English Literature and Creative Writing

Research theme/s: Heritage culture theme icon

Research in English Literature at the University of Hertfordshire is flourishing, and the research group has expanded since the last national Research Excellence Framework in 2014, in which our Literature research was rated 53% word-leading (4 star) or internationally excellent (3 star).

The success of the group can be measured not only by our diverse publications and by recent external funding success, but also by the wide range of activities and projects that continue to be central to our research ethos.

What we do

Our research community works with:

  • postgraduate students undertaking an MA by Research, or PhD
  • scholars from other institutions, both UK and international
  • local arts and heritage organisations
  • members of the public wishing to collaborate with us
  • global research networks facilitated by digital media

Research projects

Our research projects are wide-ranging and seek to have an impact beyond academia and the university. We are also part of the University's Heritage Hub working with local partners on a range of projects.

Our staff

We welcome inquiries from potential research students wishing to work broadly in these areas.

  • Dr Gavin Budge (Romanticism; philosophy and medicine; the supernatural and its influence on nineteenth-century literature; children's literature)
  • Dr Sam George (eighteenth-century women's botanical writing; young adult gothic fictions; vampire literature and culture)
  • Dr Rowland Hughes (early American literature and culture; Western American literature; ecocriticism, spatiality and critical animal studies)
  • Dr Christopher Lloyd (twentieth and twenty-first century American Literature and culture; the US South; cultural memory)
  • Dr Andrew Maunder (World War I theatre and entertainment; theatrical adaptation; crime writing)
  • Dr Janice Norwood (Victorian theatre and audiences; the history of female performance; nineteenth-century popular culture)
  • Dr Penny Pritchard (the history and literature of English Protestant dissent; Daniel Defoe; funeral sermons).
  • Dr Justin Sausman (occultism, science, technology and vitalism in late nineteenth and early twentieth century literature; landscape and literature; Gothic)
  • Dr Anna Tripp (twentieth-century and contemporary poetry; modernist writing; children's literature; gender and critical theory)

Current and Recent Postgraduate research students

Current postgraduate research students in English and Creative Writing:

  • Sulayman Al-Bassam (English Literature Phd programme): 'Practices and Processes Involved in Adapting Shakespearean Drama for and in the Middle East'
  • Matthew Beresford (English Literature PhD programme): 'The Lord Byron / John Polidori Relationship and the Development of the Early Nineteenth-Century Literary Vampire''
  • Caitlin Gillespie (Creative Writing PhD Programme): 'Scarlett: Contemporary ekphrastic poetry in response to the films of Vivien Leigh'
  • Neil Matthews (Creative Writing PhD Programme): 'Mind the Gap: Translating myths, legends and fairytales into modern transmedia narratives' (creative project); 'You are the Games Master now: World building, characterisation and interactivity in trans-media, multi-narrative story telling' (critical work)
  • Sally Moore (English Literature PhD programme): 'Tudor Tales for Women: The production and consumption of women's historical fiction, 1940-1954'
  • Jamie Popowich (Creative Writing PhD Programme): 'GrimHaven: a comedy about real estate in an age of exploding glass' (creative project); 'Nobody Moves -- Charles Willeford's Hardboiled Immovable Heroes' (critical work)
  • Angela Sparks (English Literature PhD programme): 'The Race for Identity: Challenging Stereotypes in Children's Literature by Indigenous Authors'
  • Nick Waters (Creative Writing PhD Programme): 'Strive: Social Anxiety in Cyberpunk Detective Fiction'
  • Jillian Wingfield (English Literature PhD programme): 'Monsters, Dreams, and Discords: Vampire Novels in Twenty-first-Century American Culture'

A thriving research community

  • Conferences, research seminars, and lectures attract diverse audiences including internationally acclaimed academics, students, and members of the public.
  • Our research projects have a strong public-facing, community-based agenda.
  • The international peer-reviewed literary journal Critical Survey is edited by our researchers.

Apply for an English research degree

Get more information on how you can apply to study for an English research degree.

Get in touch

For more information about our work, please contact Dr Rowland Hughes.