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The Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths combines research strengths in English, European and American literatures. Our staff come from a variety of cultural backgrounds – and, with their diverse research interests, they are ideally equipped to help you develop your own interests whether they lie in American, British, Caribbean, Irish, French, German, Spanish or postcolonial literatures. Our thriving research environment unites traditional strengths with innovation, covering a wide range of interests in language and literature from the 1300s to the present day.
Principal areas of research activity are:
–the modernist period in Europe, Britain, Ireland, and the Americas
–literatures of the Americas (including Caribbean writing)
–contemporary literature, including women’s writing, English, Irish, American and European poetry, and postcolonial writing
–critical/literary theory and linguistics
–English medieval and Renaissance literature, including Shakespeare and Renaissance popular culture
–French literature of the 17th and 20th centuries
–English literature of the 18th and 19th centuries
–German and Austrian literature of the 18th and 20th centuries
–English Romantic literature, including theatre
–creative writing, especially fiction, poetry and translation
–comparative literature, especially the study of 19th- and 20th-century verbal and visual texts.
Staff are working on diverse topics such as literature and politics, literature and photography, satire, and biographical and autobiographical writings. They regularly give papers at national and international conferences, and publish work in the international academic press. Our postgraduate research activities continue to develop (most recently in the expansion of creative writing and comparative literatures), and the number of research students in the department continues to grow. We welcome applications for research in any area suited to the interests of our staff.
According to the REF 2014 results, 74.4% of publications by the department's staff are judged as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent', ranking ahead of many other prestigious English departments throughout the UK. For research intensity (percentage of staff included in the exercise) Goldsmiths' Department of English and Comparative Literature is in the top 20.
London, and the University of London in particular, offers students an excellent range of research facilities in literary, linguistic and cultural studies. We work closely with the School of Advanced Study and its specialist Institutes for English Studies, Germanic and Romance Studies, and Study of the Americas. As a postgraduate you can apply for a reader’s pass to the British Library, which houses the Official Publications Library as well as specialist collections. We hold regular research seminars at which staff, students, and invited visiting speakers present papers or discuss research in a constructive environment, followed by the opportunity for more informal discussion. The Department has established a major series of guest events, the Richard Hoggart Lectures in Literature, bringing key figures from the creative and critical spheres (recently, for example, Alan Bennett, Judith Butler, Terry Eagleton, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Andrew Motion and Tom Paulin) to speak at Goldsmiths.
Centre for Caribbean Studies
Established to develop and support Caribbean studies within Goldsmiths, the Centre for Caribbean Studies offers a resource for students and staff through its programme of activities relating to all aspects of Caribbean culture, and organises a regular programme of events, seminars and conferences. Central to the activities of the Centre is interdisciplinary research led by CAFSRA.
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Goldsmiths, University of London
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We offer MPhil and PhD research programmes in English (including American Studies), Comparative Literature or Linguistics for full or part-time study. Read more
This exciting, intellectually rigorous programme gives you the opportunity to develop the study of literature from a variety of perspectives through a number of flexible pathways. Read more
This pathway of the MA Literary Studies aims to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the literature that has sought to define or has emerged from 'America'. Read more
This pathway of the MA Literary Studies will centre on the study of the theory and practice of comparative literature. You'll be introduced to the history, main concepts, and debates of comparative literary theory. Read more
This pathway of our MA Literary Studies degree gives you the chance to study critical literary and cultural theory. You'll look at a range of theoretical issues in literary and cultural theory in both its historical and contemporary modalities. Read more
This pathway of our MA Literary Studies degree aims to introduce you to a wide range of texts and issues in the literature of the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora to highlight significant movements relative to the social, political and historical contexts impacting upon these new literatures. Read more
This pathway of the MA Literary Studies focuses especially on twentieth and twenty-first century literature. On the core module for this programme, you'll look at the most significant trends, influences, and movements in twentieth-century literature. Read more
This pathway of the MA in Literary Studies aims to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the literature of nineteenth-century Britain and its relationship to a wide variety of cultural, intellectual, geographic and historical contexts. Read more
This pathway of the MA Literary Studies is ideal if you’re keen to study Shakespeare at an advanced level. Centred on Shakespeare and early modern literature and culture, you’ll also explore the reception and performance of Shakespeare in later times. Read more
This programme looks at language from a sociocultural perspective. It's designed for anyone with an interest in the relationship between language, culture and society but also provides a solid understanding of English language and linguistics. Read more
This programme responds to the increasing need in a globalised, interconnected world, for highly-qualified translators who can navigate different genres of text and negotiate the language needs of diverse audiences and industries. Read more