The group takes an innovative approach to research, combined with an engagement with communities beyond academia. We explore hybrid and inter-disciplinary ways of working and in our examination of marginal, experimental and emergent practices. We are concerned with looking at the overlooked and teasing out readings of neglected and/or transgressive authors and cultural practices. From looking at writing conflict in Northern Ireland to Victorian Sensation fiction, from discontented minds in Early Modern Drama to the representation of serial killers in film and fiction, from African modernism to experimental poetry, from the hidden meanings of place names to discourse analysis – our work is searching, critically-engaged and culturally relevant.
We also recognise the importance of linking our research with cultural life outside of the university as demonstrated by our Writing Lives projects and other links to local literature initiatives and institutions, such as experimental poetry reading series The Other Room.
English staff were returned to the last Research Excellence Framework (RAE 2014) with the University’s English Language and Literature submission (UoA 29). The results showed that nearly 50% of the work of researchers in the Centre was deemed to be internationally recognised or world leading, with 13% being graded at the highest possible level of 4*.
Literature research covers major periods and genres including Mediaeval, Renaissance, Shakespeare, 18th-century Literature, Gothic, and 20th and 21st-century poetry and fiction. English Language and Linguistics research is concerned with Pragmatics, Cognitive linguistics, Computer assisted language learning (for ESOL), Sociolinguistics and the study of the Scots language. Creative Practice research is conducted in poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography, scriptwriting and performance. Areas of concentrated research activity include: experimental fiction, contemporary and 20th century poetry, performance and Shakespeare.
We welcome PhD applications corresponding to the themes and topics listed above, but in addition we have specific research interests in the following areas:
Creative Writing in poetry and prose including experimental forms
18th-century poetry and prose
19th century literature
Modern and contemporary British and Irish fiction
Contemporary innovative and experimental poetry and fiction
Auto/biography, memory and trauma studies
Colonial and postcolonial texts
Popular fiction and culture
Linguistics and English Language
First and Second Language Acquisition
Onomastics (Names Studies)