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American Literature

Our research is at the forefront of disciplinary and interdisciplinary interventions into the literature and culture of North America.

Covering all periods from the 16th to the 21st Centuries, from literatures of encounter and the emergence of print culture, through slavery and emancipation, the American renaissance and reconstruction, and into modernism and postmodernism, our research strengths cover American and African American film, poetry, visual culture, fiction, performance and cultural studies.

Research in American literature has particular strengths in the areas of gender and race studies, regional literatures and eco-criticism, American literature and the transatlantic, the links between political radicalism, revolution and literature. Specific interests range from the history of cool in America to the changing nature of the printed book and image, African American emancipatory radicalism in literature, film and visual art, American landscape, ecology and identity, gender and sexuality, and in exploring the character, boundaries and limits of modernism. Our work also engages in groundbreaking ways with transnational perspectives and global contexts on American literature, in particular with diaspora, and cultural and literary exchange around the Atlantic.

Literature students