Research in English
English at Queen Mary is a large and dynamic department working to expand the boundaries of English studies. QMUL’s history as an institution dedicated to improving educational opportunities for women and for the communities of East London informs our mission to build sustainable connections between the local and the global, and to pursue equality, diversity and inclusion through our research and teaching.
Our interdisciplinary research offers vital perspectives on literature from the medieval through the contemporary, from Renaissance manuscripts to digital writing and graphic novels. ‘English studies’ as we practice it is a global field which locates Anglophone writing practices within histories of empire, diaspora, and decolonisation. Our emphasis on marginalised identities and radical writing is driven by a commitment to our students, to our locality, and to the future of a discipline whose historically nuanced strategies of interpretation are urgently needed in an increasingly fragmented world.
We have particular strengths in textual scholarship and editing, digital humanities, race, world writing, migration, and the legacies of empire, gender and sexual cultures, literary cartographies, literature and religion, literature and science, material cultures, and disability studies.
Leading New Developments
Our staff lead Living with Machines, a £9M project to apply artificial intelligence to historical research, and Europe and the World: A Literary History, 1545-1659, a €2 million project funded by the European Research Council to produce the first literary history of early-modern Europe through studying its works, forms, spaces, and events. We also led Creativeworks London, a £4M project to enhance collaborative research potential in Arts and Humanities and the creative economy. Wasafiri, the eminent global literature magazine, is based in the Department. We enrich our research through numerous collaborations with the creative industries, the museum and heritage sector, and the local community.
Since 2014, members of the Department have won 25 funded fellowships, 11 of which were overseas: 10 Leverhulme fellowships, 1 Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, 1 Philip Leverhulme Prize, 1 AHRC Early Career Fellowship, 3 British Academy mid-career fellowships, 3 National Humanities Center Fellowships, 1 National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1 Stanford External Faculty Fellowship, and 1 Humboldt fellowship.
Queen Mary researchers have won the Waterstones non-fiction book of the year and Historical Writer’s Association Prize for Non-Fiction (Brotton); the British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies prize (Dinnen); the London Hellenic prize (Hughes); the European Society for the Study of English prize (Maxwell); the British Society for Literature and Science prize (Preston); and the Association for Recorded Sound Award of Excellence (Rubery). Clemit was given the Keats-Shelley Association of America Distinguished Scholar Award for 2016. In 2019, Nasta won the Royal Society of Literature’s Benson Medal in recognition of her contribution to literature.