Research groups

Listed below are the specialist research centres and groups housed in the School of Literature and Languages, and their members. Each centre/group contributes to School research seminars, organises symposia, workshops, and conferences, encourages research collaborations amongst its members and with academic and non-academic external organisations and researchers, explores public engagement opportunities, and works with the School’s community of PhD students.

Research Centre for Mobilities in Literature and Culture

This research centre brings together researchers from across the School to examine pressing social and cultural issues as explored in works of literature across the literary periods, such as social and cultural networks; cities and urban culture; subversive space and the imagination of alternative spaces; disconnections and connections; embodiment and the practice and politics of movement; post-humanism; transnationalism and its limitations.

MembersDr Dimitris AsimakoulasDr Constance BantmanDr Lucy BellDr Shazia JagotDr Adeline Johns-PutraDr Rosina Marquez ReiterDr Charlotte Mathieson (co-ordinator); Dr Amy Louise MorganProf Bran NicolDr Carl ThompsonProf Diane Watt.

Shakespeare and Performance

This research group brings together researchers in English literature and GSA to examine ‘Shakespeare in action’, i.e. Shakespeare works, cultural milieu, and reception, from the perspective of literary history, literary theory, and the theory and practice of performance.

MembersJaq Bessell (GSA); Anne-Sophie Refskou (GSA); Dr Neema Parvini (co-ordinator); Darren Tunstall (GSA); Matt Wagner (GSA); Prof Marion Wynne-Davies.

Potential Literatures Group (LitPo)

Researchers in this group examine the development of new literary forms in contemporary fiction and poetry, and also examines the history of innovative formal production in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from a literary-historical and literary-theoretical perspective. The group’s work is organised around the idea of literary potential – what are potential new forms of literature? What is the potential, ie power, of literary form to shape, comment on, and contest, pressing social, cultural and political issues? – and combines work by both theorists and practitioners of literature.

MembersDr Helen HughesDr Holly LuhningDr Donna McCormackProf Bran NicolDr Stephen Mooney (co-ordinator); Dr Angela SzczepaniakDr Paul Vlitos.

Women’s Writing Research Group

The Women’s Writing Research Group was established to encourage the study of women’s writing and women’s engagement in literary culture from the medieval and early modern periods, through the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to the present day.

The group focuses on the traditions in English, and explores a variety of forms and genres.  All research undertaken by the group is underpinned by a commitment to feminist theory and practice, but it also draws on variety of other theoretical approaches, including queer theory, cultural materialism, postcolonial theory, and environmental theory. The group is also interested in creative practice and women’s writing.

Particular specialisms include:

  • The history of women’s writing
  • Women and poetry
  • Women and editing
  • Women and the theatre
  • Post-colonial women’s writing
  • The body and sexuality.

The Women’s Writing Research Group supports individual work in specific fields and also provides a rich environment of research collaboration, graduate study, cross-disciplinary and cross-period dialogue, and international collaboration with scholars working in the fields of postcolonial, feminist, gender, environmental and cultural studies within the arts, humanities and social sciences. Research activities include the sponsoring of lectures, workshops, colloquia and conferences, as well as participation in the English literature ‘cultures in contact’ research seminar series.

The Women’s Writing Research Group also benefits from its close relationship with English PEN, a collaboration which includes staff, and postgraduate and undergraduate students. Sponsored events include the inaugural Surrey PEN lecture by best-selling author and English PEN trustee, Monica Ali, in 2011. In 2012-13, Professor Marion Wynne Davies was awarded a Harry Ransom Centre Research Fellowship for a research project on the History of PEN. The Women’s Writing Research Group also contributes to the poetry and creative writing events run by the School, including the Surrey New Writers Festival.

Members: Dr Adeline Johns-Putra (Coordinator), Dr Holly LuhningDr Beth PalmerJessica Pujol DuranProfessor Diane Watt and Professor Marion Wynne-Davies.

Find us

School of Literature and Languages
Library and Learning Centre
University of Surrey