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Languages, Literature & Culture (21)

  Comparative Literature PhD

  Faculty of Arts & Humanities

 Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Programme

Joint PhDs available: Exciting opportunities to gain a joint PhD with Hong Kong University (HKU), the National University of Singapore (NUS)

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers research strengths and opportunities for PhD supervision in Comparative Literature across all periods of modern, medieval and classical literature in major western European languages and in the modern languages of India, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Special research focuses include: African literature, the literature of the Middle East, Romanticism and revolution, gender studies and classical reception studies.

  • Latest REF rankings: In the recent Research Excellence Framework assessment of our research (REF 2021) our research environment was rated 100% ‘world-leading’ (4*), and research impact was rated 87.5% ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ (3*).
  • Current number of students: 14

Recent research projects:

  • Not my time to die (translation of the novel by Yolanda Mukagusana)
  • Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century
  • Rethinking Metonymy: Literary Theory and Poetic Practice from Pindar to Jakobson
  • Complex Inferiorities: The Poetics of the Weaker Voice in Latin Literature
  • Colonialism and Knowledge in Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India
  • Nation and Region in Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India
  • Realism and space in the novel, 1795-1869: Imagined Geographies
  • The Friulian Language: Identity, Migration, Culture
  • What Postcolonial Theory Doesn't Say
  • Debating Orientalism
  • Melancholia: The Western Malady
  • Rhetorics of Belonging: Nation, Narration and Israel/Palestine

Partner organisations:

Ongoing co-operation in research and student exchange takes place between the programme and the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Joint PhDs available: Exciting opportunities to gain a joint PhD with the University of Hong Kong or National University of Singapore.


We welcome applications from students with research interests in any area of modern, medieval and classical literature in the western European languages and in the modern languages of China, India, Africa and the Middle East. Special research focuses include: the afterlife of Greco-Roman antiquity in later Western literature; the tradition of melancholy from antiquity to 1800; modern Greek poetry; pain in African literature; gender and modern Chinese literature; space in the 19th century European novel; Palestinian and Israeli world literature; linguistics, philology and comparative literature.

Course study environment

Research students present their work at the regular Research Seminar and participate in the Comparative Literature Graduate Reading Group and the annual Comparative Literature Graduate Conference. They also attend other Department seminars as appropriate including at the Global Institutes and the Arts and Humanities Festival. The various Institutes of the University of London School of Advanced Study run a wealth of seminars. In addition, King's Comparative Literature plays a pivotal role in the London Intercollegiate Comparative Studies network, which hosts its own seminars.

Postgraduate training

Training for postgraduate research students is offered at various levels throughout PhD registration, including, at King’s, the courses and sessions offered by the Department, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Centre for Doctoral Studies and the King’s Language Centre. Further afield training is offered by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership and the Institute of Modern Languages Research of the University of London. Research training will include a range of different kinds, including research ethics and integrity, bibliographic and referencing skills, the opportunity to learn or improve language skills, career support, job applications, networking, working with community partners, and much more.

Head of group/division

Dr. Anna Bernard

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 1649 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Contact email

Course website

Find out more by visiting the course website

Funding Notes

Find out more information about fees on our course web page on the King’s website View Website
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