Research Cluster

Comparative Literature and Translation

Person standing in front of bookcase

This research cluster brings together academics from Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.

The study of literatures in a transnational and transcultural series of contexts is at the core of our research activity. Our researchers work in the key original areas of British, Irish, United States, Caribbean, Latin American and also in Hispanic, Francophone, Italian, German, Polish, Yugoslav, Russian and Chinese literatures.

Our approach to literature is genuinely interdisciplinary and actively promotes the comparison of literature to other arts and media. Members of this research cluster have driven innovation in world cinema, global theatre, interarts studies, comparative media, travel writing and postcolonial theory, and pursue translation both as theory and practice.

We have strong ties with the British Comparative Literature Association and have hosted many international conferences at Essex, including the BCLA’s Triennial International Conference on Migration in 2013, and Revolution & Evolution in 2014.

 

Research Supervision

We offer research supervision in a broad geographical range of literatures and cinemas, and related arts and media.

Examples of recently completed and ongoing projects by our doctoral students include:

  • International Surrealism
  • Steel Safari – Cairo to Cape Town by Rail (Where Possible)
  • Contested Cities in Arab Writing
  • Dominican-American Fiction between 1990 and 2010
  • Hispaniola Rediscovered: A Study of Recent Fiction by Caribbean-American Writers
  • Gaming and Literature: Virtual Game Immersion in Contemporary Print Text

Please contact our academics directly to discuss research supervision opportunities, or explore our research degrees and what to expect from a degree in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies. You can also find out how to apply for postgraduate research at Essex, or use research finder if you are interested in searching for further research opportunities at Essex.

Highlights of our research

Research projects

Recent research projects include:

  • 2016-2019 - Derek Walcott’s Painters (Maria Cristina Fumagalli, funded by the Leverhulme Trust)
  • 2017-2018 - Home and Modernism (Sanja Bahun, funded by the Leverhulme Trust)
  • 2019-2020 - Creativity and Constraint: Contemporary Cinema in Iran and the Arab World (Shohini Chaudhuri, funded by the Leverhulme Trust)
  • 2021-2022 - Kodachrome Travels: Colour Film, Realism, and the American Pacific Imagination (Jeffrey Geiger, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The British Academy)

Publications

Below are various publications from our members. To explore our members other publications, please visit their staff profiles.

 

Cluster members

Professor, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Literature and film; Comparative media, intermediality, and transmedia; Adaptation, translation, and comparative literature; History of the book, silent cinema, and digital media; Technology, mediality, materialism; Reception studies and the history of reading; Physiology of reading, embodied spectator, affect
Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education and Professor (R), Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: comparative literature; psychoanalysis; womens and gender studies; the arts and transitional justice
Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Nature writing and the New Nature Writing movement; creative non-fiction; ecocriticism; psychogeography and the rural derive; writing on the Essex landscape; the writers of Essex; British travel writing on Arabia; travel writing and theory; the work of W.G. Sebald; the interface between colonial history and postcolonialism
Professor, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: notions of world cinema, intercultural and transnational cinema; film and human rights; gender and feminist theory; film theory and affect
Professor, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Caribbean literatures, art and cinema; literature and place; border studies (especially concerning the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic); literature and the environment; migration and literature; human rights and literature; literature and the visual arts; contemporary poetry; literary and filmic rewritings, adaptations, translation and comparative studies; contemporary Caribbean and US relations (especially regarding the Dominican and Haitian Diasporas); the work of Derek Walcott, Seamus Heaney, Junot Diaz, and Edwidge Danticat; postcolonial studies; women writing; Italian cinema and literature
Professor, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: documentary; media practice and theory (creative practice / PaR); amateur cinema; gender and ethnicity in US literature, film, television; island representations; Oceania and the Pacific in film and photography; postcolonial cinema studies
Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Theoretical approaches to literature and art history; Lacanian theory; narratives and apocalyptic figuration in Medieval beast literature; gender/genre implications; narrative construction in Old French epic and Medieval and Renaissance analogues; Troubadour poetry and parallels in narrative design of other genres; literary tradition and Thomas Hobbes Historia Ecclesiastica; issues in modernism; expression and configuration of light in the works of Stephane Mallarmé; Old Icelandic literature; the theory and practice of literary translation; Gaudier-Brzeska Archive; Gaudier-Brzeska Archive, Albert Sloman Library; Fantasy Literature and Medieval and Modernist contexts; Operas and Literary Context: Wagner
Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Immersive Performance and Participation; Devising and Contemporary Performance-making; Experimental Neuroscience, Selfhood, Embodiment and Body Transfer Illusions in Performance; Science-art Interdisciplinarity; Intermediality, Interactivity, New Technologies and the Digital Humanities; Theatre in the Dark; Theatre Directing; Applied performance, affect and wellbeing
Acting Deputy Dean (Postgraduate Research Training) and Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Chinese and East-Asian Theatre; World and Global Theatres and Literatures; Postdramatic Theatres; Modernism/Postmodernism in drama and literature; Post-war British theatre and theatres in Europe; Contemporary Theatre Practices (directing and producing); Dramaturgy and Playwriting (PaR and Creative practices); Comparative Drama and Literature; Gender Studies and Women's writing
Professor, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: The history of literatures in English; history of the English language; phonology and verseform; representations of home in literature
Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: modernism; comparative literature; literature and history; Holocaust writing; literature and religion; literary translation; twentieth-century poetry; WW1 and WW2 in literature
Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Professor, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Creative Writing; Experimental translation; Oulipo
Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
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Karin Littau