English Literature

Why study English Literature at Brookes?

Our English Literature course allows you to explore classic works and contemporary texts side-by-side. There are Creative Writing options in all three years of study. You can study English Literature as a single honours degree or combine it with another subject.

Study English Literature

Students' perspective

Meet the staff

Module choices

Readings skills

Field trips

You can't study theatre without experiencing it, and we run regular theatre trips to see shows. In 2019, all first year students taking the Shakespeare module got to see Measure for Measure at the Barbican in London.

Students are pictured with staff members Cato Marks, Laura Higgins, Alex Goody. Lis Jay, Cheryl Birdseye, Sarah Waters and Russell Anderson.


Guest speakers

Ishion Hutchinson visits Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

Philip Pullman

Hilary Mantel


ignitionpress logo


Established in 2017, ignitionpress is an award-winning poetry pamphlet press with an international outlook which publishes original, arresting poetry from emerging poets. Pamphlets published by the press have so far received four Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice selections (for A Hurry of English, Hinge, Ripe, and Sargam / Swargam). Hinge by Alycia Pirmohamed was also shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award, 2020 and the press won the Michael Michael Marks Publishers' Award in 2021. You can find out more about the press and how we work in this interview on the Friday Poem website with our Managing Editor, Les Robinson, or watch this short video that we produced for the Michael Marks Awards, 2021.


Dr Carina  Bartleet

Dr Carina Bartleet

Senior Lecturer in Drama

Carina Bartleet works on modern and contemporary theatre and drama in The UK and the rest of Europe. She has particular research interests in the following areas: women writing for the theatre; theatre, science and medicine; gender and performance; drama, theatre and intertextuality. Carina has worked with students on a wide range of productions ranging from Kane’s 4: 48 Psychosis to Ibsen and adaptations of Pinter, Ionesco and Angela Carter as well as on devised pieces. Before coming to Oxford Brookes, Carina worked at the University of Reading where she taught a wide range of theatre and drama courses from renaissance drama to contemporary British theatre. She is excited by the prospect of working on a range of Brookes’ drama and performance modules that mix theory, text and practical elements of theatre.

Areas of expertise

  • Theatre & Science
  • Gender and performance (feminist and LGBTQ theatre)
  • Contemporary theatre writing
Professor Katharine Craik

Professor Katharine Craik

Research Lead and Professor in Early Modern Literature (1500-1750)

Professor Alex Goody

Professor Alex Goody

Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture

I studied for my BA at the University of York and for my MA at the University of Leeds. My PhD on 'Mina Loy’s Modernist Aesthetic’ was awarded at the University of Leeds. My teaching career has taken me from Leeds, to Falmouth University in Cornwall, before arriving at Oxford Brookes University. I teach primarily on modern and contemporary literature, media and culture, and American literature and culture. From 2014-2020 I was on the Executive Committee of the British Association for Modernist Studies. I am currently the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead (Academic) for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Dr Laura Higgins

Dr Laura Higgins

Senior Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Drama

Laura did a BEd Hons in Drama at Saint Luke’s College (University of Exeter) and an MA in Theatre: Text and Production at the University of East Anglia. She completed her PhD at Royal Holloway University of London.

Before joining the Drama team at Oxford Brookes in 2013, Laura worked for seven years as an Associate Lecturer and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway University of London. She has also taught courses in Shakespeare: Text and Performance in the Drama Department of Kingston University and at Arcadia University, London.

Professor Elisabeth Jay

Professor Elisabeth Jay

Professor Emerita of English Literature

Dr Tatiana Kontou

Dr Tatiana Kontou

Senior Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature

Professor Daniel Lea

Professor Daniel Lea

Interim Head of the School of English and Modern Languages

Dan completed his PhD, J.G. Farrell: Towards a Postmodern Fiction at Royal Holloway College, University of London in 1996. After taking up posts at Kingston University and Liverpool John Moores University, he joined Brookes in 2002 as a specialist in contemporary writing. He teaches in all aspects of Twentieth and Twenty-First Century literature and convenes the Contemporary Literature and Dissertation modules. He has published widely in the area of post-1945 British writing and is general editor of the Contemporary British Novelists series (published by Manchester University Press).

Dr Eleanor  Lowe

Dr Eleanor Lowe

Interim Programme Lead for English Literature, Drama and Creative Writing

I studied at the University of Durham before taking an MA in Shakespeare Studies and PhD at The Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham) in Stratford-upon-Avon. Prior to working at Oxford Brookes I was post-doctoral research fellow for the Richard Brome Online project based in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance at Royal Holloway, University of London.

My research interests are divided between two main strands: editing and material culture. I worked on the Royal Shakespeare Company Complete Works of William Shakespeare (2008) and have published editions of George Chapman's An Humorous Day's Mirth (online with Digital Renaissance Editions, 2013), Richard Brome's A Mad Couple Well Matched and The Love-Sick Court (online, as part of Richard Brome Online, 2013), John Ford's The Fair Maid of the Inn (with Martin Wiggins; OUP, 2017), as well as 'Accounts and Inventories of the Revels Office, 1541-1546' (The Malone Society, 2016).

My interest in material culture largely focuses on clothing, linen and cleanliness. I have written on this topic with reference to humours comedy (especially An Humorous Day's Mirth), and in relation to plays by Shakespeare, Jonson and Middleton. I have also written about bookbinding and marriage in Brome's The Love-Sick Court and discussed Viscount Montague's 'Household Book', in particular the role of the steward in household management and its relevance to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. I am currently working on a monograph on Cleanliness and Early Modern Drama as well as writing about Fletcher and genre.

Dr Andrea  Macrae

Dr Andrea Macrae

Principal Lecturer in Student Experience and Stylistics

My research, consultancy, teaching and pedagogical projects all have communication and storytelling at their core. 

I teach, research and publish in the areas of stylistics, narratology, world literature and cognitive poetics, with a specialism in deixis and deictic shifting. I also teach performance poetry, flash fiction, short stories and twentieth and twenty-first century literature more broadly. Most recently, I have been developing modules which bring together literature and sustainability, and English studies and entrepreneurship.

I also research the language of charity fundraising communications, with a focus on attention, absorption, empathy and authenticity. I am currently writing a research monograph on these areas and working on some related empirical projects. 

I am also interested in student skills literacy, employability and enterprise within HE English, and run several projects on these issues. For example, from 2017-2021 I led the Oxford Brookes Student Research Launch Pad, a university-wide project which supports undergraduate and post-graduate taught students in sharing and publishing their research. With Dr. Shirley Shipman I co-run the Humanities and Social Sciences Assessment and Skills project, which supports staff in developing assessment formats and related teaching, to help enhance students' skills development and skills literacy. 

I also co-lead the Integrating English project (www.integratingenglish.com), promoting stylistics and its place in English education. I have worked with the AQA in developing aspects of the Language and Literature A level specification and in producing teaching and learning resources for teachers and students. 

Dr Cato  Marks

Dr Cato Marks

Teaching Fellow in English Literature and Widening Participation Officer

Dr Niall Munro

Dr Niall Munro

Senior Lecturer in American Literature & Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

I am a Senior Lecturer in American Literature and also Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.

I studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of St. Andrews, and completed a PGCE in English at Oxford Brookes. After teaching at secondary level for a number of years, I returned to Brookes to do an MA in English and then a PhD about the American modernist poet Hart Crane. My main area of research is twentieth-century American literature, particularly American modernist writings, but I have taught a wide range of courses about American, British, and European literature.

I am the Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, which conducts research into poetry, runs an international poetry competition, a new poetry pamphlet press called ignitionpress, poetry workshops for military veterans, and organizes poetry projects in the community, including a Weekly Poem initiative that I edit. In addition to the website, the Poetry Centre posts details of its news and events on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

In 2014, I was one of the founding members of the Hart Crane Society, which seeks to encourage scholarly work about the American modernist poet Hart Crane (1899-1932), and also promote a general understanding of the work of Crane. The Society can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr Daniel O'Gorman

Dr Daniel O'Gorman

Vice Chancellor Research Fellow in English Literature

I specialise in transnational contemporary literature, with a focus on 'terror' and official responses to it. My first book, Fictions of the War on Terror: Difference and the Transnational 9/11 Novel (Palgrave Macmillan: 2015), analysed American post-9/11 fiction in a transnational context. My co-edited volume, The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction (Routledge: 2018; with Robert Eaglestone; interview here), offers a broad and varied set of approaches to contemporary literary studies, and my next book, Global Literature and Terror: Twenty-First Century Perspectives, is contracted with Routledge. This will expand on my first book's focus on novels to encompass poetry, drama, short stories, comics and memoir, while also tracing more recent developments in discourses surrounding political violence, including responses to far-right attacks, the continuing normalisation of Islamophobia, and the proliferation of drones in the context of global conflict and surveillance. I am also interested in exploring the similarities and differences between the terms 'terror' and 'terrorism', as well as the impact of both upon experiences of space, whether public or private, global or local, online or offline. I am theorising these spatial experiences by drawing on the idea of the 'terrorscape'.

I am currently module leader for the third-year undergraduate module, 'Contemporary Literature', having taught it many times previously in previous roles at Brookes, including as a Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature from 2016 to 2018. This module defines contemporary writing as that which has been published within the past ten years. As a result, the texts and topics on it change slightly every year, always making it an exciting module to teach.

I also lead the English and Modern Languages research cluster, 'Networks and Localities'.

As mentioned above, I have worked at Brookes previously in more teaching-focused roles, and have also taught extensively on contemporary literature, critical theory, study skills and many other topics at London South Bank University, Bucks New University, and Royal Holloway, University of London, where I completed my PhD in 2014.

I am an Associate Editor at the Journal of Postcolonial Writing (Routledge).

Professor Nicole  Pohl

Professor Nicole Pohl

Professor in Early Modern Literature and Critical Theory

Dr Dinah Roe

Dr Dinah Roe

Reader in 19th Century Literature

Dinah Roe received her BA from Vassar College. Funded by the Overseas Research Scholarship award, she received her PhD. in English Literature from University College London in 2004 for a thesis on Christina Rossetti's devotional work. She specialises in nineteenth-century literature, but has taught across a variety of periods, including the eighteenth century, the Romantic period, Modernism, as well as contemporary literature.

Areas of expertise

My research is concentrated in nineteenth-centuty British literature , with a specific focus on poetry and Pre-Raphaelitism. Poets in whom I take a particular interest are Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris and Algernon Charles Swinburne. My work is heavily interdisciplinary, and my research often explores connections between nineteenth-century art and poetry. I am also interested in nineteenth-century material culture, as well as the art and literary criticism of the period. I would welcome research proposals in any of these areas.

Dr Eric White

Dr Eric White

Reader in American Literature

Eric White is Reader in American Literature at Oxford Brookes University, and his research specializes in transatlantic avant-garde writing and culture.

He pursued his BA at the University of British Columbia in Canada before completing his postgraduate work at the University of Cambridge, supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral fellowship. Before starting at Oxford Brookes, he taught at the University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University, and the University of Edinburgh. He has been awarded fellowships by the Beinecke Library, Yale University, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Oxford.

Together with Dr. Georgina Colby, he is Co-Editor of the Edinburgh Critical Studies in Avant-Garde Writing and Edinburgh Foundations in Avant-Garde Writing Series. Complementing his literary research and editing work, Eric is also PI of the Avant-Gardes and Speculative Technology (AGAST) Project, a digital humanities collaboration that re-imagines modernists’ inventions with prize-winning writers such as Iain Sinclair and Jay Bernard using eXtended Reality (XR).  AGAST projects have been funded by CILIP/Arts Council England, the European Research Council and the Independent Social Research Foundation.

Dr Simon White

Dr Simon White

Reader in Romantic & Nineteenth-Century Literature