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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


Our diverse group includes academics, writers, and research students. We share an interest in writing and contemporary culture in all its forms.

We take an interdisciplinary approach to writing and culture. We forge new ways of thinking about the connections between contemporary literature and many other fields. These include the sciences, law, aesthetics, politics, ethics and critical theory. Additionally, we explore connections with space, maritime studies, medicine, finance and Jewishness. Our approach extends to visual culture, popular culture, gender, music, postcolonialism and philosophy.

Our research projects are recognised by major external grants and published internationally. They shape 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, we bring 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.


We have collaborations at national and international level. We also have links with local arts institutions and organisations, including:

John Hansard Gallery

John Hansard Gallery is a contemporary art gallery based at University of Southampton. It is an internationally recognised gallery which we have worked with on many projects. Highlights include 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 contributions by external partners and cultural institutions, and we are always seeking to make new connections.


The research group has a wider community through our Twitter page. We are open to collaborating on events and sharing knowledge across disciplines.

View our portfolio of work.

People, projects and publications


Dr Aiysha Jahan

Part Time Lecturer
Connect with Aiysha

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh


Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Alireza

Miss Anoushka Alexander-Rose

Research interests

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

Ms Carole Burns MFA

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Fictional writing
  • The short story
  • The novel

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Carole

Damini Bhattacharya

Research interests

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

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

Connect with Devorah

Dr Eleanor Jones PhD

Associate Professor

Research interests

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

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Eleanor

Dr Emily-Rose Baker

Research Fellow

Research interests

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

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Emily-Rose