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Research centre

Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing (CMCW)

Rows of books on shelves in a library

The Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing supports interdisciplinary research on 20th and 21st-century writing and culture.

Part of English, Film, History, Music


The CMCW brings together a diverse cohort of academics, writers, and research students with interests in the relations between writing and contemporary culture in all its forms. 

We take an interdisciplinary approach to writing and culture, forging new ways of thinking about the connections between contemporary literature and the sciences, law, aesthetics, space, maritime studies, ethics, medicine, finance, Jewishness, visual culture, popular culture, gender, music, postcolonialism, critical theory, politics and philosophy. 

Recognised by major external grants and published at the highest levels internationally, our research projects are shaping public policy, cultural landscapes, and critical debates. 

We are committed to engaging academics, researchers and public audiences in the literary production of our time. Coming from many different perspectives and bringing diverse critical attitudes to bear on a vast array of topics, we work together to foster engagement and stimulate interest in the writing and critical reading of contemporary literature.


CMCW staff are involved in many collaborations at national and international level. We also have links with local arts institutions and organisations, including:

John Hansard Gallery

John Hansard Gallery is an internationally recognised contemporary art gallery based at the University of Southampton. We have worked with the gallery on projects including the Entropics experimental poetry events and the Writers in Conversation reading series.


SO:Write is a multi-strand literature development strategy and delivery programme based in Southampton. It provides a wide range of activities for people from primary age to university graduates and professional writers.

We welcome the contributions of external partners and cultural institutions and are always seeking new connections.


The research group has a wider community through its Twitter page. We are open to collaborating on events and sharing knowledge across disciplines. Our portfolio of work can be found here.

People, projects and publications


Dr Aiysha Jahan

Part Time Lecturer

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh


Accepting applications from PhD students

Miss Anoushka Alexander-Rose

Research interests

  • Vladimir Nabokov
  • Russian émigré literature
  • The Jewish 'Other' in the text 

Ms Carole Burns MFA

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Fictional writing
  • The short story
  • The novel

Accepting applications from PhD students

Damini Bhattacharya

Research interests

  • Postcolonialism (with a focus on South Asia)
  • Gender studies
  • Subaltern studies

Dr Devorah Baum

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Marriage – in literature, memoir, film, art, psychoanalysis, feminism and philosophy.
  • Docufiction (cinema) and life-writing/autofiction (literature).
  • Humour – joking, comedy (especially in relation to e.g. language theory, politics, religion, sex).

Accepting applications from PhD students

Dr Eleanor Jones PhD

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Disability studies and disability history
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Race

Accepting applications from PhD students

Dr Emily-Rose Baker

Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Holocaust studies 
  • Film philosophy and ethics 
  • Central and Eastern Europe

Accepting applications from PhD students