English and Literary Studies
Research in English and Literary Studies is concerned with the creative expression of the world in novels, poems, plays, films and television. We address the creative texts that societies produce and ask what they mean. From Shakespeare to Netflix and from critical theory to creative writing, we take imagination seriously. Whether it’s imagining social inequality and environmental change, or simply what it means to be in love, creative works provide our deepest frameworks for understanding our lived experience and the lives of others. Studying literature makes you literate in the widest sense.
This discipline covers the literatures of Britain, America, Australia and postcolonial societies, and popular culture and film. We look at the rich history of the Western literary tradition, including Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf; writers who have done much to shape the way we live imaginatively in the world today. We also investigate the ways literature works in today's modern, digital and globalised landscapes.
Through their research, staff members explore a number of genres, historical periods and thematic areas, and are widely published in international journals, monographs and edited volumes.
Some of our current projects include:
- Literature After Mabo
Associate Professor Kieran Dolin explores the major shifts in Australian literature following the recognition of native title by the High Court of Australia in 1992.
- Literature and the Environment in Australia
Dr Tony Hughes-d’Aeth considers the way literature is connected to the Australian environment, particularly in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.
- The New Fortune Theatre
The courtyard of the Arts Building in UWA contains a replica of the Elizabethan Fortune Theatre. The area is being revitalised with a Shakespeare Garden and a new book about the history of the New Fortune Theatre.
- Children’s Literature and the Holocaust
Dr Ned Curthoys’ work examines the way difficult topics are introduced to children through children’s writing.
Community and Engagement
Community and Engagement
Since 1956, Westerly has been publishing lively fiction and poetry as well as intelligent articles.Read more
New Chair in Australian Literature appointed
Congratulations to Associate Professor Tony Hughes-d’Aeth appointed Chair in Australian Literature at The University of Western Australia.Read more
UWA alumna wins Journalist of the Year Award
Annabel Hennessy wins Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award for Jody Gore investigation Kill or Be Killed?Read more
From the page to the big screen
Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955 – 1964, awarded Cascade Films dealRead more
We welcome collaborations with organisations committed to the extension of reading and the study of literature. Get in touch to explore the possibilities.