In the most recent research assessment (REF 2014), 68% of work submitted by the LJMU Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. The panel noted our distinctive strengths in cultural history and interdisciplinary literary scholarship, our intellectual ambition to investigate new and unexpected fields of enquiry, and our commitment to public engagement. 50% of our research was rated as “world-leading” in its impact.
Colleagues in the Centre characteristically cross categories in their research. Please click on individuals’ names for a more detailed account of their research, publications and related activities. Our established track record lies in the following key areas, all of them currently developing into new areas of expertise:
The contemporary and everyday cultures
Regional, national and global literatures
Humanity, identity, mobility and affect (incl. travel writing and medical humanities)
As well as generous institutional support, our Research Centre’s projects are supported by various funding grants, fellowships and bodies, including the Higher Education Academy, the AHRC, the British Academy, and various U.S Library grants, including those from Princeton and the Huntington.
Colleagues working in this period are Rebecca Bailey, Brian Gibbons, Elspeth Graham and Rachel Willie. Elspeth has been instrumental in the development of the community-focused Shakespeare North Trust, and its plans to regenerate the Merseyside town of Prescot by establishing a reproduction Jacobean theatre and study centre in the town. You can find out more about this long-running project here. The postgraduate colleague working with us in this area is Ann Ashell.
We have colleagues working on a variety of innovative areas across the (long) nineteenth century: Jonathan Cranfield; Sondeep Kandola; Brian Maidment; Michael Morris; Nadine Muller; Glenda Norquay; Deaglán Ó Donghaile; Helen Rogers; Kate Walchester; James Whitehead.
We are involved in a major collaborative research project with staff from Brunel University, London, which seeks to develop a digital archive of working-class writing since 1700. The project has attracted funding from the Higher Education Academy, and includes some amazing collaborative research with our students. You can see what they’ve produced on the Writing Lives website.
Our Centre has interests in a number of aspects of nineteenth century print culture, especially periodicals.
With close links to both the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals and the European Society for Periodicals Research, the Centre also organises, in collaboration with Edge Hill and Salford Universities, the recently established North West Print Culture Workshop. LJMU will also host the ESPRIT conference in July 2016. LJMU’s Library holds substantial holdings of Victorian periodicals, and is actively expanding collections in this area. The collections are widely used for both undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and have formed the basis for a number of projects, exhibitions and events, including the ‘Punch Ledgers’ project and a variety of work with Strand magazine.
The Contemporary and Everyday Cultures
Joe Moran’s wide-ranging work on aspects of everyday culture has been truly ground-breaking in this area. Alice Ferrebe works on British literature and culture of the 1950s in particular, and Fiona Tolan on contemporary British literature.
Postgraduate colleagues working with us in this area are: Lynsey Hanley, Krystina Osborne.
Regional, National, and Global Literatures
Two colleagues have recently been awarded a £30,000 Research Networking Scheme grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Gerry Smyth (Principal Investigator) and Deaglán Ó Donghaile (Co-Investigator) are using the grant to develop a research network entitled ‘Marginal Irish Modernisms’. This is a wide-ranging interdisciplinary project looking to re-orient traditional models of Irish cultural modernism. The network, which will involve a range of academic and public engagement events over an eighteen-month period (all of them posted on this site), is partnered with Trinity College, Dublin, and St Mary’s University, London.
Filippo Menozzi’s research interests lie in the work of Anglophone South Asian women writers and the contested notions of ‘postcolonial’ and ‘world’ literature. Michael Perfect works within postcolonial studies, has published a monograph on contemporary British literature and multiculturalism, and is currently writing on Andrea Levy. Bella Adams and Michael Morris also work within postcolonial studies.
Humanity, Identity, Mobility, and Affect
Colleagues with particular interests in Medical and Environmental Humanities are Bella Adams, Joanna Croft, Elspeth Graham, Nadine Muller, Joanna Price, and James Whitehead. Issues of space/place/geography and travel are important to the work of Rebecca Bailey, Joanna Croft, Glenda Norquay, Gerry Smyth and Kate Walchester. Colleagues working on issues of gender and/or sexuality include Alice Ferrebe, Nadine Muller, Glenda Norquay, Joanna Price and Fiona Tolan.