Our research

Our academic staff

Our academic staff

Our academic staff are internationally recognised for their expertise across literature, film, creative writing and drama. Find out more by reading their staff profiles.

Our research is at the heart of our activities and feeds directly into to our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. We follow a distinctly comparative approach through critical and creative work in literature, drama, film, and creative writing that extends across genres and media forms.

We have internationally recognised expertise in the literatures of the British Isles, the Americas, and Europe, from Shakespeare and transatlantic romanticism to global modernism and world literature, particularly from the United States and the Caribbean. This is combined with strengths in world cinema, film theory and practice, contemporary theatre and poetry, as well as adaptation and translation studies.

Three-quarters of our research is rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014).

Staff research

Our academic staff are the authors of numerous major publications. See our academic staff profiles for full lists of individual research interests and publications or search our research repository.

  • Research expertise

    Literature
    • Professor Sanja Bahun - Modernism, comparative and world literature, psychoanalysis, women’s and gender studies, the arts and transitional justice
    • Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli - Caribbean literatures, art and cinema, border studies, contemporary poetry, Derek Walcott, postcolonial studies
    • Professor John Gillies - Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, the cultural poetics of space and place
    • Professor Peter Hulme - Caribbean literature, history and anthropology, travel writing, postcolonial studies, literature and the environment
    • Dr Roger Moss - self-reflexive fiction, rhetoric, Modernism, turn-of-the-century and modernist representations of the “homosexual”
    • Dr Susan Oliver - Romantic period, Scottish literature, transatlantic literature, nature writing and ecocriticism
    • Dr Jak Peake - Caribbean literature, African American literature, black British writing, postcolonial and colonial writing, ecocriticism
    • Dr Owen Robinson - literature and culture of the American south, contemporary US literature, cultural geography
    • Dr Deirdre Serjeantson - Early Modern literature, Petrarchism, Irish and Scottish writing in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, manuscript studies
    Film studies
    • Mr Nic Blower - film production, documentary, contemporary film
    • Dr Shohini Chaudhuri - world cinema, film theory and affect, gender and feminist theory, technology and the body, psychoanalysis
    • Dr Jeffrey Geiger - US cinema, films of and about Asia and Pacific regions, film practice in critical and theoretical contexts, documentary and ethnographic film
    • Dr John Haynes - Soviet and Russian cinema, US independent cinema, film and history, cinema and social justice activism
    • Dr Karin Littau - film adaptation, intermediality, comparative literature, translation studies, silent cinema, history of reading
    Drama and theatre studies
    Creative writing

Research projects

We have an excellent record of winning major funding for our research.

Research centres and groups

The Centre for Film and Screen Media, Centre for Theatre Studies, and Centre for Creative Writing are all housed in our Department and conduct critical and practice-based research as well as offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

A number of our staff are also make up the Research Group in Ecocriticsim, Green Writing and Literary Geographies, reflecting our strong reserch across these areas.

Postgraduate research

Our postgraduate community actively contributes to our research profile. Our list of current PhD theses shows the broad range of research currently being carried out in our Department. You can view completed literature, film, theatre studies, and creative writing theses in our Albert Sloman Library.

Film screenings

Film screenings

We have a dedicated 120-seat film theatre on campus and hold weekly film screenings introduced by our academic staff as well as talks by visiting film makers and showcases of students work.

Research Seminars

Writers at Essex

Throughout the year our weekly Research Seminar series welcomes leading academic specialists, as well as writers, poets, playwrights, filmmakers and journalists to talk about their work.

AHRC funding

PhD student in library

Apply for a PhD studentship for your doctoral study funded by the Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

News and events

News and events

Check out our news and events section for the latest information about publications, research excellence, awards and achievements by our staff and students.