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Dr Roberts's research interests include:
- contemporary poetry, especially Geoffrey Hill and avant-garde/'linguistically innovative' poetry, including digital poetry;
- Modernist poetry and fiction, especially Mina Loy and Joseph Conrad;
- theories of masculinity and psychoanalytical theory;
- poetry and cognitive processes.
Dr Roberts is Principal Investigator and Project Leader for Poetry Beyond Text: Vision, Text and Cognition. This 2-year interdisciplinary project (2009-2011) is funded as part of the AHRC's Beyond Text Scheme, and uses critical, psychological and creative methodologies to the study works of art which combine text and images, including digital poetry, concrete poetry, artist books and poetry with photographs. The project team includes Dr Martin Fischer (Psychology, University of Dundee), Ms Mary Modeen (Fine Art, University of Dundee), Dr Anna Katharina Schaffner (Comparative Literature, University of Kent) and Dr Ulrich Weger (Psychology, University of Kent). For an on-line discussion of the project, see the Poetry Beyond Text audio slideshow on YouTube.
Dr Roberts previously led a research team studying The effects of form and technique on cognition, aesthetic response and evaluation in reading poetry (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board Innovations Award Scheme), with Dr Jane Stabler (English, University of St Andrews) and Dr Martin Fischer (Psychology, University of Dundee). Forthcoming work includes: Poetry & Ethics (Liverpool University Press).