Katie Harling-Lee

Katie Harling-Lee (née Harling-Challis) is a PhD student in the Department of English Studies at Durham University, UK, funded by The Wolfson Foundation. Her primary research is in musico-literary studies, exploring the thematic use of music in the contemporary novel with a particular focus on Western classical music and its significance in conflict situations.

Katie has an additional interest in Old Norse and Medieval Studies, the subject of her first publication and MA research. You can read more about her research here.

At Durham, Katie co-founded and co-runs ModCon: Modern and Contemporary Research Network. She is involved in planning, organising, and running events aimed at post-graduate and early career researchers focused on modern and contemporary literary studies at Durham and further afield, including research seminars, literary events, and structured writing sessions. The network promotes the sharing of research in both formal and sociable sessions.

Alongside her PhD studies, Katie co-edits the blog Object, writing fortnightly on the significance and influence of objects in her day-to-day life. She plays the violin, viola, and piano, and also sings across a variety of genres, and these musical experiences inform her current PhD research. Katie also endeavours to find time for ‘fun reading’ alongside her work, and she tweets on the academic and non-academic world as @KatieOsha.

Contact: k.o.harling-lee@durham.ac.uk


October 2018-21 | Wolfson Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, Durham University


2018 | 'The Mediation and Re-creation of Guðrún Gjúkadóttir in English Translations of the Poetic Edda in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries', PG English, 37 (2018), 1-33 (pdf here)

Conference Papers and Public Lectures


March 2020 | 'Defining the Contemporary Musico-Literary Novel in Times of Conflict' | Music in Literature panel, at NeMLA, Boston MA, USA

June 2020 | 'When Music Meets Literature: Defining the Contemporary Musico-Literary Novel in Times of Conflict' | Alluvium panel “Interrogating the Boundaries of the Literary in the 21st Century: Emerging Ideas”, at English: Shared Futures, Manchester UK


September 2019 | 'Classical Music, Conflict, & Identity in the Contemporary Novel' | Late Summer Lectures, Durham UK (Podcast link available soon)

April 2019 | 'The Creative Possibilities of Guðrún’s Emotional Ambiguity in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century English Translations of the Poetic Edda' |13th Bergen International Postgraduate Symposium in Old Norse Studies, Norway

July 2018 | 'The Mediation and Creation of Emotion, Endurance, and World-Views in Translations of Eddic Poems Relating to Guðrún Gjúkadóttir' | Norse in the North, Durham UK

April 2017 | 'Music, Identity, and the Self in Three Contemporary Novels: "Does it alter us more to be heard, or to hear? Is it better to have been loved, or to love?"' | Josephine Butler Research Forum, Durham UK