School of Humanities

English and Cultural Studies

Staff members work across a number of genres, historical periods and thematic areas and are widely published in international journals, monographs and edited volumes.

Postgraduate candidates also have a strong record in publication and are active participants in the discipline's research culture.

  1. Medieval and Renaissance studies
  2. Romantic and Victorian literature
  3. Modernism and after
  4. Australian literature
  5. Postcolonial studies
  6. Creative writing
  7. Theatre and performance studies
  8. Critical theory and cultural studies
  9. Film

Medieval and Renaissance studies

This research area focuses on medieval and early modern English literature and culture, tracing the history of ideas and the interactions between literary texts and their historical contexts between the fifth and early nineteenth centuries. Staff members are also associated with the Centre for Medieval Early Modern Studies, the refereed international journal Paregon and the Australian Research Council funded Centre for the History of Emotions.

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Romantic and Victorian literature

Focusing on the nineteenth century, this research area has attracted a number of Australian Research Council grants, resulting in internationally recognised publications on gender and Victorian periodicals, and the relations between literature and the sciences. There is also a focus on law and literature in the nineteenth century. Postgraduate candidates are well-represented in this research field.

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Modernism and after

Concentrating on literature produced during the first decades of the twentieth century and beyond, this research area encompasses a broad range of texts in context. Staff members have particular interests in the intersections between literary modernism and other artistic forms such as music and film. They are also keen to trace the impact of modernism on subsequent literary forms and movements including postmodernism.

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Australian literature

The study of Australian Literature is one of the discipline's strengths. The School hosts a Chair in Australian Studies, and has productive connections with the Westerly Centre. The discipline's extensive expertise addresses theatre, poetry, literature, film, women's writing, Indigenous writing and literary history, among others. Australian Research Council grants recognise the contribution of staff to this research field.

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Postcolonial studies

Postcolonial research in the discipline focuses on the literary productions of formerly colonised societies as well as on the ongoing impacts and legacies of colonialism today. Staff members have specific interests in East Africa, colonial missionary narratives, Australian fiction and film, and Indian cultural productions, and are working on projects addressing global and transnational literatures and cinema. Australian Research Council grants support their research.

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Creative writing

School staff members are winners of national literary prizes and they theorise creative writing as both practice and pedagogy through creative and scholarly publications. They have productive relationships with research and creative-industry partners such as the Perth International Writers Festival, and postgraduate candidates are well-represented in this field.

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Theatre and performance studies

Staff members working in this area are also practitioners of the art. Hence, their research is attentive to the theoretical, historical and performance dimensions of theatre. Research reaches across a wide range of periods, drama forms, playwrights and directors, and is reflected in the journal articles, books and performances staff produce.

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Critical theory and cultural studies

Within this broad area which crosses over with Gender Studies, our staff members focus on ideology, Australian literature, visual media, and research methodologies. Research is reflected in numerous publications in books, journals articles and edited collections by staff and postgraduate candidates.

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The history of cinema, screen practice and methodologies for reading film and visual media are the focus of this research area. It covers fields, issues and themes including modernism, Shakespeare and film, photography and Australian cinema as well as representations of the visual in Victorian literary and popular cultures. An emerging area of research strength is Asian and transnational cinema, with staff working on related research projects.

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