School of English


All academic staff in the school are research active, regularly publishing peer-reviewed journal articles, monographs, scholarly editions, edited collections, and works of fiction and poetry. We advocate for open access (OA) publishing and encourage our staff to go beyond the minimum OA policy requirements.

Below are selected recent publications from staff working in key research areas across the school. To see a full list of publications for individual staff members, please visit our staff profile pages. You can also view our in-house publicationspostgraduate publications and the Faculty of Arts Virtual Bookcase.



Text editing and literary history

Oxford University Press, forthcoming June 2021
This volume presents the reconstructed performance texts for each play and is the first edition to provide a full textual collation of all extant manuscripts, typescripts, and authoritative printed texts. It sheds new light on how each play was composed and then modified for staging, as well as the role of 'other hands' in these processes. It is the first study to identify the range of other Nihilist themed works in circulation in late 19th-century culture and to which Vera is compared, and provides a comprehensive description of the rules of contemporary etiquette upon which Lady Windermere's Fan relies.
Cambridge University Press, 2016
The Cambridge History of the English Short Story is the first comprehensive volume to capture the literary history of the English short story. Charting the origins and generic evolution of the English short story to the present day, and written by international experts in the field, this book covers numerous transnational and historical connections between writers, modes and forms of transmission. Suitable for English literature students and scholars of the English short story generally, it will become a standard work of reference in its field.
Cambridge University Press, 2015
In addition to the thirty-six plays of the First Folio, some eighty plays have been attributed in whole or part to William Shakespeare, yet most are rarely read, performed or discussed. This book, the first to confront the implications of the 'Shakespeare Apocrypha', asks how and why these plays have historically been excluded from the canon. Innovatively combining approaches from book history, theatre history, attribution studies and canon theory, Peter Kirwan unveils the historical assumptions and principles that shaped the construction of the Shakespeare canon. Case studies treat plays such as Sir Thomas More, Edward III, Arden of Faversham, Mucedorus, Double Falsehood and A Yorkshire Tragedy, showing how the plays' contested 'Shakespearean' status has shaped their fortunes. Kirwan's book rethinks the impact of authorial canons on the treatment of anonymous and disputed plays.
Scottish Text Society, Boydell and Brewer, 2015
The Maitland Quarto Manuscript was compiled in c.1586 in the circle of the Maitland Family of Lethington, East Lothian. It is a highly significant and rich collection of Older Scots poetry. This critical edition offers fresh access to the fascinating contents of this important manuscript. It provides an authoritative text, with full modern annotation and glossary. Its introduction and notes address the textual transmission of the poems, and offer detailed contextualization of them in both historical and literary terms.
Romantic Circles, 2016
Part Five collects, in one place for the first time, the surviving letters written by Robert Southey between 1816 and 1818. It follows the editorial conventions described in About this Edition and contains newly transcribed, fully annotated texts of 537 letters drawn from archives in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. Of these, 341 are published for the first time, with a further 51 published here in full for the first time.
Cambridge University Press, 2018
This latest volume of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift is the first fully annotated edition of Swift's Irish prose writings from 1726 to 1737. Works in this volume include the famous A Modest Proposal, the acerbic A Short View of the State of Ireland, Swift's contributions to The Intelligencer, and other prose pieces of satire, polemic and intervention into contemporary Irish politics. Most of these works have never previously been published with full scholarly annotation, or with a complete and textually authoritative apparatus. This volume offers a comprehensive introduction, setting Swift's writings of the period into their full historical, political and economic context. In addition to a critical introduction and appendices, there is also an up-to-date bibliography. The volume enables Swift's role as a political and social commentator in the years after the publication of Gulliver's Travels to be understood with new clarity.


Regional literature and culture

John Baker, Jayne Carroll, and Paul Cavill (eds.) The Place-Names of Shropshire, Parts 7-9
EPNS, 2017, 2020
These volumes provide original etymological analysis of many thousands of individual place-names, from field-, stream- and street-names to the names of villages, towns, and districts across southern Shropshire. Drawing on historical, linguistic and innovative geographic (GIS) investigation, they explain the languages in which the names were formed, the periods in which they arose, and what they meant when they came into existence as meaningful descriptions of places in everyday speech.
Palgrave, 2016
This book considers the cultural residue from pre-Christian Ireland in Synge’s plays and performances. By dramatising a residual culture in front of a predominantly modern and political Irish Catholic middle class audience, the book argues that Synge attempted to offer an alternative understanding of what it meant to be “modern” at the beginning of the twentieth century. The book draws extensively on Synge’s archive to demonstrate how pre-Christian residual culture informed not just how he wrote and staged pre-Christian beliefs, but also how he thought about an older, almost forgotten culture that Catholic Ireland desperately wanted to forget. Each of Synge’s plays is considered in an individual chapter, and they identify how Synge’s dramaturgy was informed by pre-Christian beliefs of animism, pantheism, folklore, superstition and magical ritual.
Cambridge University Press, 2019
This book argues that, in the wake of the postmodern, contemporary culture becomes once again concerned with totality, the main focal point of expression for this being concepts of the global. It uncovers predominant ways of conceptualising the global in contemporary literature, film and theory. In so doing, it offers a fresh approach to the study of globalisation and culture, identifying four main categories under which concepts of the global can be placed: the immanent, the transcendent, the contingent and the beyond-measure. Alongside this, it discovers a confrontation between two predominant ways of figuring human relations on a global scale. Conceptualising the Global in the Wake of the Postmodern examines the works of various authors and filmmakers, such as Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Kazuo Ishiguro, Douglas Coupland, David Cronenberg, Charlie Kaufman, and David Lynch, to show how the idea of totality has returned in contemporary culture.
Wiley-Blackwell, 2016
Complete with fresh perspectives, and drawing on the latest scholarship and biographical sources, The Life of D. H. Lawrence spans the full range of his intellectual interests and creative output to offer new insights into Lawrence’s life, work, and legacy. It incorporates newly-discovered sources, including correspondence, a manuscript written in 1923-4, new evidence for important influences on his major novels and two previously unpublished images of the author. Combining new material with astute commentary the book provides a nuanced understanding of one of the most prolific and controversial authors of the twentieth century.
Cambridge University Press, 2017
This book examines the persistence of the rural tradition in the English novel into the twentieth century. In the shadow of metropolitan literary culture, rural writing can seem to strive for a fantasy version of England with no compelling social or historical relevance. Dominic Head argues that the apparent disconnection is, in itself, a response to modernity rather than a refusal to engage with it, and that the important writers in this tradition have had a significant bearing on the trajectory of English cultural life through the twentieth century. At the heart of the discussion is the English rural regional novel of the 1920s and 1930s, which reveals significant points of overlap with mainstream literary culture and the legacies of modernism. Rural writers refashioned the conventions of the tradition and the effects of literary nostalgia, to produce the swansong of a fading genre with resonances that are still relevant today.
Edinburgh University Press, 2020
Writing Black Scotland examines race and racism in devolutionary Scottish literature, with a focus on the critical significance of blackness. The book reads blackness in Scottish writing from the 1970s to the early 2000s, a period of history defined by post-imperial adjustment. Critiquing a unifying Britishness at work in black British criticism, Jackson argues for the importance of black politics in Scottish writing, and for a literary registration of race and racism which signals a necessary negotiation for national Scotland both before and after 1997.
Judith Jesch, The Viking Diaspora
Routledge, 2015
The Viking Diaspora presents the early medieval migrations of people, language and culture from mainland Scandinavia to new homes in the British Isles, the North Atlantic, the Baltic and the East as a form of ‘diaspora’. It discusses the ways in which migrants from Russia in the east to Greenland in the west were conscious of being connected not only to the people and traditions of their homelands, but also to other migrants of Scandinavian origin in many other locations. This book is the first to explain Scandinavian expansion using this model, and presents the Viking Age in a new and exciting way for students of Vikings and medieval history.
Oxford University Press, 2017
This book brings together original essays by a group of international scholars to offer ground-breaking research into the ‘Advice to Princes’ tradition and related themes of good self- and public governance in Older Scots literature, and in Latin literature composed in Scotland in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and early seventeenth centuries. The essays honour Professor Sally Mapstone and bring to the fore texts both from and about the royal court in a variety of genres, and for a range of audiences. With a focus on historical and material context, contributors explore the ways in which these texts engage with notions of the self and with advisory subjects both specific to particular Stewart monarchs and of more general political applicability in Scotland in the late medieval and early modern periods.
Bloomsbury, 2015
This is the first major book-length study for four decades to examine the plays written by D. H. Lawrence, and the first ever book to give an in-depth analysis of Lawrence's interaction with the theatre industry during the early twentieth century. It connects and examines his performance texts, and explores his reaction to a wide-range of theatre (from the sensation dramas of working-class Eastwood to the ritual performances of the Pueblo people) in order to explain Lawrence's contribution to modern drama.
Edinburgh University Press, 2015
The book traces the development of British Indian literature from the early days of the nineteenth century through the Victorian period. Previously unstudied poems and essays drawn from the thriving periodical culture of British India are examined alongside novels and travel-writing by authors including Emma Roberts, Philip Meadows Taylor and Rudyard Kipling. Key events and concerns of Victorian India − the legacy of the Hastings impeachment, the Indian ‘Mutiny’, the sati controversy, the rise of Bengal nationalism − are re-assessed within a dual literary and political context, emphasising the engagement of British writers with canonical British literature (Scott, Byron) as well as the mythology and historiography of India and their own responses to their immediate surroundings.
Scottish Literature International, 2018
Between 1400 and 1650 Scotland underwent a series of drastic changes, in court, culture, and religion. Renaissance and Reformation, the Union of the Crowns, and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms all shaped the nation, shifting and recasting Scotland’s established relationships with Europe, the Mediterranean world, and with England. This International Companion traces the impact of these sweeping historical transformations on Scotland’s literatures, in English, Gaelic, Latin and Scots, and provides a comprehensive overview to the major cultural developments of this turbulent age.


English language and linguistics

Cambridge University Press, 2014
A new approach to motivation, focusing on the concept of 'vision'. Drawing on visualisation research in sports, psychology and education, the authors describe powerful ways by which imagining future scenarios can promote motivation to learn a language. The book offers a rich selection of motivational strategies to help students 'see' themselves as competent language users, to experience the value of knowing a foreign language and, ultimately, to invest effort into learning it. It also explores how to re-ignite language teacher enthusiasm, how to re-kindle it when it may be waning and how to guard it when it is under threat.
Routledge, 2019
This book explores the digital interactions of parents on the UK-based internet discussion forum Mumsnet Talk, a space dominated by users sharing a common identification as women, parents and mothers. Using a qualitative approach grounded in feminist poststructuralist theory, Jai Mackenzie uncovers ‘common-sense’ assumptions about gender and parenthood, explores the construction of gender and parenthood in digital contexts and how discourses of gendered parenthood are negotiated, resisted and subverted. This is key reading for students, scholars and researchers in the field of language and gender, as well as language and digital communication.
Palgrave, 2020
This edited book presents contemporary empirical research investigating the use of language in professional settings, drawing on the contributions of a set of internationally-renowned authors. The book takes a critical approach to understanding professional communication in a range of fields and global contexts. Split into three parts, covering Business and Organisations, Healthcare, and Politics and Institutions, the contributors explore how and why academics engage in workplace research which takes the form of 'consultancy', 'advocacy' and 'activism'. In light of an ever-changing, ever-demanding global landscape, this volume offers new theoretical and methodological ways of conducting professional communication research with real-world impact. It will be of interest to linguistics and communication researchers and practitioners, particularly those working in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, business communication, health communication, political communication, language and the law and organisational studies. 
Routledge, 2019
This book provides a complete, authoritative and up-to-date overview of the state of the field. Divided into three sections covering: a description of language and language use; essential areas of enquiry; and language skills and assessment, the third edition of this highly successful textbook provides: an introductory chapter which familiarises readers with key issues and recurrent themes; 17 chapters offering extended surveys of central elements of applied linguistics; re-written chapters on psycholinguitics, language learners, reading and assessment; hands-on activities and further reading sections for each chapter, encouraging practical analysis and wider reading; revised and updated references for every chapter.
Violeta Sotirova (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Stylistics
Bloomsbury, 2015
This Bloomsbury Companion provides an overview of stylistics with a detailed outline of the scope and history of the discipline, as well as its key areas of research. The main research methods and approaches within the field are presented with a detailed overview and then illustrated with a chapter of unique new research by a leading scholar in the field. The Companion also features in-depth explorations of current research areas in stylistics in the form of new studies by established researchers in the field. The broad interdisciplinary scope of stylistics is reflected in the wide array of approaches taken to the linguistic study of texts drawing on traditions from linguistics, literary theory, literary criticism, critical theory and narratology, and in the diverse group of internationally recognised contributors.
Peter Stockwell, The Language of Surrealism
Palgrave, 2016
The Language of Surrealism explores the revolutionary experiments in language and mind undertaken by the surrealists across Europe between the wars. Highly influential on the development of art, literary modernism, and current popular culture, surrealist style remains challenging, striking, resonant and thrilling – and the techniques by which surrealist writing achieves this are set out clearly in this book. Stockwell draws on recent work in cognitive poetics and literary linguistics to re-evaluate surrealism in its own historical setting. In the process, the book questions later critical theoretical views of language that have distorted our ideas about both surrealism and language itself. What follows is a piece of literary criticism that is fully contextualised, historically sensitive, and textually driven, and which sets out in rich and readable detail this most intriguing and disturbing literature.


Creative writing 

Thomas Legendre, Keeping Time
Acre, 2020

When archaeologist Aaron Keeler finds himself transported back eighteen years, he becomes swept up in a strangely illicit liaison with his younger wife. A brilliant musician, Violet is captivated by the attentive, “weathered” version of her husband. The Aaron she recently married—an American expat—has become distant, absorbed by his excavation of a prehistoric site at Kilmartin Glen on Scotland’s west coast, where he will soon make the discovery that launches his career. 

As Aaron travels back and forth across the span of nearly two decades, with time passing in both worlds, he faces a threat to his revelatory dig, a crisis with the older Violet—mother of his two young children—and a sudden deterioration of his health. Meanwhile, Violet’s musical performances take on a resonance related to the secrets the two are uncovering in both time frames. With their children and Aaron’s lives at risk, he and Violet try to repair the damage before it’s too late.

Lila Matsumoto, Urn and Drum
Shearsman, 2018
"The world within Urn & Drum is a cornucopia of shapes, colours, and objects, fashioned almost as a gleeful, surreal picture-book; a playful naivety that leads to serious questions of what it means to exist and feel in the world. Through linguistic dexterity and play, [these poems] exclaim heartbreak and test the limits of language in a single line." —Rachael Allen
Jon McGregor, Reservoir 13
4th Estate, 2017
An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuse to subside.

Winner of the Costa Novel of the Year Award 2017 and the British Book of the Year 2018.

Matthew Welton, Squid Squad: A Novel
Carcanet, 2020
In Squid Squad: A Novel we join Natalie Chatterley, Angus Mingus, Nerys Harris and friends as they make recordings of the doorbell, uncrumple their cash and fling their walnuts from the window. They contemplate the spaces between the spaces between things and compare the rhythm of rhetoric to the rhetoric of rhythm, while around them chickens feed on chestnuts, nuthatches nest in bicycle baskets, and budgerigars sulk themselves to sleep.

The second half features shorter stand-alone poems. Here, poetic form is given a playful reworking: a poem to be spoken in a single breath, a poem made entirely of questions, a series of three poems in the form of university mark schemes, and poems that explore the possibilities of the list as a verse form.


Critical-creative works

Spencer Jordan, Postdigital Storytelling
Routledge, 2019
Postdigital Storytelling offers a groundbreaking re-evaluation of one of the most dynamic and innovative areas of creativity today: digital storytelling. Central to this reassessment is the emergence of metamodernism as our dominant cultural condition. Postdigital Storytelling is of value to anyone engaged in creative writing within the arts and humanities. This includes scholars, students and practitioners of both physical and digital texts as well as those engaged in interdisciplinary practice-based research in which storytelling remains a primary approach.
Oxford University Press, 2017
Novel Style is driven by the conviction that elaborate writing opens up unique ways of thinking that are endangered when expression is reduced to its leanest possible forms. By re-examining the works of essential English stylists of the late twentieth century (Anthony Burgess, Angela Carter, Martin Amis), as well as a newer generation of twenty-first-century stylists (Zadie Smith, Nicola Barker, David Mitchell), Ben Masters argues for the ethical power of stylistic flamboyance in fiction and demonstrates how being a stylist and an ethicist are one and the same thing. A passionate championing of elaborate writing and close reading, Novel Style illuminates what it means to have style and how style can change us.


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