Maxime Geervliet

Thesis title: The Self on Trial: Shame and Confession in the Autobiographical Writing of Rachel Cusk and Karl Ove Knausgaard


Maxime is a current PhD student in Comparative Literature and a Tutor in Film Studies. She holds an MSc in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh, as well as a BA in Film and Literary Sciences from the University of Leiden. During her Undergraduate degree, Maxime specialised in both Film and Literary Sciences, completing dissertations for both and graduating with a double specialisation. 

Maxime holds a minor in Journalism and New Media and worked as a freelance writer and journalist, alongside her studies, for two years before coming to Edinburgh. 


PhD Comparative Literature, The University of Edinburgh (2020-)

Provisional Thesis Title: "The Self on Trial: Shame and Confession in the Autobiographical Writing of Rachel Cusk and Karl Ove Knausgaard".  Thesis supervised by Dr Simon Cooke and Dr Claire Boyle.

MSc Comparative Literature, the University of Edinburgh (2019-2020)

MSc Dissertation: Comparative Ecocritical Analysis of Norwegian Literature and Television 

BA Film - and Literary Sciences, The University of Leiden (2015-2019)

Graduated with a Double Specialisation in both Film Studies and Literary Studies 

Film Sciences Dissertation: A Comparative Analysis of Contemporary Political Documentaries 

Literary Sciences: Law-and-Literature in the novel Atonement (2001) by Ian McEwan

Included in the BA: Minor in Journalism and New Media (2017-2018)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Maxime is a member of the Edinburgh Life Writing Network. 



Undergraduate teaching

  • Introduction to European Cinema 
  • Scottish Literature 2A 

Research summary

  • Life Writing (specifically autobiographical writing)
  • Confessional Writing 
  • The Self in Contemporary Literature 
  • Women's Writing
  • Memory/Memory Studies 
  • Law and Literature 


  • Ecocriticism 
  • The Anthropocene (and its representation in literature and visual media) 
  • Climate Fiction 

Current research interests

Maxime's research is in the field of Life Writing, specifically focussing on autobiographical literature. She compares English - and Norwegian literature and particularly zooms in on the confessional dimension in contemporary autobiographical writing in a developing context of online/social media. Her PhD research analyses the writing of Rachel Cusk (UK) and Karl Ove Knausgaard (Norway) and explores concepts that are tied to confessional writing, such as 'the self', shame, guilt, honesty, truth, memory and performance. She works with feminist theory and compares the differing reception of men and women's autobiographical writing. Basing itself in Law and Literature theory, Maxime's research aims to analyse the literary confession within/alongside other fields to which the confession is integral. Furthermore, Maxime is working on ecocritical theory and analysis, specifically focussing on the Anthropocene and its representations in literature and visual media.

Project activity

2020- now: Member of the Edinburgh Life Writing Network 


2021-now: Reader for the James Tait Black Prize (Biography)


2021-now: Assistant Editor for FORUM Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts. 

Papers delivered

Young Adult Studies Association Conference 2022: YA Studies Around the World 

Paper delivered: "The Teenage Climate Hero: Displacement of Responsibility in the Cli-fi Series Ragnarök (2020)" 

2 November 2022