View of the Lake District

Literature, Space and Place

Research Activity

The Department has longstanding research expertise in the relationship between literature and location, with a particular focus on the North West of England.

It leads the world in the study of the literature of the Lake District, particularly through the work of the Wordsworth Centre and through collaboration with The Ruskin. Experts in the field of Romantic and Victorian literature (Bainbridge, Bushell, Hanley) specialise in the study of place, space and texts as well as the touristic aspects of writing in and about the Lakes. The relationship between literature and place is also explored through the digital research led by Bushell and in direct experiential ways through Bainbridge’s Wordsworth Walks and the annual Literary Field Trip to Grasmere. Work by the Department’s Early Modernists (Egan, Findlay, Hinds, Twycross) examines Quaker culture in the North West in relation to different kinds of space while also exploring site specific performances of gender in Devon and Kent.

Other North West focused projects include Spooner’s work on the cultural geography of the ghost story, examining in particular the development of a regional English Gothic from 1850 onwards, while Carruthers’s work on Morecambe brings exploration of the region closer to home, using recent theories of place and space to interrogate the nature of this seaside environment. Pearce’s work on mobilities intersects with many of these projects. Place is a key topic for many of the Department’s creative writers, with Farley leading the ‘Places of Poetry’ project.