Staff Research Interests
Our staff have research interests and expertise in all major areas of Literary Study and Creative Writing.
My main areas of interest are long prose fiction and the short story. My recent work has concentrated on the unreliable or limited narrator and on LDS fiction. I have recenty completed a novel in the first person omnicient point of view that engages with ideas about healing, transformation, haunting and masculinity.
New areas of interest include gaming and interactivity, digital storytelling projects and narrative and new media more generally. I am also interested in writing industries and new routes into publication for writers, collaborative work, and the way writers and other creative practitioners work together. With this in mind, in 2013 I co-founded the writers' and artists' collective, Curious Tales, which allows practioners to work together to create, produce and deliver creative works. So far we have published the illustrated anthologies: The Longest Night: Five Curious Tales, Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales, Bus StationL Unbound, The Barrow Rapture and Congregation of Innocents: Five Curious Tales.
I am currently researching and writing a book on the history of science fiction in the 1960s, which will extend work already completed on New Wave science fiction and literary experimentation. I am also pursuing new developments in critical/creative practice, as well as developing a collaborative projects on landscape, genre and the 'eerie', and on 'Border Masculinities'.
My larger research interests are in the field of British Romanticism with a particular interest in Wordsworth and the Lake District as well as in the form of the long poem and in critical exploration of poetic process. I am interested in interpreting the text in all its states (visual, material and verbal). My current research is on literary cartography and the mapping and reading of literary works for which a map appears alongside the text.
My main areas of interest are in literature and the Bible, Englishness, and literature and place. My most recent work is on Englishness and simplicity. I am also interested in the workings of ritual and place in religious and national identities (especially in relation to the Jewish festival Purim). Carrying on work already done on the biblical Book of Esther, I am also working on a book on female biblical figures in Victorian literature.
My principal areas of practical research are in poetry and poetic translation, poetic sound-montage and the short story. I have been interested in the connections between medieval dream narratives and the jump-cut and dramatic effects of some modernist poetry - my current new work 'After Awater' takes its lead from the long 1934 poem 'Awater' by Dutch poet Martinus Nijhoff. I am also currently completing translations of some of the 1930s poems of Henri Michaux.
My research focuses on drama and performance in medieval and early modern England, especially through the study of spectatorship. I study the ways in which people at the lower levels of society used performance in their everyday lives to enact communal conflicts; the focus of this research is the performance of provincial libels under James I. Preserved in the Star Chamber court records are accounts of early communities writing slanderous verses about one another and reading them aloud to local audiences, as well as fixing symbols to significant public places and acting various out mock-ceremonies. My research investigates the literary and performance nature of these sources along with their uses of place and space, including using digital mapping to locate them in their contemporary landscape using GIS (Geographic Information Systems). I also have research interests in early ecocriticism and communal reactions to early environmental problems; particularly extreme weather events during the Little Ice Age as recorded in personal diaries.
The formation of identity and selfhood through literature and performance is my broader research area, especially the existence of anxiety over the boundaries of public and private life throughout the medieval period.
My research interests lie in literature's relationship with other media, especially the visual arts and film. I am currently working on sequels to my two monographs: Rethinking the Adaptation/Theorization Debate follows on from Rethinking the Novel/Film Debate (Cambridge, 2003); Victorian Literature and the Rise of Picture Identification, 1836-1918 continues the research published in Portraiture and British Gothic Fiction: The Rise of Picture Identification, 1764-1835 (Johns Hopkins, 2012).
His research interests lie in modern/contemporary fiction and theory. His first book, Conrad, Language, and Narrative (Cambridge University Press, 2002), received the Joseph Conrad Society of America's Adam Gillon Award for the most significant work in Conrad studies from 2001-4. Contemporary Fiction and the Uses of Theory (Palgrave, 2006) is a study of the reception and representation of theoretical ideas in literary fiction since the 1960s. He is currently writing a book on the representation of sleep and sleep-related states in the modern novel. With Hilary Hinds (Lancaster) and Garrett Sullivan (Penn State University), Michael is one of the co-founders of the 'Sleep Cultures' website:http://www.sleepcultures.com
My research interests focus in particular on marginal, topical and ephemeral cultural texts, and have resulted in a number of studies of seventeenth century religious writings, especially those from the radical sects, and with a particular focus on gender. I am also interested in middlebrow and material culture of the late nineteenth to mid twentieth century, an interest which I am pursuing through a Wellcome Trust funded project on 'Twin Beds: From Healthy Homes to Healthy Marriages 1870-1970.' I would be interested in supervising projects that related broadly to these areas.
My research in creative writing is in short fiction and short stories, as well as linked short story collections, novels in stories and composite novels. I am also interested in war writing and trauma. My current creative research is in the novel and disability, as well as merging genre(s) and literary fiction.
Alison is a theatre practitioner and researcher, interested in the uses of participatory arts in education and development and, more recently, disaster resilience. She has been involved in school and community projects across the UK, in Japan and in various African countries. Alison was a researcher on the ESRC Urgency Project with Save the Children UK, Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience, and is currently a Senior Research Associate, investigating the impact of the project on emergency planning policy and practice.
My research is primarily on post-1948 literature of the Arab world (including North Africa) within postcolonial studies. I focus particularly on configurations of national and transnational community, with an emphasis on gender and sexuality. I work with material in English, French and in translation from Arabic.
Conor O'Callaghan is from Ireland. He has taught at several different universities in the United States, including Villanova University in Pennsylvania, Wake Forest University in North Carolina and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He tutors on the creative writing DLMA. He has publlished four collections of poems, a football memoir and Gothic novella. He has two kids at college, is married to the eighteenth-centurist scholar Mary Peace, and divides his time between Dublin and Sheffield.The History of Rain (Gallery Press, 1993) Seatown (Gallery Press, 1999) Red Mist: Roy Keane & Ireland's Football Civil War (Bloomsbury, 2004) Fiction (Gallery Press, 2005) The Sun King (Gallery Press, 2013) Nothing on Earth (Doubleday Ireland, 2016)
I teach and research fifteenth- and sixteenth-century writing in English. While my research interests are varied, I mainly work on: the cultural politics of early-modern translation: embodiment; emotions; mythology; surface studies (see surfacestudies.org). My current book-length projects are Travel, Translation and Tudor Sensibilities: Thomas Churchyard's Passionate History and Shakespearean Surfaces: Reading, Writing and Performing Superficiality in Sixteenth-Century England.
My main research interests are in the relations between the literature, science and medicine of the Romantic period, 1780-1820. My first book, Shelley and Vitality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), explored the medical and scientific contexts which inform Shelley's concept of vitality in his major poetry. My most recent book, Creating Romanticism: Case Studies in the Literature, Science, and Medicine of the 1790s (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) has chapters on Mary Wollstonecraft's interest in natural history, William Godwin's interest in mesmerism, and Humphry Davy’s writings on the sublime. I am currently co-editing the Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle, to be published in four volumes by OUP in 2018.
My research interests are in modern and contemporary English and American writing, with a particular but not exclusive interest in poetry. Most of my books have focused on poetry (Eliot, Stevens, Auden), and my most recent has been an edited collection of essays about Auden from Cambridge University Press (2013). My current research continues these interests, including work on Auden and Stevens as well as on more contemporary writers, and at a broader level connects with areas such as: writing and landscape (or place); writing and the religious impulse; writing and seeing (including the extension beyond textual into visual), and critical creativity.
Catherine Spooner specialises in Gothic literature and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. Her first book, Fashioning Gothic Bodies, examined the relationship between Gothic literature and dress from the French Revolution to Goth subculture. This was followed by Contemporary Gothic, an exploration of contemporary uses of Gothic in literature, film, television, fashion, art and consumer culture. Her third book, Post-Millennial Gothic: Comedy, Romance and the Rise of Happy Gothic, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2017. She is currently working on a Gothic cultural history of the white dress and investigating the modern legacy of the Lancashire Witches.
I have two research concentrations: the Second World War Gothic of the British home front, and twenty-first century Gothic approached through a medical humanities lens. Both strands of my research are concerned with ethical witness in response to individual and collective suffering. My current research projects include a monograph on contemporary Gothic and critical medical humanities; research on literary representations of chronic pain beyond traditional illness narrative prose memoir forms; and a project examining Second World War home front representations of combatants and refugees as spectral figures, liminal and vulnerable, drawing on archives of refugee memoir and spiritualist activity.