British Literature


In the field of British Literature, as in the English Department as a whole, we encourage a combination of skills: historical rigor, conceptual imagination, interdisciplinary agility, and close attention to the echoes and recesses of literary language. Our faculty include experts in every field of British literature and intellectual history from the seventh century to the twenty-first. In addition to these literary periods, we have powerful clusters in other areas that combine the resources of Departmental and other University faculty, brought together by faculty-graduate student workshops, centers, committees, and institutes in which we are actively involved. For example, students will find rich resources in medieval studies; poetry and poetics; theater and performance studies; race, politics, and culture; gender studies; literary and aesthetic theory; colonial, post-colonial, and transnational studies (in conjunction with centers for South AsianEast AsianMiddle Eastern, and Latin American studies). Many faculty members in British Literature also work in American Literature as well as in Black Studies and colonial and postcolonial literature and culture (e.g. Caribbean).  We also have a thriving program in Creative Writing, in which many of our faculty, graduate students, and English majors participate.

Of particular interest to students working in British literature and culture is the University's Nicholson Center for British Studies, which offers an annual lecture series and several year-long dissertation research fellowships as well as short term research grants for students who need to do research in Britain. Our undergraduate program in London, coordinated through the Study Abroad office, employs one graduate student as a program assistant in the fall term each year.  Other University resources for students in British literature and culture include the Center for Gender Studies; the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture; and the Franke Institute for the Humanities. All these regularly sponsor lectures, conferences, symposia, workshops, and exhibitions, and also offer doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships.

Specific Areas of Study

  • Medieval
  • Renaissance
  • 18th Century British/ Romanticism
  • 19th and 20th Century British and Anglophone Literature
  • Empire, colonialism and postcolonialism
  • Transnational Modernism
  • Post-1945 Literature and Culture
  • Irish Literature and Culture
  • Digital humanities
  • Drama and Performance studies
  • Poetry and Poetics
  • Literature, Film and Media studies
  • Literary and Cultural Theory
  • Psychoanalysis and Affect Studies
  • Race and Gender Studies
  • Literature and philosophy
  • Animal and posthuman studies
  • Ecocriticism and environmental studies
  • Literature and visual culture
  • Poetry and song


Faculty Members

Timothy Campbell

Timothy Campbell

Research Interests: Historicism (Old and New) | Eighteenth-Century British Literature | Romantic Literature | Literary History | Literature and the Arts | The Novel | Visual Culture and Iconography
Jim Chandler

James Chandler

Research Interests: 18th Century British Literature | Irish Literature | Romantic Literature | Cinema Studies | History of Literary Criticism | Literary History
Alexis Chema

Alexis Chema

Research Interests: Gender and Sexuality | Eighteenth-Century British Literature | Romantic Literature | Victorian Literature | History of Ideas | History of the Book| Literary History | Literature and Philosophy | Literature and the Arts | Visual Culture and Iconography

Maud Ellmann

Research Interests: Feminism |Gender and Sexuality| Psychoanalysis| Irish Literature| Twentieth-Century British Literature| European Modernism| Animal Studies| Poetry and Poetics| The Novel
Frances Ferguson

Frances Ferguson

Research Interests: Critical Theory| Eighteenth-Century British Literature| Romantic Literature |Law and Literature |The Novel
Rachel Galvin

Rachel Galvin

Research Interests: Theories of Diaspora and Decolonization |AmericanLatino Literature| Twentieth-Century American Literature| Contemporary Literature | European Modernism| Literary History| Literature and the Arts| Poetry and Poetics| Translation
Elaine Hadley

Elaine Hadley

Research Interests: Historicism (Old and New)| Romantic Literature |20th c British Literature| Victorian Literature| Drama | History of Ideas| Literature and the Arts |Nonfiction Prose | Political Theory | The Novel | Urban Studies
Tim Harrison

Timothy Harrison

Research Interests: Critical Theory| Renaissance and Early Modern Literature| History of Ideas | History of Literary Criticism| History of Science | Literary History | Literature and Philosophy| Nonfiction Prose
Heather Keenleyside

Heather Keenleyside

Research Interests: Eighteenth-Century British Literature| Animal Studies| Literature and Philosophy| The Novel

Loren Kruger

Research Interests: Critical Theory | Theories of Diaspora and Decolonization | African Literature in English | Drama and Performance in Africa, the Americas, and Western Europe | Modern Drama and Performance | Translation | Urban Studies
Ellen MacKay

Ellen MacKay

Research Interests: Renaissance and Early Modern Literature | Digital Humanities | Drama
Josephine McDonagh

Josephine McDonagh

Research Interests: 19th century British literature| Politics of literary expression
Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Research Interests: Critical Theory| Gender and Sexuality| Medieval Literature| Literature and Philosophy
Ndiaye Headshot

Noémie Ndiaye

Research Interests: Renaissance Literature | Critical Race Studies | Performance studies | Visual Culture | Comparative Literature | Translation | Cultural Studies | Gender and Sexuality
Lawrence Rothfield

Lawrence Rothfield

Research Interests: Cultural Policy Studies |Victorian Literature |History of Science |History of the Disciplines | The Novel

Lisa Ruddick

Research Interests: Modernism | The Novel | Literature and Psychoanalysis | Literary Theory since 1975 | The Psychology of Groups
Joshua Scodel

Joshua Scodel

Research Interests: Renaissance and Early Modern Literature| History of Ideas |History of Literary Criticism | Literature and Philosophy |Political Theory

Richard Strier

Research Interests: Renaissance Literature and Thought; Literature and Philosophy | History of Literary Criticism | Poetry and Poetics
von Nolcken

Christina von Nolcken

Research Interests: Medieval Literature | History of Ideas | History of the Book | History of the English Language | Literary History