Dr Ahmed Honeini

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Educational background

Previously educated at King’s College London (BA English with Film Studies, 2013) and University College London (MA English: Issues in Modern Culture, 2014), I have completed a thesis on the work of William Faulkner entitled Saying Yes to Death: Mortality in William Faulkner's Fiction.

My doctoral research examined representations of mortality in a selection of works by Faulkner. The thesis builds upon the scholarship of Robert W. Hamblin (1980), who indicates that the act of writing and storytelling was Faulkner’s authorial method of ‘saying No to death.’ Faulkner’s ambivalence towards death, Hamblin notes, began during his adolescence, and ‘it was not merely death which Faulkner feared, but death as obliteration.’ This thesis extends and challenges Hamblin’s argument, exploring how Faulkner’s characters respond to the trauma and ambivalence which death creates. Indeed, in certain instances, as the thesis shows, Faulkner’s characters are driven towards accepting and ‘saying Yes to death.’

Research interests

My primary research interests are: William Faulkner (1897-1962); Tennessee Williams (1911-1983); Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849); Literary modernism; and American literature and drama, 1900-present.

Alongside my plan to publish my thesis, I am also currently devising two new major projects: 1) A monograph on homes, homelessness, and exile in the major plays of Tennessee Williams; and 2) A series of journal articles, examining the influence of William Shakespeare (the Sonnets, the tragedies), Edgar Allan Poe ("Berenice", "Ligeia", 'Annabel Lee'), Herman Melville (Moby-Dick, "Bartleby, the Scrivener"), Joseph Conrad ("Heart of Darkness", Nostromo, The Secret Agent), F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), and Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises) upon Faulkner's work and life.

Research interests (continued)

I have strong secondary research interests in the following areas:

- The history of the novel, from Defoe to the present;

- The Gothic and the Grotesque in American literature, from Poe to the present;

- American history, culture, and politics, 1865-present;

- Literary theory;

- American independent horror films, 1968-1988.


2018-19: Visiting Tutor, EN1101 (Thinking as a Critic, Semester One) and EN1107 (Re-Orienting the Novel, Semesters One and Two).

2017-18: Visiting Tutor, EN1107 (Semesters One and Two).

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) and, effective from September, 2018, the Non-Established Teachers Representative in the English Department. 

Funding awards

2018: British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS) partial travel award.

2018: British Association for American Studies (BAAS)/US Embassy Small Grant.

2018: Hinkle Grant (The Hemingway Society).

2017: John Kuehl Fellowship (The F. Scott Fitzgerald Society).

2015-present: RHUL English Department Conference Travel Grants.

Other work

I am the founder and director of Faulkner Studies in the UK, an emerging research network devoted to Faulkner, made possible with the generous support of the Department of English at Royal Holloway. Our first colloquium took place May 31st, 2018, at Senate House, London, which was made possible with generous funds by BAAS and the US Embassy, London. See here for more infomation, and here to follow us on Twitter.

Our second colloquium will take place late May, 2019. See here for a call for papers. 

I have also been appointed as Mentor to the Student Ambassadors of the newly established Florida Hemingway Society.

Finally, I and Dr Doug Cowie have recently launched an American Theatre reading group. To complement our discussion, we will also be hosting a series of screenings showing the most notable film adapatations of the plays explored.

Conference papers

During my studies, I have disseminated my research at numerous conferences:

- 'Houses of Spaces of Horror and Secrets in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre', RHUL's Doctoral School Interdisciplinary Conference, June 2016.

- 'Hemingway, Faulkner, and Suicide: The Issue of Tolerance' at the Faulkner and Hemingway Conference, organised by the Center for Faulkner Studies in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, October 2016.

- '"It wont balance": Addie's Coffin, Cash's Foot, and the Failure of Functionality in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying' at the RHUL English Department Research Conference, November 2016.

- '"Ah aint tryin' to git away": Whiteness as a Form of Death in William Faulkner"s "Pantaloon in Black" (1942)' at the 62nd Annual BAAS (British Association for American Studies) Conference at Cantebury Christ Church University, April 2017.

- 'The Education of a Personage: Academia, Affluence, and Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise', at the 14th International F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, June 2017. I was awarded a John Kuehl Fellowship in recognition of this paper.

- 'Tales of Dead Men Talking: Conrad's Mr. Kurtz and Faulkner's Colonel Thomas Sutpen' at the 43rd Annual Joseph Conrad Society (UK) Conference in London, July 2017.

- 'Wash Jones, gift-giving, and the murder of Thomas Sutpen in Absalom, Absalom!', at the first Southern Studies in the UK Network colloquium, August 2017.

- '"It wasn't an accident": Reading William Faulkner through the Death of Ernest Hemingway' (a revised version of the paper given at the Faulkner and Hemingway Conference at the Center for Faulkner Studies) at the RHUL English Department Research Conference, November 2017.

- '"Who loved only death": Three Reactions to the Suicide of Quentin Compson in The Sound and the Fury', RHUL English PGR Easter Colloquium, Bedford Square, London, April 2018. I also gave (a slightly revised version of) this paper at the Faulkner Colloquium, May 31st, 2018.

- 'Saying No to Death? Mortality, Voice, and the Work of William Faulkner', Royal Holloway English Student-Staff Seminar. This was the first session in a new seminar series, the first of its kind in the department. I was invited to give this talk, which was an overview of my doctoral thesis. A revised and condensed version of this paper was delivered at the Scottish Association for Modernist Studies New Works conference, the University of Glasgow, December 1st, 2018. I was awarded partial travel funding to attend the conference and present the paper. 

- 'Wounded Soldiers Seeking Home: Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises and Faulkner's Soldiers' Pay', 18th International Hemingway Conference: Hemingway in Paris, July 25th, 2018. I was awarded a Jim and Nancy Hinkle Grant in recognition of this paper. 

- 'Heroes and Monsters: The Southern Gothic of Poe, Faulkner, and Williams', Royal Holloway English Department Research Lunch series, March 26th, 2019 (Invited talk). 


In 2019, I will be giving the following papers: 

- '"Ah'm goan home": Spirituality, "homegoing", and the African-American dwelling space in William Faulkner's "Pantaloon in Black"', Modernism in the Home conference, University of Birmingham, July 2019. 

- 'An American trait: "Pantaloon in Black", lynching, and William Faulkner's troublesome letter of 1931', Troublesome Modernisms: the 19th International Conference from the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS), King's College London, June 2019.

- 'Quentin, Caddy, and the Kingdom by the Sea: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee"', The 2nd Faulkner Studies in the UK Colloquium, May 2019.


Conference organisation

2019- Lead organiser: The 2nd Faulkner Studies in the UK Colloquium. 

2019- Member of organising committee: Corroding the Now: Poetry + Science|SF.

2018- Lead organiser: Faulkner Studies in the UK: A Colloquium. 

2018- Member of organising committee: RHUL English Department Research Seminar Series.

2018- Lead organiser: RHUL English Department Easter Research Colloquium.

2017- Lead organiser: RHUL English Department Research Conference.

2017- Member of organising committee: Radical Cities, Radical Narratives.

2016- Lead organiser: RHUL English Department Research Conference.

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