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Overview

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The Department of English and Cultural Studies has a thriving research culture with many staff scoring 3* or 4* in RAE 2008. We anticipate a strong submission to the REF in 2014. We have high aspirations for both our staff and our students and aim to create an environment where intellectual enquiry and innovative thinking can flourish.

Our research environment

The research in the Department is supported by our research centres in Writing and the Environment, Contemporary Writing, and Book, Text and Place, 1500-1750 (see http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/humanities-and-cultural-industries/research/). The centres organise conferences at Bath Spa, present papers and panels at external conferences, submit collaborative bids, and act generally as a focal point for a range of research activities. Alongside the research centres, at departmental level,  a collective research culture is fostered by biannual away-days devoted to presentations of research by staff and postgraduate students.

Castle Archway

Castle Archway

Staff research is also facilitated by our Library’s extensive digital collections (we subscribe to EEBO, ECCO, ODNB, OED and the Brotherton and Perdita MSS, amongst other resources) backed up by a physical library with specialist strengths in contemporary writing and  environmental writing and ecocriticism as well as a growing collection of early printed books. Staff are well networked: several of our team are members of editorial boards and advisory groups for journals and research organisations such as The London Journal, Gothic Studies, Green Letters, the Defoe Society,  the Joseph Conrad society, SHARP and ASLE. The Department has close links with many libraries and archives of national importance as well as with more local bodies such as the Holburne and American Museums in Bath. We are developing literary heritage projects with the National Trust relating to Thomas Hardy’s homes in Dorset and Coleridge’s Cottage in Somerset as part of to the MA in Literature, Landscape & Environment.  We also collaborate with researchers in other UK and international HEIs: for instance, plans are underway to develop a distinctive taught MA in Book History and Digital Humanities with partners at the Bodleian and Folger Shakespeare Libraries.

Researchers are supported by the School's Research Co-ordinator and by the University’s Research Office, based at Corsham Court. PhD students are supported by the Graduate School and locally by the Department’s PhD Tutor. Staff in the Department have the best track record at Bath Spa University with regard to external funding bids, having been awarded a number of AHRC fellowships and grants from other bodies such as the British Academy in recent years. External income generation is a priority for all our researchers; we also support research in-house by yearly allocations of teaching relief, on the basis of a bidding process.

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