School of English

Thomas Black

Research Student, Faculty of Arts


Research Summary

Current Status PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic - Celtic Britain: Writing National Identities from 1640-1715

Research Summary - My thesis will look at the construction and experience of British identities from contexts outside the Anglo-British mainstream, in texts from across the Atlantic Archipelago. The chronology allows this study to capture texts emerging from the crucial moments and discourses of British state formation in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Focusing on Scottish, Irish, and Welsh texts (and their interactions) will widen our understanding of the complex formation of multiple British identities and will complicate and diversify our understanding of Britishness which normally focuses on Anglo-Scottish perspectives. The research will hopefully bring together texts written across the diverse literary cultures of the Archipelago and will also study Celtic language texts in translation. This research is timely as it seeks to uncover multi-stranded and contested formulations of British identities, and comes at a time when ideas of "Britishness" and "British values" are being socially and politically questioned.

Other Research Interests -

  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Kingship and Republicanism in Early Modern Britain
  • 20th Century Irish Literature
  • Romance Literature

Research Supervisors -

  • Dr Adam Rounce
  • Dr Nicola Royan
  • Dr Sebastian Mitchell (University of Birmingham)

Primary Funding Source - Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership


Conference Papers:

  • Black, Thomas, 2017, "The Boundaries of Britain in Highland Poetry - 1688-1707", unpublished conference paper delivered at Borders, Boundaries, and Beyond in the Long Eighteenth Century, interdisciplinary conference, University of Sheffield.
  • Black, Thomas, 2017, "Becoming Strangers and Overcoming Difference: Scots Gaels and the War of Three Kingdoms", unpublished conference paper deliver at Stranger Danger: Literary Explorations of the Self and Other, graduate conference, University of Cambridge.

Public Engagement Activities:

Recent Publications

School of English

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