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Cultural Studies and Humanities


Cultural Studies and Humanities

Cultural Studies and Humanities focuses on research into English Literature, History, including social and cultural history, Media and Cultural Studies, including Policy and Planning.

With over 30 research-active staff we are a major centre for academic research at Leeds Beckett. In the Research Assessment Exercise of 2008, we were ranked 8th in the country in Unit 66 (Communication, Cultural and Media Studies) for the excellence of our work in the Research Fortnight rankings, and we have more than maintained our profile since then. During the last four years colleagues in the School have published more than 15 books and a very wide range of journal articles and other similar publications.

Our work includes the disciplines of History and English and Media – but it is also interdisciplinary work which raises questions about the limits of our disciplines. We cover a very wide range of topic areas, all of which have elements of research excellence in them.

We have strong groupings of staff and very well-developed interests in the following areas:

Postcolonial Cultures – the interdisciplinary study of the histories and cultures of Britain’s often-fraught relationship with the wider world. Around 10 of the School’s staff are strongly focused on this area of research. As part of this strand, the School is home to one of the editors of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Dr Susan Watkins . An interesting publication in this area is Robert Burroughs’ Travel Writing and Atrocity (Routledge).

Environmental Cultures - the stories, histories and media interventions in questions of environment (broadly understood as that which surrounds us – our natural environment and what happens to people when that environment changes; our media environment – the effects on people of the consumption of and participation in particular forms of media output; and our broader cultural environment – the policy and planning effects on the places we live that local and national governments can have on us all). The School is home to the editor of the major journal in environmental history, edited by Dr Stephen Mosley Environmental History

In addition recent staff publication highlights include: Neil Washbourne’s, Mediating Politics (Open University Press/McGraw Hill), Shane Ewen’s Fighting Fires (Palgrave), Lisa Taylor’s A Taste for Gardening (Ashgate) and Peter Mills’ Hymns to the Silence (Continuum), a study of the music and influence of Van Morrison.

Cultures of Gender and Sexuality – Cultural Studies and Humanities has a long history of research into questions of how people inhabit their bodies, and how they relate to their world based on their gendered and sexed identities. A great deal of our research output has been focused on these elements – recent highlights include Dr Susan Watkins’s book Doris Lessing (MUP) and Prof Ruth Robbins’s Oscar Wilde (Continuum).

Culture Studies