Centre for Studies in Literature (CSL)
The Centre for Studies in Literature was founded in Spring 2009 in recognition of the strengths in literary studies at the University of Portsmouth. The Centre was formally launched in October 2010 with a guest lecture from Professor Camille Paglia (University of the Arts, Philadelphia).
The CSL is one of two specialist research Centres in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Portsmouth, and also has close links to the Centre for Cultural & Creative Research, based in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. Members of CSL contributed to the work of The Centre for European and International Studies from its inception in 1997 in some of its specialist areas, such as 'Textual Theory and Practice', cultural theory, Francophone studies, memory cultures, and Women's and Gender Studies, and contributed significantly to the success of the University's European Studies entry in the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise. The University of Portsmouth was rated joint fourth in the UK by the Times Higher Educational Supplement for research in European Studies, and no. 1 in the 'Research Power' Index compiled by the journal Research Fortnight.
Particularly commended in the RAE was the excellent research environment at the University of Portsmouth. The CSL supports and encourages a range of research activities, including seminar programmes, an annual symposium, major conferences and an annual guest lecture. Speakers at CSL events have included: Mark Seltzer (UCLA), Elisabeth Bronfen (Zurich), Lilian Nayder (Bates), Jay Clayton (Vanderbilt), Peter Fitzpatrick (UCL), Regenia Gagnier (Exeter), Ann Heilman (Cardiff), Gill Plain (St Andrews), Dianne Sadoff (Rutgers), and Patricia Duncker (Manchester). It funds staff research activities and conference presentations, nationally and internationally; advises members on research development, publishing, and external funding opportunities through the Faculty's research consultancy scheme and seeks to maintain a vibrant research culture for postgraduates.
Members of the Centre belong to external research organisations such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College and the British Federation of Women Graduates, have been successful in securing funding for individual research projects from the AHRC, have contributed to media productions (e.g. radio programmes) in relation to their research, and publish in and regularly act as readers for top refereed journals within the field and major British and American academic publishers, such as Ashgate, Palgrave, Routledge and Cambridge University Press.
We have developed mutually-beneficial links with local non-academic organisations, such as the Dimbola Lodge Museum, Portsmouth City Council and the City Museum in the area of literary-heritage studies, with a particular focus on Dickens and Doyle, both notable former citizens of Portsmouth, and on Tennyson and Julia Margaret Cameron, both of whom have significant connections with the Isle of Wight. See: Victorian Literary Heritage Project.