Literature arises out of community, reflecting the many interests of localities and nations even as it acts powerfully on these interests.
Our research explores how literature engages with the places it comes from, but also considers literature’s unique resourcefulness to overcome real-life boundaries using the resources of the imagination.
Working under the broad heading of ‘Networks and Localities’, staff are exploring, through literature and language, the forms of intimacy which create and sustain literary networks; the relationships between nature, agency and identity; and how ideas of nationhood, and global culture, are shaped by language and literature. A particular strength of our research is utopian fiction from the early modern period onwards.
Current and future projects include studies of migration and the recent refugee crisis; the history of Anglo-German relations; post-war Japanese cinema, and military culture in pre-war Japan; ‘thresholds’ in pre-Raphaelite poetry; ideas of urbanity in American poetry; and the role of magic and witchcraft in nineteenth-century regionality.