The English Literature Department pursues internationally recognised research across the historical spectrum.
Our distinctive strengths lie in the areas of Book and Publishing Studies; Early Modern Literature; Poetry and Poetics; Recovered Voices and Minor Perspectives; Samuel Beckett Studies; and Science, Literature and Culture.
The particular methodology which runs across several of these areas is empirical research based upon archival work. The University of Reading Special Collections Service has world-leading holdings in publishers’ archives and in Samuel Beckett material; but in other areas also, the curation and exploration of archives provides a major research impetus. The ongoing, Leverhulme-funded, "Diasporic Literary Archives Project", one strand of our "Recovered Voices" theme, provides one telling example of this emphasis.
Current and future plans include collaborative projects on Early Modern Verse Miscellanies, Early Modern Sermons, the Henslowe-Alleyn Project, the Modernist Archives Publishing Project, and the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project.