Our research interests are loosely grouped into the following four categories:

  • Old English to contemporary literature
  • Literature, intermediality and visual culture
  • Publishing and book history
  • Theatre studies and creative writing

See below for further information.

You are also welcome to contact individual members of staff to find out more about their specific research interests.

We are also keen to promote interdisciplinary research.  Our Centre for Critical and Creative Cultures is dedicated to exploring the intersections of creativity and criticism in a range of disciplines, contexts and media, while our Centre for Scottish Culture brings together members of the School of Humanities, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), and other departments at the University of Dundee with interests in the literature, culture and history of Scotland and its people.

Old English to contemporary literature

Members of the programme research across a broad range of Modernist and Contemporary Literature. This includes the work of Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, H.G Wells, Wallace Stevens and Mina Loy from the Modernist period, and from the Contemporary, American 20th and 21st-century American fiction including Paul Auster and Annie Proulx, innovative and visual British poetry, including Geoffrey Hill, Thomas A. Clark and digital poetry, and post-colonial and South African literature.

Staff:

  • Nicole Devarenne specialises in South African literature and film, and postcolonial science fiction and women's writing
  • Gail Low publishes in the area of post-colonial literature and publishing history.
  • Tim Morris publishes on American Modernist Poetry, especially Wallace Stevens.
  • Andrew Michael Roberts is a specialist on Contemporary British Poetry, especially Geoffrey Hill and avant-garde/'linguistically innovative' poetry, including digital poetry.
  • Mark Robson researches and writes on Modern literature, including Shakespeare, literary and critical theory, rhetoric and aesthetics, comparative literature and translation
  • Aliki Varvogli has published extensively in the area of contemporary American Literature. Her research monographs and journal articles include work on Paul Auster, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Annie Proulx and many others, with a recent emphasis on 21st-century fiction.
  • Keith Williams publishes extensively on the relations between literary writing and film and media in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

Literature, intermediality and visual culture

comic books on shelf

The English programme, with DJCAD, was home to Poetry Beyond Text: Vision, Text and Cognition (2009-11), a multi-disciplinary research project funded by the AHRC which applied methods from literary criticism, aesthetics, experimental psychology, fine art and creative practice to intermedial poetic works, including digital poetry, concrete and visual poetry, artists’ books, text film and books of poetry and photography.  We have a long-standing involvement in Word and Image Studies, and in 2014 we hosted a major conference of the International Association for Word and Image Studies.

The city of Dundee is a recognised powerhouse of comics production. It is home to DC Thomson & Co Ltd, who produce iconic titles such as the Beano, Dandy, Commando, Starblazer and Bunty.  We have recently opened the new Cam Kennedy Comics Studio, fitted out with all the equipment required to produce traditional and digital publications, and the University has been steadily building up a collection of original artworks by comics artists and cartoonists from the late 19th century up to today.


Staff:

  • Jennifer Barnes focuses on early modern performance studies and appropriations of ‘Shakespeare’ on stage and screen from the Restoration period through to contemporary performance.
  • Brian Hoyle has research and publishing interests in subjects such as Post-War British Art Cinema and Literature.
  • Chris Murray is a widely renowned comics lecturer and researcher, with particular interest in British comics writers such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman, and film and popular culture.
  • Andrew Roberts is a specialist on Contemporary British Poetry, especially Geoffrey Hill and avant garde/'linguistically innovative' poetry, including digital poetry.  He has led major research projects on poetry, visual art, and cognition.
  • Keith Williams publishes extensively on the relations between literary writing and film and media in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

Publishing and book history

We have several members of staff with interests in book publishing and archives, and a wealth of archive material related to twentieth century Scottish print and publishing, including material donated by Publishing Scotland and Canongate publishers. 

Staff:

  • Daniel Cook has published widely on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and biography, from Pope to Wordsworth, and is part of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift project.
  • Gail Low has research interests in the area of post-colonial literature and publishing history, particularly between 1948-1970, where she has explored questions of patronage, publishers' series, the idea of Commonwealth Literature and the Commonwealth Arts festival, and publishers' readers. She is currently working on  globalisation and print history, addressing the interface between literary and educational publishing.
  • Jodi-Anne George's interests lie in Old and Middle English, medieval drama, palaeography and religious poetry.  She has published books on Beowulf and Chaucer.

Theatre studies and creative writing

theatre studies Creative Writing

We will bring you out of your own private writing space and into a small and intimate community where reading, writing and imaginative thinking are at the very centre of your studies and lives.  A PhD in Creative Writing will enable you to take your work in an exciting new direction when you complete a major piece of fiction, poetry or prose and understand its place in contemporary culture. 

We offer a unique combination of long, intensive and highly practical workshops, interactive "Wordcraft" seminars, Master Classes, as well as regular meetings with your supervisor.

Theatre Studies

Study of drama, theatre and performance at Dundee combines conventional critical approaches with practise-based exploration of a range of issues. Whether your interest is in the drama of a particular period (from the mediaeval to the contemporary), in playwriting and theatre-making, or in theoretical questions about the nature of drama and its political, social and philosophical significance, the community at Dundee – including a unique collaboration between the School of Humanities, the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and Dundee Rep Theatre – offers a stimulating and lively environment for research. 

Staff:

  • Jennifer Barnes focuses on early modern performance studies and appropriations of ‘Shakespeare’ on stage and screen from the Restoration period through to contemporary performance.
  • Kirsty Gunn, Professor of Creative Writing, is a novelist whose The Boy and the Sea won the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award for 2007.
  • Jodi-Anne George is interested in medieval drama, including the work of Chaucer.  She directs JOOT, the University's Theatre Company.
  • Mark Robson has critical, theoretical and practical interest in many areas of theatre studies. He is involved in individual and collaborative projects on early modern drama (especially William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson), the relationships between theatre and digital technologies, and the relation of theatre to ideas of democratic culture. He is also a playwright.
  • Jim Stewart is a lecturer in Creative Writing.  His research focuses on Virginia Woolf, including her use of the lyric verse of Andrew Marvell (1621-78), and her response to theatre and drama.