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English Literature - Postgraduate Research Opportunities

  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Profile Description

English Literature PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

The Department of English Literature is one of the leading departments for the postgraduate study of English Literature and Culture in the UK, offering expert teaching and research supervision across the full chronological range, from Old English to the present day. We have a commitment to a rich diversity of theoretical, historical and intellectual approaches to our subjects.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The MLitt involves undertaking research on a chosen topic leading to the preparation of a thesis of 60,000 words.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

Research interests of staff:

Our work in Medieval English ( for example, Old English, Chaucer, Langland, Lollard writing, Older Scots literature, Reformation writing and medievalist writers, such as Tolkien) extends through medieval literature into concerns with editing, print production, bibliography, manuscript studies, and non-manuscript verbal cultures of the Middle Ages; and also with relations between medieval verbal and visual cultures.

In the Early Modern area (for example, Daniel, Donne, Jonson, Marlowe, Middleton, Shakespeare, Spenser, and Milton) our specialisms in dramatic and non-dramatic writing extend into the reception of early modern writers in later periods and today, and run alongside our work on cultures of manuscript, print and 17th-century women's writing.

In Restoration, 18th century and Romantics (for example, Rochester, Behn, Swift, Pope, Richardson, Sterne, Goldsmith, Macpherson, Johnson, Wordsworth, and Lamb,) we focus on reading literary works in their historical and cultural contexts, with special interests in the editing of texts, in prose fiction, in language and lexicography, in national representation, in the reception of Shakespeare, and in gender.

In 19th century, 20th century, and contemporary literatures (for example, Hardy, Wilde, James, Conrad, Ford, Wyndham Lewis, Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, T. S. Eliot, Ballard, Coetzee, Delillo, and Zadie Smith), we are particularly interested in the late Victorian period, Modernism and the contemporary, and we utilise a number of thematic and theoretical approaches (including historiography, cultural theory, postcolonialism, cultures of reading, utopian studies, and digital theory).

The research themes of materiality of the text (for example, textual editing, history of the book, media history) and gender (for example, women writers, and relevant theoretical approaches) can be pursued across all these periods.

Funding applications for College scholarships are now open for 2018 entry.

Funding Notes

This programme is waiting to hear about funding for the next session, or external funding will be applied for once a suitable candidate is selected. Applications are welcome - please see programme details for further information.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in English Language and Literature?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 37.20

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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