English and Creative Writing

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Early Modern Studies

Our research rewrites the histories of Shakespeare and early modern theatre by investigating the reception of Shakespeare’s writing and the participation of gendered, queer and disabled communities in early modern drama and culture. 


John Lyly and Early Modern Authorship (Manchester University Press, 2014)

Andy Kesson

During Shakespeare's lifetime, John Lyly was repeatedly described as the central figure in contemporary English literature. This book takes that claim seriously, asking how and why Lyly was considered the most important writer of his time. Kesson traces Lyly's work in prose fiction and the theatre, demonstrating previously unrecognised connections between these two forms of entertainment and examines how his importance to early modern authorship came to be forgotten in the late seventeenth century and thereafter. 

The Afterlife of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

Jane Kingsley-Smith

In this highly original study, Jane Kingsley-Smith reveals the fascinating cultural history of individual sonnets, identifying those which were particularly influential and exploring why they rose to prominence, redirecting our attention away from the story that the sonnets tell as a sequence, to the fascinating afterlife of individual Shakespeare sonnets.

Long Nineteenth Century

Our research across the long nineteenth century Includes distinctive explorations of popular and radical print culture, periodicals and press history, and the role of illustration and visual imagery in both mainstream and non-canonical literature. We also look at the impact of Britain’s colonial past on major writers such as Dickens and Kipling. 

Blake, Myth and Enlightenment (Springer, 2017)

David Fallon

Fallon’s monograph provides compelling new readings of William Blake’s poetry and art, including the first sustained account of his visionary paintings of Pitt and Nelson. It re-evaluates Blake’s relationship to Enlightenment thought, myth, religion, and politics, from The French Revolution to Jerusalem and The Laocoön. The book combines careful attention to cultural and historical contexts with close readings of the texts and designs, providing an innovative account of Blake’s creative transformations of Enlightenment, classical, and Christian thought.

The Rise of Victorian Caricature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

Ian Haywood

In this book, Ian Haywood retrieves and revaluates a rich haul of comic caricatures from the turbulent years between the Reform Bill crisis of the early 1830s and the rise and fall of Chartism in the 1840s. With a telling selection of illustrations, this book deploys the techniques of close reading and political contextualisation to demonstrate the aesthetic and ideological clout of a neglected tranche of satirical prints and periodicals dismissed as ineffectual by historians or distasteful by contemporaries. 

Dickens, Reynolds and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street (Routledge, 2015)

Mary Shannon

In this book, Mary L. Shannon identifies, for the first time, the close proximity of the offices of Charles Dickens, G.W.M. Reynolds, and Henry Mayhew, examining the ramifications for the individual authors and for nineteenth-century publishing. 

Language, Culture and Memory

We extend understandings of literature through research into the relationships between language, culture and memory in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including acts and cultures of reading, biography and autobiography, film, popular literature, and Children’s and Young Adult literature. We host the world-leading MA in Children’s Literature (also offered as Distance Learning) and the innovative MA in Popular Literature. 

Consumerism, Waste, and Re-use in Twentieth-Century Fiction: Legacies of the Avant-Garde (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

Rachele Dini

This book examines manufactured waste and remaindered humans in literary critiques of capitalism by twentieth-century writers associated with the historical avant-garde and their descendants. In exploring the relationship between waste, capitalism, and literary experimentation, Rachele Dini shows that the legacy of the historical avant-garde is bound up with an enduring faith in the radical potential of waste. 

The Literature of Food: An Introduction from 1830 to Present (Bloomsbury, 2020)

Nicola Humble

Combining the insights of food studies and literary analysis, Nicola Humble considers the multifarious ways in which food both works and plays within texts, and the variety of functions-ideological, mimetic, symbolic, structural, affective-which it serves. Carefully designed and structured for use on the growing number of literature on food courses, this book examines the food of modernism, post-modernism, the realist novel and children's literature, and asks what happens when we treat cook books as literary texts. 

Samuel Beckett and Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2017)

Anthony Paraskeva

Drawing on recently published letters, archival material and production notebooks, Samuel Beckett and Cinema is the first book to examine comprehensively the full extent of Beckett's engagement with cinema and its influence on his work for stage and screen. 

Rereading Childhood Books (Bloomsbury, 2019)

Alison Waller

Childhood books play a special role in reading histories, providing touchstones for our future tastes and giving shape to our ongoing identities. Bringing the latest work in Memory Studies to bear on writers' memoirs, autobiographical accounts of reading, and interviews with readers, Rereading Childhood Books explores how adults remember, revisit, and sometimes forget, these significant books.

Queer Muslim Diasporas in contemporary literature and film (Manchester University Press, 2019)

Alberto Fernandez Carbajal

Carbajal’s book explores the representation of queer migrant Muslims in international literature and film from the 1980s to the present day. Bringing together a variety of contemporary writers and filmmakers of Muslim heritage engaged in vindicating same-sex desire, the book approaches queer Muslims in the diaspora as figures forced to negotiate their identities according to the expectations of the West and of their migrant Muslim communities.

Ian Fleming and the Politics of Ambivalence (Bloomsbury, 2021)

Ian Kinane

Previously considered an avowed nationalist, this book explores how Ian Fleming's writings and his representational politics contain an implicit resistance to imperial rhetoric. Through an examination of Fleming's Jamaica-set novels Live and Let Die, Dr. No, and The Man with the Golden Gun, as well as the later film adaptations of these novels, Ian Kinane reveals Fleming's deep ambivalence to British decolonisation and to wider Anglo-Caribbean relations.

Poetry, Fiction and Experimental Form

Our creative writing work is rooted in practice-based research and we innovate through form (e.g. music and translation) and through attention to gender, sexuality, identity and faith. We host innovative MAs in Creative Writing and in Publishing and we are home to our inhouse Fincham Press.


We Are Made of Diamond Stuff (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2019)

Isabel Waidner

We Are Made of Diamond Stuff is an innovative and critically British novel, taking issue with the dream of national belonging. Set on the Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England, it collides literary aesthetics with contemporary working-class cultures and attitudes, works with themes of empire, embodiment and resistance, and interrogates autobiographical material including the queer migrant experience. 


Midamble (If P then Q, 2018)

Peter Jaeger

Midamble is a long poem that concerns Peter Jaeger’s interest in walking practice; in particular his travels on a variety of pilgrimage routes. A prose poem, it comprises two bands of text: the top level is a list of walking experiences whilst the bottom re-appropriates materials from comparative religion texts. Midamble is a poem that is clearer than crystal, and possesses a musical quality that is comparable to seminal and contemporary minimalist music. 


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