Academic staff

Our research in the Department of English Literature spans the full range of the subject, from Anglo-Saxon and Middle English to the Contemporary and the Post-Colonial.

To enhance individual research and foster collaboration, we organise our research supervision across five broad periods, with many colleagues contributing to the work of several of these groups. Each group has its own particular interests and specialisms within its period. 

Full list of Academic Staff in English Literature

Dr Hugh Adlington

Senior Lecturer

My research interests are primarily in the area of early modern literature (1500-1800), particularly religious poetry and prose, the works of John Donne, John Milton and Thomas Browne, the history of the book, and textual editing. Selected works-in-progress include a monograph on John Donne's library and reading, and a scholarly edition of John Donne's sermons. I enjoy teaching widely across our ...

Dr Peter Auger

Dr Peter Auger

Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

My research concerns early modern and comparative literature, especially poetry. I study sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature in relation to its Scottish and French counterparts, emphasizing regional and transnational dynamics in literary activities across all three nations. As founder of the Early Modern Boundaries project, I am an advocate for international ...

Dr Maureen Bell

Dr Maureen Bell

Honorary Reader in English Literature

Now retired from the University, I continue to contribute to the University’s research profile as Director of the British Book Trade Index and through my continuing research and publications.

Dr Hannah Boast

Dr Hannah Boast

Teaching Fellow in Contemporary and Postcolonial Literature

I research and teach contemporary world literature and literary theory. My interests centre on the relationships between literature, culture and resource politics, particularly the politics of water.

Dr Sheldon Brammall

Dr Sheldon Brammall

Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

My research interests are in Renaissance English and comparative literature, with focuses on classical reception, translation, epic, and the history of classical scholarship. 

Dr Angus Connell Brown

Dr Angus Connell Brown

Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

My research explores the history of reading in the long twentieth century. I am primarily interested in the intersections between critical, material, and literary culture.

Dr Emily Buffey

Teaching Fellow in Early Modern Literature

I teach across all periods of English Literature, from the medieval to the modern, with a specific focus on early modern verse and drama.

My research is concerned with genre, authorship and ‘literary afterlives’, focusing particularly on the reception and influence of the dream vision and complaint in the sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries.

Dr Amy Burge

Dr Amy Burge

Lecturer in Popular Fiction

My teaching and research interests are in popular fiction, in particular romance, both medieval and modern. My work is intersectional and focuses on gender, ethnicity and sexuality. I’m currently working on a literary history of romantic masculinity and a project exploring Arab and Muslim women’s genre fiction.

Dr Verity Burke

Dr Verity Burke

Postdoctoral Researcher

My research focuses on the intersections between nineteenth-century literature, museums and collections culture, especially natural history, zoology and anatomy museums. I'm particularly interested in museum narrative and how objects and architecture can tell stories, as well as new mediums for disseminating the stories of collections.

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Dr Dorothy Butchard

Dr Dorothy Butchard

Lecturer in Contemporary Literature & Digital Cultures

I teach and research contemporary and twentieth century literature, with particular interest in digital cultures and creative representations of technological change in the modern age.

Dr Megan Cavell

Dr Megan Cavell

Birmingham Fellow

I work on a wide range of topics in medieval studies, from Old and early Middle English and Latin languages and literature to gender, material culture, monstrosity, and animal studies/ecocriticism. My current research project focuses on predators and inter-species conflict in pre- and post-Conquest England.

Dr Rona Cran

Dr Rona Cran

Lecturer in Twentieth-Century American Literature
Co-Director of American and Canadian Studies Centre

My teaching and research focusses on the literature and culture of twentieth-century North America, with a particular emphasis on collage, networks of influence, and the poetry and art of New York City.

Dr Louise Curran

Dr Louise Curran

Lecturer in Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century English Literature

I research eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English literature, especially letter-writing and literary celebrity, the novel, and the links between material forms and textual meanings.

Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

Teaching Fellow in English Literature

I teach and research twenty-first and twentieth-century North American and British fiction. My main research interest is the nexus of narrative and time, with a particular focus on the contemporary post-apocalyptic novel.

Dr Melissa Dickson

Dr Melissa Dickson

Lecturer in Victorian literature

My research focuses on the relationships between Victorian literature, science, medicine, and material culture. I am particularly interested in the study and depiction of the senses and in particular on new ways of listening and thinking about sound in the nineteenth century. My current work is on explorations of the body’s physiological and psychological responses to sound and music in the ...

Dr Eleanor Dobson

Dr Eleanor Dobson

Lecturer in Nineteenth Century Literature

My current work focuses on the reception of ancient Egypt in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. More broadly, I am interested in the materiality and history of the book, as well as notions of the supernatural and the occult, particularly as these ideas operate at the edges of a range of scientific discourses. I teach literature from the late eighteenth century to the present, with particular ...

Professor Steve Ellis

Professor Steve Ellis

Emeritus Professor of English Literature

I have published many volumes of literary criticism on a wide range of authors, including Dante, Chaucer, T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, plus three collections of poetry and a verse translation of Dante’s Inferno, as part of an ongoing translation of the complete Divine Comedy. My latest monograph is British Writers and the Approach of World War II (Cambridge University ...

Dr John Fagg

Dr John Fagg

Senior Lecturer

My work focuses on American art and literature and visual art in the early twentieth century and explores the ways in which cultural forms adapted to the new circumstances of American modernity.

Jessica Fay

Teaching Fellow in Eighteenth-Century and Early Nineteenth-Century English Literature

The primary focus of my research is Romantic poetry and poetics. I have broader interests in eighteenth-century aesthetics, landscape poetry, and narrative form. Currently, I am working on an inter-disciplinary project concerning the mutual creative exchange between William Wordsworth and the artist and co-founder of the National Gallery, Sir George Beaumont.

Dr Rex Ferguson

Dr Rex Ferguson

Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature

I joined the University of Birmingham in 2011 as a lecturer in Modern Literature, having previously taught and studied at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. My research focuses on the intersection between literature, law and philosophy from the early twentieth century onwards.

Dr Victoria Flood

Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

My research focuses on the relationship between text, territory, and regional and national political identities, and I am currently working on a project on the transmission of fairy narratives between England, Wales and continental Europe, c. 1180-1400, with a particular focus on treatments of the phantom or spectral body. 

Professor Danielle Fuller

Professor Danielle Fuller

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

My major areas of research are contemporary cultures of reading, Canadian literature and interdisciplinary research methods that combine textual and empirical modes of investigation.  I also have interests in popular culture, book history and publishing.

I have always been interested in the ways that people make sense of their everyday lives and how lived experience is a type of knowledge ...

Professor Andrzej Gasiorek

Professor Andrzej Gasiorek

Professor of Twentieth Century Literature
Head of School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

My research concentrates mainly on twentieth-century British literature, with a particular focus on modernism. I’ve published widely in this area. Key publications include such monographs as Postwar British Fiction: Realism and After (1995), Wyndham Lewis and Modernism (2003), J. G. Ballard (2005), and, most recently, A History of Modernist Literature(2015), as well as a number of ...

Dr Matthew Geary

Dr Matthew Geary

Teaching Fellow in Twentieth-Century Literature

I teach across periods and genres of literature with specialism in Twentieth-Century literature (esp. Modernism, T. S. Eliot). My research is interdisciplinary and focuses on modernist literature and culture, psychoanalysis (across schools), feminist philosophy, maternal studies, masculinities, and critical theory. I welcome conversations and collaborations in these areas.

Dr Richard Graham

Dr Richard Graham

Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and the Digital

My research and teaching explore contemporary digital culture by placing certain programs, platforms or services within a wider cultural and philosophical context. In particular, my current work draws on critical theory in order to address search engines as convergences of language, programming, and culture on a global scale. 

Dr David Griffith

Dr David Griffith

Senior Lecturer in English Medieval Studies

My primary area of research is the later medieval period into the early sixteenth century.  I work on medieval epigraphy, vernacularity, memorialisation, antiquarianism, and relations between textual and visual cultures, with a particular focus upon in the parish church.  I also have interests in writings of and about the First World War, especially prose writers of the 1910s and 20s ...

Dr Dave Gunning

Dr Dave Gunning

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

I teach and research contemporary Anglophone literature and postcolonial studies.

Dr Nicholas Hardy

Dr Nicholas Hardy

Birmingham Fellow

My primary interests are in sixteenth and seventeenth century literary and intellectual history, especially Renaissance humanism, the reception of classical antiquity, neo-Latin literature, and religious writing. I recently published a monograph about the relationship between classical humanism, biblical criticism and confessional identity in seventeenth-century Europe, and am now preparing a ...

Professor Alexandra Harris

Professor Alexandra Harris

Birmingham Professorial Fellow

I enjoy thinking and writing about British art and literature of all periods, especially in relation to landscape, locality and the presence of the past. I am the author of ‘Romantic Moderns’ and ‘Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies’, and my current projects include work on Virginia Woolf; seasonal ceremony and the marking of time; antiquarianism and local ...

Dr Matt Hayler

Dr Matt Hayler

Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and Digital Cultures

I’m a senior lecturer in contemporary literature and digital cultures and co-director of the Centre for Digital Cultures in the department of English Literature.

I’m CO-I on the AHRC-funded Ambient Literature project (https://ambientlit.com) and acted as a UK representative for the COST-funded European EREAD (evolution of reading in the age of digitisation) research network (http://er ...

Dr Oliver Herford

Dr Oliver Herford

Birmingham Fellow

I work on British and American literature of the long nineteenth century, with a special focus on the late writings of Henry James. I am interested in the place of style in literary non-fiction, the practice of editing, and the relations between personal correspondence and other types of life-writing (autobiography, biography, and memoir). I teach widely across eighteenth-, nineteenth- and ...

Dr Andrew Hodgson

Dr Andrew Hodgson

Lecturer in Romanticism

I am interested in questions of voice, influence, and achievement in English poetry and in particular the poetry of the Romantic period. I teach across the spectrum of English literature - especially from the eighteenth-century onward.

Professor John Holmes

Professor John Holmes

Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture

I joined the department in 2015 as Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture. My research focuses on the relationship between scientific ideas and cultural forms in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including poetry, architecture and the visual arts. More widely, I work on and teach a wide range of nineteenth-century literature, with interests in poetry and poetic form, especially the ...

Professor David James

Professor David James

Professorial Research Fellow

My research and teaching areas span modernist literature and contemporary writing, with a particular focus on the history and theory of the novel. Recently I’ve been working on the political, ethical, and affective work of form in postmillennial fiction and life-writing. I also have ongoing interests in the development of reading methods and in the social efficacy of criticism. 

Dr Toria Johnson

Dr Toria Johnson

Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

I teach across the late medieval, early modern, and Restoration periods. My research focuses on the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, early modern subjectivity, and the history of emotions.

Dr Tom Lockwood

Dr Tom Lockwood

Reader in English Literature
Director of Education, College of Arts and Law

My teaching and my research interests move across the early modern and into the Romantic periods, with a particular focus on the way in which later writers respond to, adapt and receive earlier writers. My current projects include research on Charles Lamb's reading of early modern drama for a new OUP edition of his Complete Works, responses to Ben Jonson in the Restoration and Romantic periods, ...

Dr Deborah Longworth

Dr Deborah Longworth

Senior Lecturer
Head of English Literature

I joined the University of Birmingham in 1998, having received my Ph.D. from Birkbeck College, University of London, with a thesis on women, the city and the concept of the flâneusein nineteenth and twentieth-century English and American literature. Previously I studied at the University of Reading, where I took a BA in English Literature & Philosophy, and the MA Literature and the ...

Dr Rebecca N Mitchell

Dr Rebecca N Mitchell

Reader in Victorian Literature and Culture
Head of Research, EDACS

My scholarship focuses on Victorian literature and culture broadly defined, and I’m especially intrigued by the study and depiction of the creative process, the self/other relationship, and the textual/visual interface; these interests also drive my work in textual editing. I teach across the long nineteenth century.

Dr Sebastian Mitchell

Dr Sebastian Mitchell

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

My research work focuses on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature and culture, and utopian writing.

Dr Daniel Moore

Dr Daniel Moore

Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature

I work on nineteenth and twentieth century literature and visual culture. I have published work on Henry James, Ford Madox Ford, Vernon Lee, Walter Pater and a range of other late Victorian and modernist art and literature.

Professor Peter Morey

Professor Peter Morey

Chair in 20th Century English Literature

I work on 20th century, contemporary and postcolonial literary studies, with particular reference to issues of cultural difference, narrative and power. I am the author and/or editor of numerous books,  including Fictions of India: Narrative and Power (2000); Rohinton Mistry (2004); Framing Muslims: Stereotyping and Representation after 9/11 (2011), and Islamophobia and the Novel ...

Dr Chris Mourant

Dr Chris Mourant

Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century English Literature
Co-Director of the Centre for Modernist Cultures

I am a Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century English Literature. My research primarily focuses on modernist print cultures (magazines, periodicals, coterie publishing) and early twentieth-century women’s writing. I am the author of Katherine Mansfield and Periodical Culture (EUP).

Dr Jimmy Packham

Dr Jimmy Packham

Lecturer in North American Literature

I work on the representation of voice and the failure of language in nineteenth-century American Gothic literature, and on the literature of the sea and the presentation of subjectivity and oceanic depths in a variety of textual forms: novels, poetry, shipboard diaries, and logbooks. I teach widely across the discipline, primarily nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature.

Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran

Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran

Senior Lecturer in North American Literature

I write verse, academic criticism, and literary journalism, in the hope that complex ideas can be communicated in a variety of lively forms: ranging from the Long Eighteenth Century to the present day, I’ve a strong interest in the formal qualities of both verse and prose, and how they relate to historical fact and creative cognition. My next monograph is transatlantic, and concerns ...

Dr Rebecca Roach

Lecturer in Contemporary Literature

My teaching and research focuses on 20th and 21st century literature and culture across the Anglophone world, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between literature, media and book history.

Dr Olivia Robinson

Dr Olivia Robinson

Lecturer in Late Medieval Literature

My work focuses on Anglo-French literary cultures and on medieval theatre, particularly theatre copied and performed by medieval women.  I am currently working on a research project on drama in medieval women’s religious houses. The Medieval Convent Drama Project, which is fully funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, explores the theatrical cultures and activities of medieval ...

Dr Asha Rogers

Dr Asha Rogers

Lecturer in Contemporary Postcolonial Literature

I teach Anglophone postcolonial and contemporary literatures. As well as broad research interests in postcolonial and world literary studies, I’m also interested in the interfaces between the modern state and literary culture in Britain, the Cold War and decolonisation, the study of cultural institutions, and book history/print culture studies.

Dr Kate Rumbold

Dr Kate Rumbold

Senior Lecturer

I’m a Senior Lecturer in English Literature, and I teach across all periods of literature, especially the early modern period and eighteenth century. As a researcher, I’m interested the way Shakespeare is quoted and valued in literature and culture, from his own lifetime to the twenty-first century.  

Professor Valerie Rumbold

Professor Valerie Rumbold

Chair in English Literature

My main enthusiasm is for eighteenth-century poetry and satire, particularly the work of Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, and I have a special interest in textual editing, having produced, over the last few years, editions of Pope’s Dunciad and of hoaxes and parodies by Swift.

Professor Wendy Scase

Professor Wendy Scase

Geoffrey Shepherd Professor of Medieval English Literature

I am a specialist in medieval English language and literature with strong manuscripts, archival, and interdisciplinary experience. My work addresses questions that trouble the conventional boundaries between literary and other discourses, and is informed by the belief that medieval textual research can contribute to cultural history and enrich theory and practice in English studies.

Dr Philippa Semper

Dr Philippa Semper

Lecturer in English

My work centres on Old English language and literature and the interaction between text and image in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts; I also write about and teach modern fantasy literature and its relationships with medieval texts.

Dr Fariha Shaikh

Dr Fariha Shaikh

Lecturer in Victorian Literature

I joined the department in September 2017 as Lecturer of Victorian Literature. My research focusses on the relationships in the nineteenth century between genre, form and globalisation. In particular, I’m interested in the mobility and materiality of literature in the context of nineteenth-century settler colonialism. I work and teach across the breadth of the nineteenth and twentieth ...

Dr Will Sharpe

Dr Will Sharpe

Teaching Fellow in Shakespeare

My teaching and research interests focus on the early modern period, and Shakespeare in particular, chiefly, in my research, on the textual editing and collaborative authorship of Shakespeare’s plays.

Dr Will Smith

Dr Will Smith

Visiting Lecturer in Canadian Studies

I took my BA in English and American Studies at the University of Nottingham with a year spent at the University of Toronto. I then completed an MRes and a PhD in Canadian Literature at the University of Nottingham. I have since held teaching positions at the University of Nottingham, Lancaster University and the University of Birmingham.

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge

Interdisciplinary Chair
Professor of Humanities and Human Rights

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge’s work focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary literature and history, Human Rights, and Refugee Studies, drawing on the interdisciplinary connections between literature, history, politics, law and social policy. Her work has long been concerned with effects of modern violence on the mind in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (The Destructive Element

Dr Rachel Sykes

Dr Rachel Sykes

Lecturer in Contemporary American Literature

I joined the University of Birmingham in 2016 as a lecturer in Contemporary American Literature. My research focuses on the American novel, quietness, memoir, gender, and digital cultures. I am currently writing a cultural and literary history of quiet in the American tradition.

Dr Will Tattersdill

Dr Will Tattersdill

Senior Lecturer in Popular Literature

I’m interested in the relationship between literature and science, especially as it is figured in popular culture from the nineteenth century to the present. My current work is on the social history of dinosaurs over this period.

Dr Nathan Waddell

Dr Nathan Waddell

Senior Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century and Modernist Literature

I teach and research early twentieth-century literature, with a core emphasis on the life, work, and controversies of the painter and writer Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). All of my research is collaborative—with students, postdoctoral scholars, university administrators, and individuals based outside of higher education—and I seek always to make my teaching similarly reciprocal, treating ...

Professor Marcus Walsh

Professor Marcus Walsh

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Now retired, I continue to research and publish in the literature of the long eighteenth-century. I am a General Editor and volume editor of the Oxford UP Oxford Writings of Alexander Pope.

Dr Matthew Ward

Dr Matthew Ward

Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature

My work focuses on British Romanticism, and the literature and intellectual history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Within these parameters I’m especially interested in William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and Percy Shelley, poetry and poetics, periodization, literary inheritance, theories of humour, the history of emotions, sounds in literature and modes of listening, and ecology ...

Dr Emma West

Dr Emma West

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

My research examines the relationship between modernism and popular culture in early- and mid-twentieth century Britain. My postdoctoral project, Revolutionary Red Tape: How state bureaucracy shaped British modernism examines how public servants and official committees helped to commission, disseminate and popularise modern British art, design, literature and culture.

Dr Hazel Wilkinson

Dr Hazel Wilkinson

Birmingham Fellow

I research the literary culture of the long eighteenth century, and my specialisms include eighteenth-century publications of renaissance poetry and drama, digital humanities, and the poetry of Alexander Pope. 

Dr Emily Wingfield

Dr Emily Wingfield

Lecturer

I’m a Lecturer in English Literature. I teach pre-1800 literature, with a particular focus on the Medieval and Renaissance periods. As a researcher, I work on medieval Scottish literature. I am particularly interested in romance, manuscript study, and book history.

Dr Sara K Wood

Lecturer in American Literature and Culture

I am a lecturer in American Literature and Culture. My research focuses on twentieth-century African American literature and visual art, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between political and aesthetic ideas of freedom.

Dr Gillian Wright

Dr Gillian Wright

Reader in English and Irish Literature

I am a Reader in English and Irish Literature. My research and teaching focus on literature from the early modern period, and in particular on poetry, women’s writing, and book history and editing. I am a General Editor on the AHRC-funded Cambridge edition of The Works of Aphra Behn, for which I am editing Behn’s poetry. I also teach contemporary Irish fiction. 

Dr Jarad Zimbler

Lecturer in Modern English Literature

I am a Lecturer in Modern English literature. I teach across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on colonial and postcolonial literatures and an interest in critical theory, linguistics and narratology.

Dr Emma Zimmerman

Dr Emma Zimmerman

Teaching Fellow in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature

I teach and research twentieth-century and contemporary literature. I have longstanding interests in literary representations of space and place, with particular emphasis on the connections between the built environment and modernist literary forms. My current research project is concerned with the literary and cultural history of bathroom and toilet spaces from the late nineteenth century to the ...