Division: Literature & Languages
‘Live Literature: An Ethnographic Exploration’.
Ellen's research is in the field of literary anthropology. Her PhD explores the experience of live literature in various forms and contexts, focusing on fiction, assessing its effects upon the reception of books and literary culture in the digital age. It also explores ways in which creative modes of writing ethnographies about the experience of literary and arts events can better assess and communicate their cultural value. Ellen's monograph on Live Literature will be published by Palgrave in their Literary Anthropology series (2019). In connection with to her research topic, and her interest in the symbiotic relationship between the creative and the critical, Ellen is the founding director of an experimental live literature project, Ark, which stages immersive short stories in library spaces involving cross-arts collaborations. Ark's last sold-out show was at the British Library.
Ellen's first scholarly monograph explored literary culture in Myanmar (Burma): Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition (Columbia University Press, 2015). She has published numerous articles about Myanmar, including in The Conversation and Guernica.
Ellen is also a fiction writer, and her first novel, The Invisible Crowd, is due to be published by HQ (HarperCollins) in 2017. She has an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. She is represented by the Christine Green Agency.
Live literature, literary anthropology, creative writing, ethnography, practice-based research, literary culture, cultural value, social theory, interdisciplinarity, art under censorship, freedom of expression, comparative literature, translation, Myanmar (Burma).
Before focusing on research and writing, Ellen practised as a barrister for seven years at 39 Essex Chambers, did a Masters in Law, Human Rights and Social Theory at UCL, and worked on human rights projects abroad including training local lawyers on human rights in Myanmar, helping to develop a justice system in a refugee camp in Thailand, and working on the Botswana Bushmen's trial contesting their eviction from ancestral lands. Before that she was a flautist, and did a degree in Music at Oxford (1st, University Gibbs Prize).