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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 two dedicated specialist centres:

  • 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.
  • The Centre for Postcolonial Studies works across Arts & Humanities and Art & Design disciplines to advance contemporary debates in postcolonial writing, culture and theory.

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.

Still need help?

Professor Philip Leonard
+44 (0)115 848 3074