About Literature: English and comparative approaches
English, Comparative and World Literature at the University of Essex
Literature was one of the founding subjects at Essex and the Department has built its reputation on the scholarly and critical achievements of its teaching staff whose expertise in English, comparative and world literature are well-established.
Current professors include Maria Cristina Fumagalli, Richard Gray and Peter Hulme, world–leading scholars in United States, Caribbean, Postcolonial, Colonial and travel literature, as well as acclaimed novelist and cultural historian, Marina Warner, and leading Shakespeare specialist, John Gillies.
Since 2010, Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott, has been our esteemed Visiting Professor of Poetry–building on the Department’s particular links with the Americas and the Caribbean.
Freedom to choose and tailor your degree
We offer a variety of literary traditions and critical approaches through our wide choice of degree schemes at
both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
These include the single honours BA in English Literature, but also BAs in Literature and Myth and English and US Literature,
as well as a wide variety of joint honours degrees that combine Literature with Film, Drama, History, Philosophy and Art History to give just a few examples.
Established research areas
Established areas of research excellence include Renaissance writing, Romanticism, American literature - US and Caribbean particularly eighteenth-century literature, colonial and postcolonial literature, travel writing and translation studies. Our expertise in the Americas also feeds heavily into the American Studies degree programme, which was rated fourth in the UK in a 2013 Guardian League Table.
- Established areas of research excellence include: English literature, comparative and world literature, Renaissance writing, Romanticism, American literary studies - both the literature of the United States and the Caribbean
- colonial and postcolonial studies, translation studies and travel writing.
- International excellence of research established in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008.
- Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott Visiting Professor of Poetry since 2010.
- Interdisciplinary approach to study and research actively supported and encouraged.
- Literature modules feature significantly in the BA in American Studies which was rated fourth in the UK in a 2013 Guardian League Table.
- Opportunity to be taught by a number of well-established poets, novelists, playwrights and writers, including Booker Prize nominee Mariner Warner.
- International cohort of students and staff.
More about the Department
Languages for All
As a University of Essex student, you can also study a language alongside your course for free as part of the Languages for All scheme.