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Miss Nina Fellows

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the Open University in 2022 to pursue doctoral study in Social Psychology, after winning ESRC funding for my research project via the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership. Prior to this, I attained my BSc in Psychology in 2017, and my MSc in Psychology in 2018, both from Manchester Metropolitan University. I worked as an associate lecturer in Psychology at MMU from 2017 until 2021, teaching on a number of modules, and I assisted on a pedagogical research project funded by MMU’s University Teaching Academy during this time. From 2021 until I began my PhD, I worked as a student support assistant at the University of Manchester, where I helped students access mental health and disability support.

Research interests

My doctoral research project is an investigation into the social construction and cultural emergence of self-harm in the 1990s. I am interested in how ‘human kind’ concepts, particularly around mental health and illness, are negotiated through culture and language, and I use Foucauldian discursive analytic and psychoanalytic approaches to understanding how these concepts function.

My pedagogical research involved the application of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory to the development of a radical pedagogy which nurtures student agency within the context of the marketisation of higher education.

My MSc thesis was titled ‘Deconstructing the ‘Borderline’: A Critical Historiography of the Feminine and the Insane’, and in this research I applied a Foucauldian genealogical approach to studying the historical construction of ‘borderline personality disorder’.

Teaching interests

While working as an associate lecturer in Psychology (2017-2021), I taught on a number of units, including Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology (CHIP; BSc), Qualitative Methods in Psychology (MSc), and Research Methods (Conversion). I am passionate about teaching critical and historical issues and research methods, and my teaching style is derived from the radical pedagogical approach developed with my colleagues on the UTA-funded research project we conducted at MMU; for this work, we won the 2019 MMU Teaching Award for Outstanding Innovation in Teaching. I am currently running a ‘Critical Human’ Reading Group with MMU Psychology students in order to aid their critical literacy and further develop my democratic teaching approach.