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English Language and Literature

Our research projects have received funding and other support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Modern Humanities Research Association, Arts Council England, the Panacea Society and other funding bodies.


Research Contact: Professor Philip Leonard

English research activity at NTU is spread across several major areas and periods of literary studies, from the early modern period to the 21st Century. The diversity of the discipline is reflected in our research; much of our work is historic, with a focus on the cultural location and significance of texts and traditions; many of us focus on recent and emerging theoretical debates in literary and cultural studies, and staff explore the interface of critical and creative practice. Our work includes textual editing, research across many Anglophone literary geographies, the history of the book, archival and manuscript research, and a focus on radical and marginal cultural production.

The research strengths of NTU English are built on a shared ethos of political radicalism and scepticism about literary canons. The team's interests stretch from the early Renaissance to the present day and our creative writers produce poetry, fiction, screen-writing and other genres. Areas of critical focus include:

  • American literature
  • Lesbian and gay literature
  • Post-colonial literature and theory
  • Travel writing
  • Women’s writing


NTU English hosts dedicated specialist centres:

Centre for Travel Writing Studies

Director: Professor Tim Youngs (Emeritus Professor)
The Centre for Travel Writing Studies remains a world leader in this field. This Centre facilitates, promotes, and disseminates scholarly research on travel writing and its contexts, without restriction of period, locus, or type of travel writing.

Centre for Postcolonial Studies

Directors: Dr Jenni Ramone and Dr Nicole Thiara
The Centre for Postcolonial Studies works across Arts & Humanities and Art & Design disciplines to advance contemporary debates in postcolonial writing, culture and theory.

Critical Poetics Research Group

Lead: Dr Sarah Jackson
The Critical Poetics Research Group seeks to interdisciplinary stimulate debate, collaboration and innovation among scholars and practitioners whose work is concerned with creative and critical theory and practice.

Periodicals and Print Cultures Research Group

Leads: Dr Cathy Clay and Professor Andrew Thacker
The Periodicals and Print Cultures Research Group supports and develops work on the study of modern periodicals and print culture, from the nineteenth century to the present.

Staff also contribute to other NTU research centres, including the Centre for Inequality, Culture, and Difference.

Case Studies

The following Impact Case Studies are linked to this subject area:


The team has long-established connections with external organisations, including galleries, arts centres, libraries and literary festivals. Research is published as single-authored books, journal articles, book chapters, and conference contributions; and our staff also talk about their research in the broadcast and print media, through online media and networks, at festivals and in open-access publishing forums.

We also run our own publishing house, Trent Editions, which aims to bring neglected writers back into print; and NTU English hosts two peer-reviewed academic journals, Studies in Travel Writing and Writing Technologies.

We work collaboratively with many regional and national groups and organisations, including:

  • BBC
  • Broadway Media Centre
  • Bromley House Library
  • New Art Exchange
  • Nottingham Black Archive
  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • Nottingham UNESCO World City of Literature
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum
  • Science Museum, London

Staff are committed to engaging with these and other partners, and to ensuring that our research benefits those beyond English literary studies and outside of academic environments. Our research is culturally and socially transformative at the local, regional, and international levels.

Related Staff

Academic Staff

Dr Anna Ball

Postcolonial literature and culture; feminism; Palestinian cinema and visual culture; Middle Eastern culture; Arab women’s writing; refugeeism and forced migration; cultural activism

Dr David Belbin

Creative writing; young adult fiction; Crime fiction

Dr Nicki Bowring

Gothic; Romantic writing; Travel literature; literary and critical theory

Dr Sarah Carter

Classical mythology; gender and sexuality; Shakespeare; Intertextuality; Ovid

Dr Neil Chambers

Travel literature and culture; Joseph Banks; Empire; science and literature

Dr Catherine Clay

Twentieth-century women’s writing; periodical studies; feminist print culture; gender and sexuality

Dr Daniel Cordle

Nuclear literature and culture; literature and science; postmodern literature; twentieth and twenty-first century literature

Dr Rebecca Cullen

Creative writing; poetry; literary and critical theory

Professor John Goodridge (Emeritus Professor)

Poetry;  eighteenth and nineteenth century literature; Romanticism; recovery research; labouring-class poets especially John Clare

Dr Annalise Grice

D. H. Lawrence; late Victorian, Edwardian and modernist print and publishing culture; literary marketplace; modernist magazines, literary censorship; twentieth century women's writing and reading

Dr Sarah Jackson

Creative and critical writing; twentieth and twenty-first century literature; writing and technology; psychoanalysis; deconstruction; contemporary poetry

Professor Phil Leonard

Twentieth and twenty-first century literature and theory; deconstruction; globalization; world literature; literature and technology; orbital culture

Professor John Lucas (Emeritus Professor)

Poetry; biography; Dickens; John Clare

Professor Sharon Monteith

Literary activism; the American South; the US civil rights movement; African-American literature; Black British literary history; American literature and culture; US film, documentary cinema, journalism and civil rights media cultures

Dr Stephanie Palmer

Nineteenth and twentieth century literature; US literature; women’s writing; American regionalism; transatlanticism

Dr Jenni Ramone

Postcolonial literature and theory; resistance and activism; migration; literary marketplaces

Dr Amy Rushton

Postcolonial literature; world literature; feminism; contemporary women’s writing; Marxism; queer theory and writing; popular music and culture

Professor Peter Smith

Early Modern theatre and performance practice; Shakespeare and his contemporaries; performance history; theatre reviewing; Shakespeare on film

Professor Stan Smith (Emeritus Professor)

Poetry; Modernism; W.H. Auden; W.B. Yeats; Irish literature

Dr Andrew Taylor

Creative writing; experimental poetry; Beat Generation writing; ecopoetics; travel writing; Nottingham writers and literature

Professor Andrew Thacker

Modernism and modernist culture; twentieth century literature; print and periodical culture; bookshops; literary geographies; space and the city

Dr Nicole Thiara

Postcolonial writing; contemporary literature; Dalit and diasporic South Asian literature

James Walker

Digital and electronic literature; transmedia writing; creative industries

Dr Rory Waterman

Modern and contemporary literature; creative writing; twentieth century British poetry; travel writing; war literature; regionalism

Professor David Worrall (Emeritus Professor)

Georgian Drama; William Blake; Romantic period sub-cultures

Professor Greg Woods (Emeritus Professor

Gay and lesbian literary and cultural studies, mainly 20th Century; The AIDS epidemic;  Modernism; American literature; Writing poetry.

Professor Tim Youngs (Emeritus Professor)

Travel writing; radical writing; African American literature; interwar writing; creative writing; poetry; post-1850 Anglophone literature; modernism; postcolonial literature

Professor Nahem Yousaf

Nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century British and American literature; postcolonial literature and culture; South African writing; migration and immigration; the US South; literary transnationalism

Current Doctoral Researchers

Sofia Aatkar

‘Strangers to these shores; strangers to themselves': An Exploration of Anglophone Caribbean-British Travel Writing

Roxanne Ablett

Collector, Curator, Creator: Nigerian Folktales and their Colonial Appropriation, Feminist Intervention, and Contemporary Reappropriation

Paul Adey

‘I Gave You Power’: The Weaponization of Literary Intertextuality in HipHop Lyricism

Arwa Almefawaz

Intersecting Factors Shaping Contemporary Black British Female Bodies on Stage

Luke Allerton-Hilton

The Relationship Between Happiness and Capitalism in the Work of Don DeLillo

Panya Banjoko

The Politics of Poetry in Nottingham and the Role of African-Caribbean Writers and Networks in the 1970s and 1980s

Daniel Bilton

Dalit Writing in the 21st Century: Activism and Literary Experimentation in Modern India

Victoria Callus

Paper Cuts: Investigating Paper Affect in Contemporary Experimental Literature

Hannah Cooper-Smithson

Patterns in Nature: The use of poetic form in contemporary ecopoetry

Valentina de Riso

Indigenous Literatures as Pathways Towards Decolonisation, Resurgence and Reconciliation: Facing the Traumatic Experience of the Residential School in First Nations Women’s Writing

Karen Eckersley

Out of this World: Surrealist Practice and Post-Humanist Ethics in the Writing and Visual Arts of Elizabeth Bishop and Leonora Carrington

Beth Evans

Publishing Black British Short Stories: The Potential and Place of a Marginalised Form

Laura Ewart

Nottingham Playhouse: A Cultural History and Analysis of its Community Engagement

Daisy Ferris

Humour and the Feminist Avant-Garde in Modernist Magazines

Patricia Francis

Close Up: A creative-critical intervention in women activists and activist documentary filmmaking

Tuesday Goacher

Poetics of the Spatial Turn: Place Attachment, Economic Instability and Contemporary Poetry

Ben Haworth

Rogues Gallery: Liminality and the Politics of Power in Early Modern Texts

Sian Liddle

The Hidden Faces of World War 1: Representing Disfigurement in Film

Tom Lockwood-Moran

Queer Resistance(s): Contemporary Caribbean Communality

Jean Morris

Promised Lands – A Psycho-social account of statelessness

Connor Murphy

‘I myself have never met’: A queer analysis of psychosis and trauma in the plays of Sarah Kane

Purnachandra Naik

Reading the Rejected: Dirt, Spatiality and Subjectivity in Dalit Literature

Allan Njanji

Redocumenting refugee perspectives: Developing visual alternatives to the UK media's representation of refugees and asylum-seekers through creative documentary practices

Margaret Ravenscroft

Creative cultural productions by and of displaced women

Sean Richardson

Queer Spaces of Modernism

Tony Robinson-Smith

The Dragon Run: A Travel Narrative of Bhutan

Catherine Smith

The Gothic and Shakespeare

Ceren Sengezer

Shakespeare and the Beats

Iain Spillman

'The Flashing and Fading of Consciousness in Perception': The Fictional Freud in Literature and Theory

Georgia Stabler

‘Spaces & Places of Representation: Contemporary British BAME writing at UK Literature Festivals’

Alyson Stoneman

Contemporary Poetry, Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding

Lauren Terry

Modernist Objects

Selected recent Doctoral Projects

Amna Alkormaji

Quarreling in Romantic Writing: Burgoyne, Shelley, Cobbett

Zayneb Allak

Spider Poetics: Writing the Uncanny

Kath Bradley

Presentism, Politics and Contemporary International Performance: Shakespeare’s Collaborative Plays, Edward III and Arden of Faversham

Richard Bromhall

Realism, Neoliberalism, and Class in Writing in Britain since the 2008 Economic and Financial Crises

Lynda Clark

That’s not how it should end: The effect of reader/player responses on the development of narrative

Rebecca Cullen

Mastering Time: Time and Temporality in Contemporary Poetry

Jo Dixon

Fitting Manifestations: Epiphany in Alice Oswald, Kathleen Jamie and Liz Berry

Heather Hawkins

Recovering the Rural: Form and Dialect in the Poetry of Thomas Hardy

Jenny Owen

A Barren Legacy: The Arabian desert as Orientalist trope in English travel writing, post-Thesiger

Melissa Roddis

Amalgamated Subjects: New Dialogues in Posthumanism, Ecocriticism and Contemporary Literature

Mark Sullivan

Exporting the Standard Measure: The Function of Travel in selected writings of Richard Harding Davis

Amy Watson

A Critical Study of the Literary Life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

Dawn Whatman

Recovering British Labouring-Class Women Poets of the Romantic Period, 1780-1837

AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership scholarships.

Applications are open between October and January each year.

Still need help?

Professor Philip Leonard
+44 (0)115 848 3074