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English literature research

Explore the work we're doing in our 4 areas of expertise within English literature

To explore English literature is to uncover the history of the English speaking world. Throughout history, literature has been a companion to the trials, tribulations, successes and achievements of our nation. Beyond entertainment, it has commented on corruption, taught lessons on love, war and justice, transported us to new worlds, and changed our views.

English literature can change the we think about the world. It can shape opinion on cultures, communities, and people. It can give power to unrepresented and marginalised voices, or be used as a weapon to repress and control through propaganda. In an increasingly globalised world, where rapid change is the norm, it is important to study how English literature provides insight and understanding into the lives of other individuals, communities and cultures.

For over a decade, the Centre for Studies in Literature has been home to our English literature research. Our researchers have expertise in early modern writing, nineteenth-century literature and culture, and twentieth-century British and American literature. We bring together scholars from different fields within literary studies to promote academic research and innovation in literary studies, and wider engagement with research through collaboration and dissemination.

Explore our English literature areas of expertise

Find out more about our English literature research – and learn more about our recent projects, the partners with whom we collaborate and the major funders who fund our work, in the areas of expertise below.

Body politics

We're exploring how bodies shape identity, how the body is presented through performance, and how cultural representations of bodies have changed over time.
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Modern literature

We're studying literature written in or translated into English, from across the globe and within different genres, from the Renaissance to the present.
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Culture, community and heritage

We're examining how communities are formed — and sometimes disintegrated — through the sharing of writing, reading, performance and the literary dissemination of ideas.
Group of women protesting dressed as characters from The Handmaids Tale
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Time, space and environment

We're exploring representations of time, space and environment in literature and culture – from the eighteenth century to the present day.
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Research groups

Centre for Studies in Literature

We're researching the history and culture of the English speaking world through literature.

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Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture Research Group

We're researching the relationship between literature and nineteenth-century culture.

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Body Politics Research Group

We're researching the literal and metaphorical bodies from sixteenth century to the present day.

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Culture, Community and Heritage Research Group

We're researching the discourses of community formation and deformation through their representations in literary texts.

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Early Modern Writing Research Group

We're researching topics based on the debates surrounding early modern writing and its translation.

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Twentieth and Twenty-First Century British And American Literature Research Group

We're researching how culture and transnational identity is portrayed in twentieth and twenty-first century literature.

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Interested in a PhD in English literature?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Literary Studies postgraduate research degrees page.