Steve Ellis has a particular interest in conceptions of Englishness, and the way these are addressed, embraced and resisted by modern writers. His monograph The English Eliot: Design, Language and Landscape in ‘Four Quartets’ contextualises Eliot’s construction of ‘England’ in the Quartets within a wide range of contemporary models of nationhood, and shows how Eliot was in dialogue with these in the 1920s and 30s, investigating his ruralism, classicism and European affiliation in the process. More recently, his Chaucer at Large: the Poet in the Modern Imagination, investigates among other topics the use of Chaucer and his work as a prototype of the nation’s ‘temper’ and its social identity, within the context of imperialist and national propaganda.
Jan Campbell is interested in the relation between literature, culture, space and place and these themes are explored in her recent edited edition of Temporalities; Autobiography and Everyday Life.
Dave Gunning studies the complex relations between nation, migration and belonging, with a particular emphasis on the roles played by racism and antiracism in the construction of contemporary identities. He has published articles on the role of the nation-state within transnational cultural formations, and on the significance of legal citizenship within the ethics of hospitality, particularly as these extend to asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.
Deborah Longworth has published extensively on literary and visual representations of the city. Her first book Streetwalking the Metropolis (2000), examined the appropriation of the trope of the urban observer, or flâneur, by women writers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A Cultural History of Madrid: Modernism and the Urban Spectacle (2003) continued her analysis of the flâneur as a metaphor for the urban writer within the context of the rapidly modernising capital of Spain from the nineteenth-century to the 1920s.
Jim Mussell’s Science, Time and Space in the Late Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press is deeply interested in space, particularly in the relationship between the spaces associated with the production of text (writing, editing, publishing, printing) and the spaces through which publications move. Space remains central to his research, and is work on the 1889-1890 influenza pandemics once more foregrounds space in its emphasis on how viruses, like information, move through culture.