduated with honours in 2014 with a master’s thesis on postcolonial feminism and neomaterialism supervised by Rosi Braidotti, a leading figure in European contemporary feminist thought. She participated in international research projects on migration and human rights such as Proyecto Fronteras, a project coordinated by FLACSO Ecuador involving more than ten major research centers in Europe and South America. She is currently working on the issues of slavery and the European slave trade during the 18th-19th centuries, human trafficking and smuggling in contemporary Europe, and gender and migration.


Yasemin Antik is a PhD candidate at Istanbul Bilgi University Political Science Program after succeeding the comprehensive exam in the fields of political theory and Turkish politics. She had her MA degree from University of Exeter International Relations Program. She joined projects on oral history and local history. Her interests are political thought, historical sociology, social movements, gender studies, and subaltern studies. Her latest research is concentrated on the power relations and everyday forms of resistance.


Hamidah Allogmany is a PhD student at the University of Portsmouth working on magical realism and religious symbolism in novels by Muslim writers post 1980. She is sponsored by the Saudi government as a member of faculty of Arts and Human Sciences at Taibah University, Saudi Arabia.


Michaela Quadraro holds a PhD in “Cultural and Postcolonial Studies of the Anglophone World” from the University of Naples “L’Orientale”, IT, where she is currently a researcher and a member of the Centre for Postcolonial and Gender Studies. Her interests focus on the contemporary cultural productions that emerge from an English-speaking context of migration and hybridity. She wrote L’arte digitale postcoloniale. Uno studio sull’opera di Isaac Julien e Trinh T. Minh-ha (2012), co-edited The Postcolonial Museum. The Arts of Memory and the Pressures of History (2014), and co-authored Memorie Transculturali. Estetica contemporanea e critica postcoloniale (2015).


Based at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, Ruth Kelly is working on a research project in collaboration with international NGO ActionAid, exploring the potential for art and narrative to help communities and activists articulate alternative approaches to development. In the past, Ruth has worked with ActionAid, Oxfam, UNDP and the European Commission, on job creation and industrial policy, international trade and tax policy, land rights, and programme implementation.


Jacqueline Wilson has been a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology, Rhodes University South Africa, since 2015. She holds an MSc in development studies with a major in gender studies from Lund University, and a BSc in gender studies from Lund University. While studying for her MSc, she was selected to represent Lund University in the BRIGHT LERU Conference in Milan, Italy. Additionally, she participated in the Nordic exchange programme at the University of Bergen and studied at Karolinska Institute. Her Ph.D. project looks at the phenomenon of “corrective rape” on black lesbian women in the township of South Africa. The purpose of this work is to break the silence about what it means to commit a hate crime and facilitate judicial punishment for the perpetrator. She believes that exposing the trauma of sexual violence will help the survivors and victims of rape to attain a measure of recovery and healing.


Sylvia Broeckx is a first year PhD candidate in American History at the University of Sheffield, researching sexual violence and rape during the Civil War. She received her MA in American History in 2015 and was a recipient of the Bryan Marsden American History Prize. Originally from Belgium, where she studied Art History at the Catholic University of Leuven, she came to Sheffield in 1999 to study for a BA(hons) in Film Studies and has worked as a freelance filmmaker since 2002.


The Poets

Dr. Debjani Chatterjee MBE is an Indian-born British poet. She has written, translated or edited more than 60 books, starting with the poetry collection I was That Woman in 1989. She has won a number of prizes, including the Peterloo Poetry Prize, and her book The Elephant-Headed God and Other Hindu Tales was selected for Children’s Books of the Year 1990. She was an Olympic Torchbearer in 2010.

Seni Seneviratne is a writer, poet, performer, singer and creative artist born and raised in Leeds, Yorkshire and of English and Sri Lankan heritage. Her work as a poet and live artist has been praised particularly for the unique talent of engaging an audience through poetry and song. Her poetry is published in the UK, Denmark, Canada and South Africa.