Research Cluster

Creative Writing and Scriptwriting

A fountain pen balanced on a piece of paper with writing on.
This research cluster brings together academics from across Creative Writing, Drama and Film; and its purpose is to explore creative practice as a research method.

Researchers in this cluster work in a range of media to produce work in film, memoir, poetry, drama, performance, the novel, radio, and genre-defying work that innovates between and across forms.

Work in this cluster includes poetry and drama that engages in themes of gender and identity; and applied theatre and film that brings creative insights to the subjects of testimony, human rights and PTSD.

Translation is a strong theme within this group. Folklore, memories of place, eco-crisis and environmental writing is strongly present in our members writing across the genres of creative non-fiction, drama and poetry.

All members in this research cluster are open to postgraduate research supervision and are currently involved in the supervision of creative doctoral dissertations across film, drama and creative writing.

Research themes

 There are a number of strands to our research within this cluster:

  • oulipo and prose fiction
  • drama and creative non-fiction
  • memoir and identity
  • gender and identity
  • testimony, human rights and PTSD
  • translation
  • folklore, memories of place, eco-crisis and environmental writing

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

  • Liam Jarvis created 'The Journey in Reverse' an experiential VR performance work that allows audiences to explore the feeling of Parkinson’s.
  • Nic Blower and Annecy Lax are exploring applied theatre and film that brings creative insights to the subjects of testimony, human rights and PTSD.
  • Liz Kuti is exploring themes of folklore, and wrote two plays; 'Sea Longing' which explored stories of the selkie, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Liz also won two BBC awards. The second play, Fishkin Trousers is a monologue play which interweaves myth, folklore and magic as it unfolds the experiences of three characters on the mysterious Island of Orford Ness.
  • Philip Terry is experimenting in Oulipo and prose fiction.
  • Jonathan Lichtenstein has forthcoming work that blends memoir, drama and creative non-fiction.
  • Matthew De Abaitua created an innovative memoir of ‘literary ambition’.
  • Anthony Clavane created 'Self and I' an idiosyncratic blend of political commentary, humour, memoir and identity, seen through the lens of sport.
  • Holly Pester and Mary Mazzilli – engaging in themes of gender and identity
  • Beowulf – McCully
  • Dante and Raymond Queneau– Terry and Mazzilli Canton, McCully, Terry, Burton

Publications

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

  • Jonathan Lichtenstein has forthcoming work that blends memoir, drama and creative non-fiction.
  • Matthew De Abaitua created an innovative memoir of ‘literary ambition’.
  • Anthony Clavane created 'Self and I' an idiosyncratic blend of political commentary, humour, memoir and identity, seen through the lens of sport.
  • Christopher McCully published a new translation of the Old English epic Beowulf, staying as close as possible to the metrical structures of the original, together with an extended Afterword on the procedures and problems of translation.
  • James Canton published The Oak Papers, and is about an incredible tree which is over 800 years old, the Honywood Oak on Marks Hall Estate in Coggeshall. This article shares his inspiration behind the book.
 

Cluster members

Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Head of Department - Senior Lecturer (R), Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Artificial Intelligence narratives; Climate fiction; Speculative autofiction
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
Professor, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: playwriting; eighteenth-century drama and literature
Dean of Partnerships (Education) and Senior Lecturer (R), Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Professor, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer
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
Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Research interests: Feminist experimental writing (poetry and prose); Archive theory and forms of archive research; Innovative methods of practice-based research; Writing on and about and with dreams, hallucinations, daydreaming, voice, non-linguistic sounds, nonsense, body, sexuality, posture, radical politics;
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
Fixed Term Teacher, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Postgraduate Research Student, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Research interests: Ecodramaturgy
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
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Karin Littau