Dr Donna McCormack

Research Interests

Medical Humanities 

Queer Theory

Postcolonial Theory and Fiction

Monster Studies

Disability Studies

Theories of Evolution 

Research Collaborations

I am currently the coordinator of the Nordic Network for Gender, Body, Health:

I am also the co-founder and a steering committee member of the Monster Network: https://promisesofmonsters.wordpress.com/about/

I am the principal investigator on the project Disability, Arts and Health, which is funded by the Nordic Culture Fund. I am a co-investigator on the project The Embodied Self, Health and Emerging Technologies, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council.


Undergraduate Teaching

ELI3047 Health, Illness and Technological Imaginaries (convenor)

ELI3033 Dissertation (convenor)

ELI3034 Creative Writing Submissions (convenor)

ELI2012 Contemporary Literature: Gender and Sexuality

ELI2024 Radical Subjectivities

ELI1025 Understanding the Novel (convenor)

LAS2007 Enhancing Interdisciplinary Skills (Convenor)

ELI1011 Theories of Reading

ELI1022 History of English Literature

Postgraduate Teaching

ELIM006 Research and Writing Skills

Departmental Duties

International Tutor 

Dissertations Tutor

PhD Supervision

Primary Supervisor

  • Mine Sevinc, ‘Modern Day Shahrazads in Third World Women’s Writing’
  • Hajar Mahfoodh, ‘Resistance in Modern Arab Poetry’

Contact Me

Phone: 01483 68 6173

Find me on campus
Room: 33 AC 05

My office hours

Tuesday 13:00-16:00



Journal articles

  • McCormack D. (2016) 'Living with Others Inside the Self: Decolonising Transplantation, Selfhood and the Body Politic in Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring'. BMJ Publishing Group Medical Humanities,


    This article examines anxieties concerning organ transplantation in Nalo Hopkinson’s prize-winning novel Brown Girl in the Ring (1998). The main focus is how this novel re-imagines subjectivity and selfhood as an embodied metaphor for the reconfiguring of broader socio-political relations. In other words, this article analyses the relationship between the transplanted body and the body politic, arguing that a post-transplant identity, where there is little separation between donor and recipient, is the foundation for a politics based on responsibility for others. Such a responsibility poses a challenge to the race and class segregation that is integral to the post-apocalyptic world of Hopkinson’s novel. Transplantation is not a utopian vision of an egalitarian society coming together in one body; rather, this biotechnological intervention offers a potentially different mode of thinking what it means to work across race, class and embodied division, while always recalling the violence that might facilitate so-called scientific progress.

  • McCormack D, Salmenniemi S. (2016) 'The biopolitics of precarity and the self'. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 19 (1), pp. 3-15.
  • McCormack D. (2016) 'Transplant Temporalities and Deadly Reproductive Futurity in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams'. Sage European Journal of Cultural Studies, 19 (1), pp. 51-68.


    This article explores the generally pathologized relationship between organ recipients and the families of deceased donors. Its focus is Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 2003 production 21 Grams because this film brings to the fore both the urgent desire of the organ recipient to be close to the donor family and the purported pathological ramifications of such encounters. Furthermore, the formal representation of time portrays the very ways in which normative structures of temporality are disrupted and perhaps irreversibly altered by the organ transfer process. The article explores how the film forecloses the possibility of the organ recipient and the donor family creating a viable relationship. It argues that the film terminates a transplant temporality by structuring the narrative ending through a normative linear trajectory of reproductive heterosexuality. It concludes with an examination of how the donor family returns to a life of sameness where social norms are restored and repeated, and where transplantees accept a deadly fate so that anxieties about bodily relationality and disruptive temporalities can be assuaged.

  • McCormack D. (2015) 'Hopeful Monsters: A Queer Hope for Evolutionary Difference'. Somatechnics, 5 (2), pp. 154-173.
  • McCormack D, Riggs D. (2015) 'The Ethics of Biomedical Tourism'. Edinburgh University Press Somatechnics, 5 (1), pp. 1-11.
  • McCormack D. (2014) 'Posthumanist Ethics and Organ Transplantation'. Universitetsforlaget AS Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, 2014 (2), pp. 173-178.
  • McCormack D. (2013) 'Book review - Jamie Heckert and Richard Cleminson (eds.), 'Anarchism and Sexuality: Ethics, Relationships and Power’'. Springer Netherlands Feminist Legal Studies, 21, pp. 113-116.
  • McCormack D. (2012) 'Book review - Joy Parr, 'Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953- 2003''. Edinburgh University Press. Cultural History, 1 (2), pp. 267-269.
  • McCormack D. (2012) 'Intimate Borders: The Ethics of Human Organ Transplantation in Contemporary Film'. Routledge Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 34 (3-4), pp. 170-183.
  • McCormack D. (2012) 'Diasporic Imaginaries - a review of Pilar Cuder-Dominguez and Belen Martin-Lucas, 'Transnational Poetics: Asian Canadian Women's Fiction of the 1990s''. University of British Columbia (Canada) Canadian Literature: a quarterly of criticism and review, 215 (Winter 2012), pp. 160-161.
  • McCormack D. (2011) ''Multisensory Poetics and Politics in Shani Mootoo's "The Wild Woman in the Woods and Valmiki's Daughter"''. Journal of West Indian Literature, 19 (2), pp. 9-33.
  • McCormack D. (2009) 'Gender and Colonial Transitioning: Frantz Fanon’s Algerian Freedom Fighters in Moroccan and Caribbean Novels?'. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 7 (3), pp. 279-293.
  • McCormack D. (2007) 'Queer Postcolonial Space: Forging Ethical Practices Out of Violence in Shani Mootoo’s Literary Works'. The Central European Association for Canadian Studies in collaboration with Masaryk University Canadian Studies in Europe, 6, pp. 237-250.
  • McCormack D. (2007) 'Intersections of Lesbian Studies and Postcolonial Studies: One Possible Future for Class'. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 11 (3-4), pp. 213-221.
  • McCormack D. (2006) 'Book review - Jean Bobby Noble, 'Masculinities without Men? Female Masculinity in Twentieth- Century Fictions''. University of Texas Press Journal of the History of Sexuality, 15 (2), pp. 333-338.
  • McCormack D. (2006) '“Dreaming Across the Sea”: Queer Postcolonial Belongings in Shani Mootoo’s Novels'. Critical Race and Whiteness Studies, 2 (2)


  • McCormack D. (2014) Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing. 1st Edition. Bloomsbury Publishing USA


    With a focus on the aesthetics and politics of queer postcolonial narratives, this book examines how unspeakable traumas of colonial and familial violence are communicated through the body.

Book chapters

  • McCormack D. (2015) 'The Transplant Imaginary and Its Postcolonial Hauntings'. in Malmqvist E, Zeiler (eds.) Bodily Exchanges, Bioethics and Border Crossing: Perspectives on Giving, Selling and Sharing Bodies Routledge Article number 9
  • McCormack D. (2012) 'Illicit Intimacies, The Rāmāyana and Synaesthetic Remembering in Shani Mootoo’s Valmiki’s Daughter'. in Mahabir J, Pirbhai M (eds.) Critical Perspectives on Indo-Caribbean Women's Literature Routledge Article number 9 , pp. 203-228.
  • McCormack D. (2008) 'Intersections of Lesbian Studies and Postcolonial Studies: One Possible Future for Class'. in O'Donnell K, Giffney N (eds.) Twenty-First Century Lesbian Studies Haworth Press , pp. 213-222.

Page Owner: dm0037
Page Created: Tuesday 1 September 2015 15:09:37 by m07326
Last Modified: Wednesday 15 March 2017 11:08:38 by as0095
Expiry Date: Thursday 1 December 2016 15:08:57
Assembly date: Thu Mar 23 09:39:44 GMT 2017
Content ID: 154640
Revision: 15
Community: 1199

Rhythmyx folder: //Sites/surrey.ac.uk/School of English and Languages/People/Complete Staff List
Content type: rx:StaffProfile