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Maria Zirra


Maria Zirra is currently a PhD student at the English Department of Stockholm University under the supervision of prof. Stefan Helgesson and prof. Bo Ekelund. Her project is also part of a BOF Joint PhD co-tutelle agreement with Ghent University where she will be supervised by prof. Stef Craps. She holds an MA in Comparative Literature (cum laude) from Utrecht University and an MA in British Cultural Studies (highest distinction) from University of Bucharest where she has also received her undergraduate education in English and Portuguese Philology.

In her previous research she has provided a critique of Michael Rothberg’s multidirectional memory model outside of global Holocaust remembrance by analyzing the peculiarities of transnational intertextuality in Seamus Heaney’s early poetry about the Troubles in Northern Ireland. She has also written on postcolonial professions of complicity and the uses of visual memory in contemporary poetry.

Maria’s dissertation project “Postcolonial Mnemopoetics: Reading the Poetry of Seamus Heaney, Bernardine Evaristo, Wopko Jensma, Ingrid de Kok and Derek Walcott through the Lens of Transcultural Memory” investigates the ways in which contemporary postcolonial Anglophone poetry constructs comparative imaginaries of cultural memory across borders and poetic forms. Her choice of representative poets from Northern Ireland, South Africa, the Caribbean and metropolitan London casts a wide net across time and space in order to capture the diverse processes of cultural memory formation in a world literary context.

Maria is particularly interested in exploring the intersections between postcolonial memory and world literary systems, the relationship between poetry and the visual arts, book materiality and the transnational circulation of print, as well as the use of poetic forms as carriers of critical cultural memory discourse.


Department of Englishmaria bio 2
Room 810
Stockholm University
8th Floor
Universitetsvägen 10E
S-106 91 Stockholm
tel: +46 765 873 956 / +40 755 916 385