School of English

Current students 




Arwa Hasan

Research Student, Faculty of Arts


Research Summary

Current Status

Currently registered PhD (full-time)

Research Topic

Text Worlds of Dystopia

Research Summary

In this study, my focus is on the creation of utopia in a dystopian text; the unrealized and ambiguous 'happy' endings and positive worlds that the protagonists may or may not experience. The utopia is created via a 'counter-narrative' that is crucial for the critical dystopia, which has an 'open' and critical element due to the utopian alternative that is presented in the text. It should, therefore, be possible to trace the creation of the utopia in a dystopian text through the use of a systematic method such as text-world theory, in which negations, counterfactuals, dream worlds and unfulfilled desires, etc, all create unrealized worlds which are evoked in the minds of the readers but does not shift the narrative entirely to them. There is also a lack in previous research regarding reader responses to dystopian texts, and testing the boundaries of text world theory against these responses. Therefore I aim to conduct a qualitative survey gathering real reader response data and trace these different interpretations through text world theory.

Research Interests

Dystopia, Text World Theory, Negations, Cognitive Stylistics

Research Supervisor/s

Conference Papers and Presentations

  • 'Unrealized Utopian text-worlds in Dystopian Narratives.' Cognitive Futures in the Humanities International Conference Durham April 2014.
  • 'Readers and their Role in Creating Dystopian Worlds in Fiction.' Current Research in Speculative Fiction Postgraduate Conference, June 2014.
  • 'Text Worlds of 'Unideal' Readers.' PALA: Poetics and Linguistics Association Annual Conference, July 2014.

Additional Information

2010-2011 Demonstrator and Teacher's Assistant at King Saud University, English Department.

Teaching & Learning Interests

  • Literary Linguistics
  • Literature (Romantic, Victorian, Modern periods)
  • Dystopian Fiction
  • Language skills (Reading, Writing, Speech)
  • Reader Response studies

School of English

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