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.
We're exploring how bodies shape identity, how the body is presented through performance, and how cultural representations of bodies have changed over time.
We're studying literature written in or translated into English, from across the globe and within different genres, from the Renaissance to the present.
We're examining how communities are formed — and sometimes disintegrated — through the sharing of writing, reading, performance and the literary dissemination of ideas.
Interested in a PhD in English Literature?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Literary Studies postgraduate research degrees page.