Specialists across literature, screen and stage
We are an interdisciplinary department with expertise in English literature, drama, creative writing, journalism, film and screen media. Our courses are taught by leading academics, writers, film makers and journalists, and allow you to follow specialised pathways or to combine your interests across our subject areas.
Literature was one of the founding subjects at the University of Essex and since our department's inception in the 1960s under the poet Donald Davie, we have nurtured a tradition of distinguished writers, who have shaped literature as we know it.
Although our department built its reputation on scholarly and critical achievements across English, comparative and world literature, the addition of centres for creative writing, theatre studies, and film and screen media further expanded our range and combined with journalism, a new subject area, give our department its uniquely diverse and interdisciplinary character.
Our teaching draws on our internationally recognised expertise across a range of research specialisms. In literature, our specialisms span from Arthurian legends through Shakespeare and early modern literature to feminist and queer theory, postcolonial writing, and dystopian fiction. Our creative writers are experts in experimental and contemporary poetry, science fiction and fantasy, nature and landscape writing. Our drama academics are professional theatre practitioners, working in the theatre world as writers, directors, actors and theatre-makers, as well as being researchers of theatre history. Our film specialists explore interactive screen media, adaptation, world cinema and documentary and are professional filmmakers with extensive industry experience, and our journalists have held senior editorial and correspondent roles with national and international media organisations.