English Research Groups

English Research Groups

English staff at Lincoln are currently undertaking research that spans six centuries and three continents, and are also highly productive in the field of creative writing. There are particular strengths in twenty-first century writing, nineteenth-century studies, drama, gothic literature, women's writing and utopian studies. English hosts two vibrant and productive research groups:

The Nineteenth Century Research Group

‌The Nineteenth-Century Research Group brings together academics to further interdisciplinary inquiry into the history, culture, and literature of the long nineteenth century. The co-chairs regularly organise the longstanding Nineteenth-Century Research Seminar series, in addition to running a new Short Fiction Reading Group.

The group is committed to the benefits of collaborative research, as well as working on individual projects. Issues addressed at group meetings have included celebrity, masculinities, the rural, Digital Humanities, museum cultures, women and theology, and neo-Victorianism – to name a few. We also interrogate the categories set by periodisation and disciplinarity.

Members have organised several conferences at Lincoln, including on the themes of life writing, travel, and ageing, all of which led to published essay collections or journal special issues. The group has pioneered interdisciplinary teaching in the humanities, through the development of research-led MA modules. We have a strong relationship with the Tennyson Research Centre, hosted by Lincolnshire County Council, with whom we collaborate on both teaching and research. The work of the Research Group is particularly (but not exclusively) aligned with the University’s Heritage Research Theme.

Members regularly obtain funding to pursue research. Recent awards held by members for nineteenth-century projects include a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship and BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, as well as a number of Visiting/Library Fellowships (e.g. at Chawton House Library, Houghton Library, Newberry Library, Gladstone Library, American Antiquarian Society, and Winterthur Museum). Members also serve in editorial positions for relevant journals, such as Victoriographies, the William Morris Studies Journal, Gaskell Journal, Gothic Nature, and on the Tennyson Publications Board.

The group fosters connections with academics beyond the University of Lincoln, since we regularly host external speakers from the UK and further afield, as well as welcoming colleagues locally from Bishop Grosseteste University, universities across the Midlands, and independent scholars from the region.

Group members are active on the committee of the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS), an international forum which facilitates scholarship in all aspects of the Victorian period, and the Midlands Interdisciplinary Victorian Studies Seminar committee (MIVSS), which unites scholars across the region. Several members are elected Fellows of the Royal Historical Society.

The Nineteenth-Century Research Group has a regular membership of staff and students within the University, as well as a wider membership of external participants. Visitors are also welcome to drop into sessions on an ad hoc basis. Please contact Dr Alice Crossley and Dr Laura Gill to be added to the mailing list.

See the Nineteenth-Century Research Group Blog for upcoming events. You can also follow us on Twitter: @19thCLincoln

We have a number of PhD students looking at different periods and aspects of the nineteenth century, and the members of the research group welcome applications for PhD/MPhil study. Please do get in touch with a member if you’re interested in studying for a PhD on any aspect of nineteenth-century studies that may be relevant to their research.

As well as staff, PhD students regularly share their research by giving papers at the research seminar series.


The cross-disciplinary research group resides in the School of English and Journalism, but operates through the work of co-chairs from disciplines across the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities:

Dr Alice Crossley (English)

Dr Pietro Di Paola (History)

Dr Laura Gill (English)

Annise Rogers (English) – PGR Co-ordinator

Please contact the organisers if you have any queries, are interested in giving a paper for the research seminar series, or would like to propose a text and lead discussion at the short fiction reading group. We welcome suggestions for future events, and are also interested in developing funding bids for collaborative research.


English and Journalism

Professor Lucie Armitt 
Dr Scott Brewster
Dr Owen Clayton
Dr Amy Culley
Dr Rebecca Styler
Professor Jason Whittaker 
Dr Renee Ward 

History and Heritage

Dr Erin Bell
Dr Jim Cheshire
Dr Kate Hill
Dr Sarah Longair
Dr Ian Packer 
Dr Finn Pollard 
Dr Jade Shepherd


Research Projects

Current and recent research topics from group members include:

  • London and the fin-de-siècle diaspora of Italian anarchists
  • Maternal ideas of God in the long nineteenth century
  • Museums and biographies
  • Tennyson and his publishers
  • Victorian literature and early photography
  • Women’s life writing, 1700–1850
  • Ageing and masculinity in Victorian fiction
  • Material culture and printed ephemera
  • Victorian Medievalism
  • Gothic literature and eco-gothic narrative
  • The reception of William Blake
  • Representations of homelessness
  • Nineteenth-Century visual culture
  • The history of nineteenth-century psychiatry, crime, and asylums
  • Neo-Victorianism and steampunk
  • British Empire in East Africa and the Indian Ocean world.


21st Century Research Group

The 21st Century Research Group brings together an interdisciplinary cluster of academics researching literary, digital, cultural, political, racial, and environmental mediations of the 21st Century. The group provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas about contemporary issues, theories and methodologies, and encourages the promotion of opportunities for research partnerships, collaborative funding bids, and peer support among its members. It also organises regular seminars and events such as postgraduate roundtables, exhibitions, and conferences. Members come from disciplinary backgrounds in English, Film and Media, Journalism, Political Sociology, Gender Studies, Creative Writing, and Fine and Performing Arts.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Kristian Shaw

Dr Peter Sloane

Over the last decade, the group has hosted the ‘What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English’ biennial conference series (2010-2016), the ‘As Above So Below’ colloquium on drone culture (May 2014), and co-hosted an international symposium on the work of playwright debbie tucker green at the Lincoln Arts Centre in 2015. The ‘What Happens Now’ conferences helped to provide a forum – and give shape to –an emerging community of contemporary literary studies scholars and was expanded into the international, biennial BACLS conference (2016-20). In recognition of Lincoln’s role in setting up this international conference, the BACLS-What Happens Now conference series includes a keynote ‘Lincoln Lecture’ as part of its proceedings.

Research produced and disseminated by group members has led to a monograph (Brexlit: British Literature and the European Project, Bloomsbury, 2021) and edited collections on Sir Kazuo Ishiguro and Hari Kunzru (21st Century Fictions series, Manchester University Press). The group has also pioneered interdisciplinary teaching in the Humanities through the development of research-led MA modules on the revalidated MA English Literature programme. We have a number of PhD students looking at different aspects of the twenty-first century, and welcome applications for PhD/MRes study.

Group organisers are also leading members of the College Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee, which works towards enhancing inclusive teaching, research and engagement activity at Lincoln.

Visit the 21st Century Research Group blog for upcoming events.

Research Projects 

Current and recent research topics from group members include:

  • Cultural and critical responses to Brexit
  • Gothic literature and the ghost story
  • The life and works of Sir Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Feminism and sexual violence
  • American detective fiction
  • Devolution in the United Kingdom
  • Contemporary women’s writing
  • The transglossic.