Ms Ania Grant

MA Film and the Moving Image, BA English, DELTA

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Graduate Teaching Assistant


I received my undergraduate degree in English Philology in 2000 from the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, and my Masters degree in Film and the Moving Image in 2002 from Thames Valley University in London, UK. I have a strong teaching background, having worked as an English language teacher in Poland and New Zealand, a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Auckland, and a lecturer at AUT. I also worked in film and television production in the UK and New Zealand.

Research | Current

Doctoral Thesis: From Mr. Darcy to Mr. Big: An evolutionary-feminist account of love and choice in popular romantic fiction 

Supervised by Distinguished Professor Brian Boyd and Professor Joanne Wilkes, University of Auckland 2010 - 2018

In my doctoral thesis I use the principles of evolutionary and sexual selection theories to examine the concepts of love and choice in a range of iconic texts from Jane Austen’s novels to modern chick lit and television series such as Sex and the City. In my analysis of fictional texts, as well as my attempts to theorize the appeal of such texts to female audiences, I engage with recent scientific insights into human psychology and behavior. In this respect, my project is part of a recent effort within academia to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences. It is also conceived as an extension of and a polemic engagement with the feminist scholarship regarding romance and marriage plots. At the same time, it explores the possibility of integrating a biologically-based reading of such narratives with feminist politics. 


Past research projects

Postgraduate research project in Film, Television and Media Studies: Charming the circle: Promiscuity in Sex and the City

Investigated issues of sexuality and identity through a feminist lens in the popular television series. Supervised by Professor Annamarie Jagose, University of Auckland, 2008

MA Thesis: How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?

Investigated issues of film adaptation and censorship in two screen versions of Nabokov’s famous novel. Supervised by Dr. Jeremy Strong, Thames Valley University, London, UK; 2002

BA Thesis: The land of disintegration: New York in Paul Auster’s prose

Investigated issues of urbanisation and interpersonal relationships in Paul Auster’s novels. Supervised by Dr. Piotr Dziedzic, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland; 2000


Conferences and Presentations

Grant, A., Fisher, M., Fernandez, A. M., Acedo-Carmona, C., and MacEachern-Fee, P. (2017, June). True love and other options: Four female mating strategies in Sex and the City. Poster presented at the 11th Annual Conference of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society, SUNY Binghamton, USA (best student poster award).

Grant, A. (2016, December). Romantic rationality: Love and choice from Pride and Prejudice to Sex and the City. Paper presented at the Australasian Universities Languages & Literature Association Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Grant, A. (2016, June). From Mr. Darcy to Mr. Big: Female choice in popular romantic fiction. Poster presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Vancouver, Canada.

Grant, A. (2016, June). In love with Mr. Darcy: Female choice in popular romantic fiction. Paper presented at the 10th Annual Conference of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society, Halifax, Canada.

Grant, A. (2016, April). Marrying Mr. Collins: Marriage of convenience from Pride and Prejudice to Bridget Jones’s Diary. Paper presented at the Authorship and Appropriation Conference, Dundee, UK.

Grant, A. (2015, May). From Mr. Darcy to Mr. Big. Presentation for the Jane Austen Society of Australia and New Zealand, and Auckland Libraries.

Teaching | Current

ENGLISH 207/311 Creating Stories (2016, 2018)

ENGLISH 111 From Sonnets to Comics (2009)

ENGLISH 241 Literature and Science (2008-2009)

ENGLISH 320 Victorian Literature (2014)

FTVMS 204 Media Analysis (2009-2010)

FTVMS 211/309 Watching Television (2009-2010)


Teaching Excellence Award, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland, 2016 (inaugural award for Graduate Teaching Assistants)

Doctoral Scholarship, University of Auckland, 2010 - 2017

Summer Research Scholarship, University of Auckland, 2009

Undergraduate Academic Achievement Scholarship, University of Silesia, 1996 - 2001

Best student poster awarded by Feminist Evolutionary Psychology Society at the 2017 Conference of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (co-authored)

Finalist in Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Poster Competition, University of Auckland, 2016

Third place in Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Oral Presentation Competition, University of Auckland, 2015

Areas of expertise

Biocultural approach to literature and the arts

Evolutionary psychology


Gender Studies

Romantic fiction and chick lit

Jane Austen

Screen adaptations

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Australasian Universities Languages & Literature Association (AULLA): executive committee member (Dec 2016 – present)

Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES)

NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS)

Feminist Evolutionary Psychology Society (FEPS)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Grant, A. (2018). From Mr. Darcy to Mr. Big: An evolutionary-feminist account of love and choice in popular romantic fiction The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.

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