Research groups and centres

Each of our research groups and centres contribute to research seminars, organise symposia, workshops, and conferences, encourage research collaborations with external academic and non-academic organisations and explore public engagement opportunities.

Research groups

Mobilities in literature and culture

We 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.


Dr Dimitris Asimakoulas, Dr Constance Bantman, Dr Catherine Barbour, Alicia BarnesDr Lucy Bell, Dr Doris Dippold, Holly Hallam, Dr Anesa Hosein, Dr Helen Kingstone, Eleanor MarchDr Charlotte Mathieson, Dr Donna McCormack, Dr Amy Morgan, Prof Bran Nicol, Gursimran Oberoi, Vassilena Parashkevova, Prof Patricia Pulham, Dr Carl Thompson, Jess Thorne and Prof Diane Watt.

New approaches to medieval literatures

We are developing and applying new theoretical and methodological approaches to researching medieval literature, with specific foci on feminism, queer theory, postcolonialism and the global. We are working on innovative ways of understanding texts produced in the period c.600-c.1500. Gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, multilingualism, and spaciality and temporality are key topics addressed by the group.


Dr Leona Archer, Dr Amy Morgan, Teresa Pilgrim and Prof Diane Watt.

Potential literatures (LitPo)

We are examining the development of new literary forms in contemporary fiction and poetry, and also examine the history of innovative formal production in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from a literary-historical and literary-theoretical perspective. Our work is organised around the idea of literary potential:

  • What are potential new forms of literature?
  • What is the potential, power, of literary form to shape, comment on, and contest, pressing social, cultural and political issues?

We combine work of both theorists and practitioners of literature.


Dr Helen HughesDr Allan Kilner-JohnsonDr Stephen MooneyProf Bran NicolAngela Szczepaniac and Dr Paul Vlitos.

Shakespeare and performance

We are comprised of experts in English literature and performing arts, and are examining Shakespeare in action. This includes:

  • Shakespeare works
  • Cultural milieu
  • Reception.

Our work comes from the perspective of literary history, literary theory, and the theory and practice of performance.


Dr Jaq Bessell, Dr Anne-Sophie Refskou, Darren TunstallDr Matt Wagner and Prof Marion Wynne-Davies.


We centre on the writing of, and writings about, the long nineteenth century. We are a collection of researchers in the School of Literature and Languages and curators at Watts Gallery whose research focuses on nineteenth-century literature and culture, Victorian partnerships, theatre and sensation fiction, Victorian celebrity, visual cultures, decadence and Neo-Victorianism.


Dr Helen KingstoneDr Charlotte MathiesonDr Beth PalmerProf Patricia Pulham and Dr Lucy Ella Rose.

Research centres

We have two major research centres.

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School of Literature and Languages
University of Surrey