Research in English and Comparative Literature

In this section


Excellent Staff, Innovative Programmes, Ground-Breaking Research

Our academic staff are active in scholarly research in English, European, American, Postcolonial and Comparative Literature studies, as well as in creative writing. Research and creative writing published by our 50-odd academic staff put the Department at the cutting edge of new thinking, in the top 100 English Departments in the world (QS rankings 2017).

We contribute to specialised and international conferences, frequently organise events at Goldsmiths, and publish our work in leading scholarly journals and through major academic presses. Several of our staff are members of editorial committees, and are actively involved with professional academic organizations such as the Shakespeare Association of America, the International Comparative Literature Association, and the International James Joyce Foundation.

In the REF 2014 results, 74.4% of publications by our staff were judged as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. On this latest measure for outputs (of 4* plus 3*), Goldsmiths' ECL Department ranks ahead of many prestigious English departments throughout the UK. For research intensity (percentage of staff included in the exercise), ECL is in the top 20.

We have substantial research strengths ranging from the reception of classical literature to twenty-first century literatures in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, alongside contemporary linguistic and creative writing, and such interdisciplinary areas as literature & philosophy, literature & photography, literature and visual arts, and post-colonial studies.

Around 70 research students in the Department are working towards MPhil and PhD degrees on a wide range of topics. They benefit from the proximity of the British Library, the University of London Library and other research resources, from membership of the University of London's School of Advanced Studies, and from regular departmental research seminars. Our graduate students regularly participate in and organise conferences, and produce an e-journal, Glits-e.

Research centres

Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies

Goldsmiths Writers' Centre

Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought

Research programmes

MPhil & PhD in English, Comparative Literature, Linguistics or Translation

MPhil and PhD in Creative Writing

MRes (Master of Research) in English

MPhil/PhD in Literary and Critical Theory

Staff research interests

Anim-Addo, Joan Caribbean literature; 18th-century historiography and early black writers; black feminisms.

Baldick, Chris Literature in England 1910-40; history of modern criticism; modern literature and the newspaper.

Barber, Ros Creative writing, especially literary fiction and drama;  early modern literary biography.

Barnsley, Sarah American literature, Mary Barnard, modernism, poetry and poetics, gender and queer theory, creative practice (poetry).

Blinder, Caroline 19th- and 20th-century American literature; literary theory; literature and photography.

Boldrini, Lucia Joyce; modernism; contemporary fiction; fictional biography and autobiography; Dante; history, theory and practice of comparative literature; aspects of literary theory.

Canova-Green, Marie-Claude History of French theatre; 17th-century European court entertainments and large-scale public spectacles; 17th-century historiography.

Cogo, Alessia English as a Lingua Franca, multilingualism (including translanguaging), intercultural communication, pragmatic aspects and identity (especially in relation to migration and professional contexts), pedagogical implications and English language teaching.

Cohen, Josh Modern American writing; critical theory; literature and philosophy; holocaust writing; psychoanalysis.

Crownshaw, Rick American literature since the 19th century; cultural memory and trauma; Holocaust representation.

Desmarais, Jane Literature, the visual arts and Anglo-French cultural relations 1870-1920; literary Decadence and the Fin-de-Siècle.

Dooley, Maura Creative writing, particularly poetry and the short story; children’s literature.

Downie, Alan English literature and politics 1590-1750; Swift and the Scriblerian satirists; the early English novel; early English press to 1800.

Hurst, Isobel Reception of the classics in the 19th and 20th centuries; Victorian fiction and poetry; women’s writing.

Kirwan, Padraig Native American fiction; American literature since 1900; transatlantic studies, particularly the connection between Ireland and America; border studies and the American West.

Knight, Stephen Creative writing – particularly poetry and the novel, and the theatre.

Kramer, Andreas German and Austrian literature since 1890; modernism and the avant-garde; literature and film; critical theory.

Krause, Frank 18th-century German literature and the Enlightenment; German Expressionism; narratives of the Great War (English, French, and German.

Maitland, Sarah cultural translation, theatre translation, translation philosophy, hermeneutics and translation and its interface with political theory, the politics of recognition and restorative justice.

Mars-Jones, Adam creative writing, particualrly fiction and memoir

Morrison, Blake Creative writing; contemporary American and British fiction and poetry; memoir; journalism; translation; writing for the theatre; libretti.

Natarajan, Uttara Romantic and Victorian English literature, especially prose non-fiction; 19th-century aesthetics and history of ideas.

Ng, Julia  literary theory, Continental philosophy and critical theory, and German and comparative literature, reception of the late 18th century in early 20th century thought, politics and poetics, comparative aesthetics and political economy, and Walter Benjamin 

Parnell, Tim Laurence Sterne; 18th-century literature, especially prose fiction; narrative satire and the culture of sensibility; Menippean satire and anti-encyclopedism from the Renaissance to the postmodern.

Pichler, Pia Discourse and conversation analysis; sociolinguistics; language and gender; feminist linguistics; language and identity (especially gender, ethnicity, and social class).

Popova, Geri Theoretical linguistics: grammatical structure, word structure, and the interface between word and sentence structure; language and the media.

Raisin, Ross Creative writing, particularly fiction and the short story

Rattray, Jacqueline 20th-century Spanish literature; European avant-garde writing, painting and cinema; comparative approaches to Surrealism (particularly French-Spanish).

Sakr, Rita Arabic and comparative literature in a world-literature context, memory and monument studies, cultural geography and spatial theory, urban studies, migrant writings and human rights, translation, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean studies

Scott, Charlotte Shakespeare; Renaissance drama and poetry; the history of the book; subjects and objects in performance.

Simpson, Michael British Romantic literature, especially drama and lyric poetry; modern receptions of classical texts; postcolonial drama.

Spufford, Francis Creative writing, with interests in the Anglo-American 18th century; the literary possibilities of economics; contemporary forms of religious feeling.

Sweeney, Carole French studies and translation studies; modernism; imperialism and primitivism.

Tubridy, Derval Samuel Beckett; Thomas Kinsella; modern and contemporary Irish and British literature; textual and visual studies; literary theory.

Underwood, Jack Poetry and libretti; 20th-century English-language poetry; post-Freudian linguistic theory; creative writing studies.

Vakil, Ardashir Creative writing, particularly the novel and the short story.

Wagner, Erica Creative writing, creative non-fiction

Wilson, Frances Creative writing, literary biography, creative non-fiction, Romanticism

Wood, Naomi Creative writing, particulalry novels, memoirs, historical and biographical fiction


Emeritus Professors

Professor Alcuin Blamires BA MPhil
Professor Helen Carr BA PGCE MA PhD
Professor Peter Dunwoodie, MA PhD
Professor David Margolies BA BLitt PhD
Professor B J Sokol BSc MA MPhil PhD
Professor Joan Turner MA PgDip

Print, Voice, Screen, Song: Celebrating research and writing in English and Comparative Literature