Networks and Localities

About us

Our research explores how literature reflects and shapes the interests of communities, localities and nations. We are also interested in literature’s ability to overcome real-life constraints using the resources of the imagination through utopias and utopianism.

Our work reveals local, national, transnational, and international links between peoples and cultures. We have particular expertise in labouring-class rural writing, including the works of John Clare; and in the idea of Britishness and British encounters with others. Cluster members have also worked extensively on how literature explores a sense of belonging or unbelonging, and on the literature of diasporic communities.

Current projects include a study of global literature and terror; the forms of intimacy which create and sustain literary networks; a book about frames and thresholds in pre-Raphaelite poetry; and the role of magic and witchcraft in nineteenth-century notions of regionality.

Ship in dock



Name Role Email
Mrs Sarah Franklin Senior Lecturer in Publishing
Dr Tatiana Kontou Senior Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature
Professor Simon Kövesi Head of School, Professor of English and Scottish Literature


Active projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

John Clare: The Meeting

An anniversary project celebrating 200 years since the publication of John Clare’s first book, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, in 1820.

Professor Simon Kövesi Arts Council England, John Clare Society From: January 2019
Until: September 2021