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Biography

Dr Alan Ali Saeed is a lecturer in Modern English Literature in the English Department, College of Languages, Sulaimani University, Iraqi Kurdistan. He currently lectures on the modules: Introduction to English Literature of the Twentieth Century, Literary Criticism, and Stream of Consciousness associated with the Modernist Movement. Alan holds a BA in English Language and Literature (Sulaimani University - 2004), an MA in National and International Literatures in English (Merit) (University of London - 2009), a Ph.D. in Modern English Literature (Brunel University London - 2016), and a PGCHE (University of Falmouth - 2021) in University Teaching. My Ph.D. at Brunel University – London, was on modernist British women writers and the philosophy of Henri Bergson and William James. Sections of my Ph.D. have been already published in various journals and more will follow.

My Ph.D. research sought to explore and scrutinize the influence of William James and Henri Bergson on the role of selected British modern female writers of the early decades of twentieth century mainly from 1918 – 1929. The research provides a new interpretation of the way texts are framed and formed, writers' and characters’ inner perception of the outside world, and how the identity of women’s writing practice altered fluidly and aesthetically.

I am also now very interested in writing in English about Kurdistan, whether by Kurds or by non-Kurds; as well as various forms of modernism and contemporary British literature. I also like films and graphic novels, so don’t be surprised to hear me talk about these. Please see my publications for examples. I am available on linkedin, academia.edu, and ORCID.

E-mails: alan.asaeed@univsul.edu.iq: alan.saeed@hotmail.co.uk


Research Philosophy

I believe strongly in the value of research and in keeping up to date about scholarship in my field within literary studies. I read widely and follow the latest critical developments in Britain, Europe, and the USA. I maintain that research does not finish after your Ph.D. but continues through the whole of your academic career. I also think that good research underpins excellent teaching. In my view, research occurs in many forms: book reviews, interviews; cultural journalism; book chapters as well as traditional academic articles. I also believe that Kurdish researchers should publish internationally as well as locally and engage with the public about our work. I am always keen to hear what students and colleagues think of my research, so please feel free to come and discuss it with me or else to discuss your own research and research plans.

Teaching Philosophy

I am passionate about teaching my subject and believe good and effective teaching is at the centre of what academics do. Excellent teaching is as much about learning from students as it is anything else. Teaching is not just about imparting information but about giving students the skills to learn for themselves. This kind of teaching is always student-centred and facilitates student learning, not just while you are at university, but for the whole of your life in the future. We remember those teachers at school and university who inspired us and made us feel our lives could be transformed and this memory that helps us when we meet obstacles in later life. In 2016 when I was doing my Ph.D. in the UK, I became an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Home | Advance HE), and my teaching was internationally recognised. More recently, in 2020-2021 I studied for a PGCHE in university teaching at the University of Falmouth (UK) where I specialised in blended and online learning. Since qualifying as a UK university teacher I find myself more interested in pedagogy and education than ever before.


“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature, every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies—all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.”

Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception