School of English and Drama

Seminars and Reading Groups

On this page you will find details of some of the seminars and reading groups in which staff and students in the Department are involved:

The Department of English Postgraduate Research Seminar

This weekly seminar is at the centre of the Department’s vibrant research culture. Organised by a committee of research students, it attracts a large audience of graduate students, staff, and visitors to hear a wide range of papers on topics of interest to the field of English Studies. Papers are delivered by renowned visiting academics, QMUL faculty, and graduate students. The seminar has a tradition of hearing about work in progress, ensuring that it is at the cutting edge of scholarly debate.


Medieval/Early Modern Texts and Contexts

Medieval/Early Modern Texts and Contexts is run by Professor Julia Boffey (Department of English) and Professor Miri Rubin (Department of History). It covers subjects of interest to those working on aspects of cultural history between c. 1200-1700, and meets at Queen Mary two or three times a year. For further information contact Julia Boffey:, or Miri Rubin:


Queen Mary Eighteenth-Century Studies Seminar

This interdisciplinary seminar, organized by the Queen Mary Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies presents invited speakers for six seminars each year, using a variety of formats including work-in-progress and pre-circulated papers. To be added to the circulation list, email Markman Ellis:, or follow the QMCECS blog.


London-Paris Romanticism Seminar

The London-Paris Romanticism Seminar is an international research forum devoted to British Romantic literature, its European connections and the broader culture of the Romantic period, 1760-1830. The forum is a collaboration between four colleges of the University of London and a number of Parisian institutions including Université Paris-Sorbonne and the École Normale Supérieure, which hosts a two-day symposium in Paris each spring. The London seminar meets monthly on a Friday afternoon in Senate House and features visiting speakers from across the UK, Europe and beyond. All aspects of Romanticism are covered, including comparative and interdisciplinary topics. For further information, contact the London Director, David Duff, or see the website at


The London Eighteenth-Century Reading Group

This reading group is composed of graduate students and staff members from the Department whose research interests fall into the eighteenth century and Romantic periods. We read a wide variety of texts, including historical works alongside key theoretical interventions or recent scholarship. Each semester we collectively choose a topic.  In recent years we have covered such themes as piracy and the high seas, walking, Spinoza, natural disasters, Kant, conversation, gardening, and antiquarianism. In addition to these sessions, we also practice other forms of expeditionary and sociable scholarship. For more information contact .


The Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature Reading Group and Seminar

The Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature (QMCRLE) runs a fortnightly Research in Progress and Reading Group. This forum, convened by Tessa Whitehouse, will be a place to discuss participants’ research and read significant primary and secondary texts. Between May and July, QMCRLE also runs the Seminar in Religion and Literature.


London Modernism Seminar

The London Modernism Seminar is an interdisciplinary seminar focusing on all aspects of modernist studies. It provides a forum for established and emerging researchers in the field to present papers on recent projects, and for the discussion of new topics and issues within modernist studies. Previous speakers have included Michael Levenson, Laura Marcus, Dame Gillian Beer, and Geoff Wallace. The seminar meets around once a month at the Institute of English Studies (IES), Senate House and all are welcome to attend. The seminar is sponsored by IES in collaboration with Queen Mary, Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, Royal Holloway and Kent. For more information contact Suzanne Hobson or see the Institute of English Studies website.