bookshelf full of old books

Exploring literature past and present

Learn how we're uncovering the history and culture of societies through literary research

At the Centre for Studies in Literature, we promote academic research and innovation, and a framework for research excellence in the area of literary studies and associated disciplines.

For over a decade, the Centre has been home to our English Literature research, through which we uncover the history and culture of the English speaking world. 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.

The Centre is recognised nationally and internationally due to the expertise of our team of scholars, growing postgraduate community and a series of high-profile academic and public events. 

Our members have interests in related fields within film studies, cultural studies and American studies, and we maintain strong links with two other research centres at Portsmouth: the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) and the Centre for Cultural and Creative Research (CCCR).

Our research covers these areas of expertise

  • Body politics — understanding of literal and metaphorical bodies from the sixteenth century to the present day
  • Time, space, environment — covering a range of spatiotemporal areas across literature and culture from the eighteenth century to the present day
  • Culture, community and heritage — brings together research from the early modern period to the contemporary, focusing upon discourses of community formation and deformation


    We've 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.

    We have a particular focus on Dickens and Doyle, both former citizens of Portsmouth, and on Tennyson and Julia Margaret Cameron, both of whom have significant connections with the Isle of Wight.

    The Centre is also affiliated with the Dickens Project at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


    Current and recent projects include: