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Department of Modern Languages PhD Opportunities

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Profile Description

In the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham we explore how the study of languages, discourses, and cultures challenges how we understand and experience the world. Our researchers are engaged in a wide range of activity - here is just a selection of some of our current opportunities. All of the current projects within the Department are also listed on FindaPhD and you can find details of all our areas of expertise in our staff profiles. 

Children's Literature in Spain (La Literatura Infantil en Espana)
This PhD with Dr Lorraine Ryan will study the heretofore unstudied genre of children´s literature (literatura infantil) in Spanish. This study encompasses, but does not limit itself, to authors such as Jaime Ferrán, Gloria Fuertes, Charo Ruano, Marina Romero, Ana María Romero Yebra, Carlos Murciano, Gloria Sánchez, Jaime Siles and Olga Xirinachs. Questions of gender, ideology, reception and production will be examined.

Ecocriticism in Spanish Culture
This project will focus on environmental humanities/ecocriticism in the works of acclaimed directors and writers, such as Juan Benet, Miguel Delibes, Rafael Chirbes, Jesús Carrasco, Iciar Bollain, Elvira Navarro, Julio Llamazares, and Javier Pérez Andújar. The list is not exhaustive and candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Ryan with other suggestions. Potential candidates will engage with both relevant theory pertaining to ecocriticism and the above mentioned works.

Masculinity in Contemporary Spanish Culture
This PhD with Dr Lorraine Ryan will study the representation of masculinity in Contemporary Spanish film and literature, in particular reference to the films of Cesc Gay, Guillermo del Toro, and the novels of Almudena Grandes, Alicia Giménez Bartlett, and Javier Cercas. This list is not exhaustive, and candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Ryan to discuss suggestions.

Spanish Literature of the 20th/21st Century
This PhD project will centre on critically acclaimed, yet relatively understudied authors, such as Rafael Chirbes, José María Merino, and Luis Mateo Diez. The list is not exhaustive, and candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Ryan with suggestions.

Perpetrator Memory in Contemporary Spanish Culture
This project with Dr Lorraine Ryan will study the representation of the perpetrator in recent Spanish film and fiction, which would include authors such as Javier Cercas, Andrés Trapiello, Javier Marías, Alberto Méndez, and Almudena Grandes.


Dr Nicholas Martin welcomes PhD proposals within the following broad areas of Nietzsche studies. The ability to read Nietzsche in German is essential, and some prior knowledge of his work is desirable.

  • Origins and development of Nietzsche's thought and cultural criticism
  • Nietzsche's theories of art and culture
  • Nietzsche's critique of Western culture and values
  • Nietzsche's styles and modes of expression
  • Aspects of Nietzsche's cultural reception in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Francophone Postcolonial Literature and Film

The research field of Francophone Postcolonial Literature and Film is diverse and is a growing area of interest for many researchers. Dr Louise Hardwick is seeking proposals for theses which will examine literature and/or film from any area of the Francophone world. Comparative proposals are also welcome.

Please contact the relevant academic member of staff using the links included if you have any queries on the opportunities above.

Funding Notes

There are a limited number of funding opportunities with the College of Arts and Law, however, competition for these scholarships is fierce and only those with the highest credentials are likely to be successful. For more information see:

Enquiries from self-funded students are also welcome.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Modern Languages and Linguistics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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