Piers Antony Henriques, Robinson

Degree: PhD
Course: 1830-PD
Supervisor: Ms Alison Hennegan
Dissertation Title: A Balm for the Incurable Wound of the World': Music, Aesth etics and Individualism in the W ork of E. M. Forster

Biographical Information

I came to academic study in my early twenties, gaining a place at Exeter University through an Access to Higher Education course. 

My MPhil was completed in 2016 at the University of Cambridge, moving directly on to the PhD. The topic of which comprises an interest in music and turn of the twentieth century literature. 

As someone passionate about access, I would be delighted to receive any queries about moving through stages of Higher Education through an unusual route, such as Access to HE. 

Alongside my studies, I am also the director of communications for the children's charity Nacoa (National Association for Children of Alcoholics). 

Research Interests

My PhD explores the 'pictorial mode' in the writings on music by E. M Forster. Rather than argue (as critics have tended to) that Forster somehow structually mirrors music in the texture of his prose,  I want to ask more direct philosophical questions of Forster: What constitutes meaning in music? How can that meaning range so widely between different people? Can such differences be reconciled through intersubjective connection? To justify a claim for Forster as the twentieth century’s ‘most musical novelist’ requires calibration around this literary set of questions: How can one describe the sublime effect music has on the listener? Are there ways of drawing that sensation of unity into personal relationships in daily life? And does the value felt in music reflect on one’s own sense of nationhood? Taking Forster at his word as an amateur player, and lover, of music, I focuses on how Forster figured music to convey more ‘more than the words of daily life can tell us’ about creativity, love, and cosmos. 

Broadly, my literary research interests lie in and around turn of the century prose: e.g. Thomas Hardy, Charles Mauron, G. L. Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, Vernon Lee, and Marcel Proust. My interest in the musical dimension in literature comes from a love of playing music. I am primarily interested to investigate how the word can seek to translate and understand the meanings transmitted in music, whether personal, social, or political.

I have an interest in literart animal studies, especially relating to animal pain and animal ontology. I have written on education reforms in Thomas Hardy: 'The Elison of Mark Pattinson from Jude the Obscure'.

Areas of Supervision

Part 1, Paper 7: English literature and its contexts 1830-present day.

Part 1 & 2, Paper 1: Practical Criticism and Critical Practice

Part 2, Paper 3: Dissertation (supervising projects primarily based on E. M. Forster)