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The University of Southampton
Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing

Study opportunities

Research students play an important part in the life of the Centre and are involved in all our research events. We are interested in supervising, mentoring, and collaborating on projects in all aspects of modern and contemporary writing and welcome applications in any area of our work. Research students contribute to lively departmental PGR Work in Progress Seminars (held online in 2020).

In 2018, CMCW postgraduate researchers, Lian Patston and Joseph Owen organised a ‘Fail Better’ reading group that sought out the trajectory of failure in contemporary art and literature. These events were funded by an award from the Humanities Graduate School.

In May 2017, three graduate students organised a Missing Woman Study Day. This event brought together work from across the Humanities that focuses upon women who are ‘missing’ from conventional discourse. Academics from a range of UK institutions joined with colleagues from the University of Southampton to promote discussion of women whose creative or historical contributions have been unjustly forgotten or overlooked.

Graduates have also collaborated with staff on many projects and events:

In February 2015 the Centre is hosting a Postgraduate Symposium for the ‘Contemporary Women’s Writing Network’ on Biomedical Science and the Maternal Body (featuring a talk by Professor Clare Hanson).

In November 2013 graduate students worked with staff in leading a Research symposium on ‘Culture and Disability’ followed by Poetry Reading at the John Hansard Gallery.

Between 2010-2007 Caroline Bergvall worked with our graduate students in events organized around her Writing in Tongues: Multi-Media and Poetic Projects.

Graduate papers from our 2006 conference, Pressure to Experiment, were published jointly with students in both Jacket and How2.

We look forward to developing further graduate-led and collaborative enterprises with our research students.

In parallel with our research, we are continually developing new undergraduate modules on contemporary topics. More information about individual undergraduate modules can be found on the Humanities Undergraduate website.

As an MA student in English Literary Studies at Southampton, you can choose to shape your course of study by following pathways in Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Literature or Postcolonial and World Literatures in 20th and 21st-century writing. Explore your options!

The University of Southampton Library’s Special Collections house various archives, including MS 328 Papers of F.T. Prince. The Rare Books collection contains copies of Blast magazine and rare volumes by Wyndham Lewis and George Orwell. There are also many modern and contemporary small-press poetry publications to be found in the general catalogue.


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