Our research is interdisciplinary, comparative, and dynamic.
We have particular strengths in American studies, eighteenth and nineteenth-century studies, environmentalism and ecocriticism, gender studies, the literary and cultural history of the medieval and early modern period, performance studies, poetry and poetics, and World Literature. Our major research centres include Critical Environments, Poetry at Warwick, and the Warwick Research Collective (WReC). We were also involved in establishing the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance in 1993, which brings together staff from five departments engaged in the study of Renaissance Europe, and which enjoys formal academic links with several institutions including the Warburg Institute, the Sorbonne, and with the University of Venice. We have close links with the Centre for Research into Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts, the Early Modern and Eighteenth-Century Centre, and the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies.
We have five well established areas of specialisation.
(1) Environmental Humanities is consolidated in our ‘Critical Environments’ research group, and includes our pioneering work on ecopoetics, energy humanities, religion and ecology, and colonial/post-colonial- and world-ecology.
(2) Our research in World Literary Studies, driven by the Warwick Research Collective (WReC), has made the department one of the world’s premier locations for this field. WReC’s collaboratively written 2015 book, Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature, has generated numerous scholarly responses, and its membership has grown to comprise nine colleagues.
(3) We have world-leading expertise in Poetry and Poetics, ranging from the medieval lyric, early-modern poetry and history, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poetry, to geo-modernist poetics and contemporary eco-poetics.
(4) Creativity, Theatre, and Performance Studies comprises our work on BAME Shakespeare and Shakespeare and performance, focused as it is on both rethinking creativity and performance in relation to space, audience, adaptation, and popular culture, and also maintaining our traditional strengths in histories of stage production, playtexts, and dramaturgy.
(5) Our American Studies group works across writing and culture since the eighteenth century, with particular interests in urbanisation, labour, theories of engaged literature, religion, horror and the gothic, and US imperialism.
Our future research plans include a focus on four research areas.
(1) Energy Humanities develops our work in the Environmental Humanities by showcasing emergent work on marine and oceanic literature and culture, petro-cultures, resource-limits, infrastructure studies and urban futures, ecopoetics, and the relationship between mental health and climate, space, and habitat
(2) Book History encompasses publishing and reception history, textual editing, translation studies, manuscript and archival studies, and research into the economic and social factors that shape the production of books.
(3) The current success of the Poetry and Poetics group forms a foundation for future research on world poetry, lyric, and ecopoetics.
(4) Finally, we seek to develop our field-leading work on World Literary Studies and to maintain Warwick as a global centre for research in this area.