Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Our research

Explorers of story and communication

Our research is at the heart of our activities and feeds directly into our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

We follow a distinctly comparative approach through critical and creative work in literature, drama, film, creative writing and journalism that extends across genres and media forms.

We have internationally recognised expertise in the literatures of the British Isles, the Americas, and Europe, from Shakespeare and transatlantic romanticism to global modernism and world literature, particularly from the United States and the Caribbean. This is combined with strengths in world cinema, film theory and practice, contemporary theatre, poetry, adaptation and translation studies, as well as political communication.

  • Our postgraduate students actively contribute to our research profile. You can explore current PhD theses in our postgraduate students' profiles.
  • You can discover our academic expertise, staff publications, research interests and supervision opportunities by visiting our academic staff profiles.

Research Centres

Our department is home to three Research Centres that conduct critical and practice-based research as well as delivering a range of our undergraduate, masters and research degrees. These are the Centre for Theatre Research, Centre for Creative Writing and Centre for Film and Screen Media.

Research clusters

Our research culture stretches across disciplines and various Departments at the University of Essex, and includes members from East 15 Acting School. Our work is underpinned by our commitment to excellence in research, and visible across our overlapping research clusters. Our members include postgraduate students, visiting and postdoctoral fellows, academic staff, and also members of the public.

Visit our research clusters below:

Research showcase

Our research showcase gives you the chance to dive deeper into understanding our research.

Research projects

We have an excellent record of winning major funding for our research. Some of our recent research projects include:


American tropics: towards a literary geography

A five year project carried out by Professor Peter Hulme, Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli, Dr Owen Robinson and Dr Jak Peake focusing on the literature of the Caribbean and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Memory maps

Memory maps investigated the relationship between writing and place, and was led by our Centre for Creative Writing in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum.

On the edge: the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic

A Leverhulme Research Fellowship awarded to Professor Maria Christina Fumagalli for research into the history of the Haiti-Dominican Republic border.

The Norwich Company of Comedians

This research project investigated acting companies touring the Norwich theatre circuit during the eighteenth and nineteenth century, led by Dr Liz Kuti in our Centre for Theatre Studies and funded by the British Academy.

Person reading a book taken from a box of books
Get in touch
Professor Katharine Cockin Director of Research
Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies