• Literature and Cultures

UCLan’s Literature and Cultures staff are internationally respected scholars with particular expertise in American literature and culture, British literature and non-British European writings. Our experts in British literature have focused on modern and contemporary poetry and contemporary fiction, while our scholarship in Creative Writing is backed by our staff’s publication of novels and poetry collections and stagings of their plays.

Thus, our Americanists have been working on such areas as the Black Atlantic culture, memorialisation and African American slavery, African American visual arts, comedy and humour, the Civil War in US culture, the culture of the 1970s, radical American protest music and American theatre and performance (including its British connections). Our experts in British literature have focused on modern and contemporary poetry, contemporary fiction, and Shakespeare and performance, while our scholarship in non-British European writings includes work on Albert Camus, Frederico García Lorca and narratives of the Holocaust.

Our staff have been awarded a number of British, American and European Research Fellowships by such bodies as the AHRC, the British Academy, the Broadcast Music Industry Foundation and the European Union. We are often called upon for peer review by funding organisations, major academic publishers and leading academic journals on both sides of the Atlantic.


Expertise and Subject Areas

  • Dr Robert Duggan: contemporary British fiction and the grotesque
  • Dr Anna Richardson Hunter: Contemporary Holocaust narratives
  • Professor Will Kaufman: Woody Guthrie and US protest music; the American 1970s; the Civil War in American culture; US comedy and humour; transatlantic studies
  • Dr Yvonne Reddick: Ted Hughes and his influences; environmental literature; poetry and creative writing
  • Professor Alan Rice: slavery memorialisation; the Black Atlantic; African American visual arts
  • Dr Theresa Saxon: American theatre history; transatlantic performance
  • Dr Naomi Kruger: Creative writing and the novel
  • Dr Philip Braithwaite: Creative writing, specialising in scriptwriting (stage and screen)
  • Dr Raphael Hoermann: the Black Atlantic and the Haitian Revolution


We are demonstrably committed to extending the reach and significance of our research beyond the bounds of academia, as witnessed in:

  • Stuart Hampton-Reeves’s directorial and advocacy activities on behalf of the British Shakespeare Association;
  • Will Kaufman’s internationally acclaimed performance pieces and “live documentaries” on Woody Guthrie;
  • Alan Rice’s advisory roles, curatorship and exhibition work on slavery and the Black Atlantic with such eminent organisations as the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool and the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester;
  • Theresa Saxon’s public lectures on nineteenth-century American theatrical performance.

Publications and Outputs

Robert Duggan is the author of The Grotesque in Contemporary British Fiction (Manchester University Press, 2013) as well as numerous articles on contemporary British novelists.

Yvonne Reddick has published book chapters and journal articles on Ted Hughes, Frederico García Lorca and Henry Williamson.

Anna Richardson Hunter has published essays on Holocaust narratives in such journals as Modernism and Modernity, Synthesis and the European Journal of English Studies.

Will Kaufman’s books include The Comedian as Confidence Man: Studies in Irony Fatigue (Wayne State University Press, 1997), The Civil War in American Culture (Edinburgh University Press, 2006), American Culture in the 1970s (Edinburgh University Press, 2009), Woody Guthrie, American Radical (University of Illinois Press, 2011), Woody Guthrie’s Modern World Blues (2017) and Mapping Woody Guthrie (2019).

Alan Rice has written among many books, books chapters and journal articles, Radical Narratives of the Black Atlantic (Continuum, 2003) and Creating Memorials, Building Identities: The Politics of Memory in the Black Atlantic (Liverpool University Press, 2010); he co-edited, with Martin Crawford, Liberating Sojourn: Frederick Douglas and Transatlantic Reform. (University of Georgia Press, 1999) and co-curated an exhibition on “Trade and Empire” for the Whitworth Gallery.

Theresa Saxon has published American Theatre: History, Content, Form (Edinburgh University Press, 2011) as well as articles on nineteenth-century American theatre, pantomime and burlesque.

Naomi Kruger has published the novel, May (2018).

Raphael Hoermann publishes scholarly articles on the Haitian Revolution and its representation in transatlantic culture.

Philip Braithwaites playscripts have won awards from the BBC World Service and the British Council, among other prestigious award bodies.



Events and News

In 2019 we were proud to welcome Dr Astrid Haas and Dr Nicole Willson as Research Fellows. Dr Haas specializes in travel writing and autobiography of the Americas, African Diaspora and Latinx Studies, Gender, and Science Studies, and is with us under the auspices of a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship. Dr Willson is currently a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow specialising in the intersection of Black Studies, Haitian Studies and American and Caribbean Cultural Studies.

Courses and Postgraduate Study

MA by Research

Our MA by Research allows you to choose your specialism in English literature and culture (including theatre and drama), critical theory, English language and creative writing – or a combination of these areas.

You will be joining an established research team and will have the opportunity to work with internationally-recognised scholars and researchers who are specialists in their fields. Our expertise is wide-ranging and includes:

  • Literature and theatre from the Renaissance to the present
  • The Black Atlantic
  • Film and television literary adaptations
  • American folk music
  • Critical and literary theory
  • Creative writing: poetry, fiction, autobiography/life-writing and playwriting

The MA by Research will provide you with the opportunity to develop a wide set of skills applicable to many professions. Our graduates have gone on to enjoy careers in theatre production, national government, teaching in further and higher education, and also as published authors.

Recent success from within the English subject team includes: 

  • Literature/Culture projects in the spatial dynamics of the American home; African American women’s literature; Canadian women’s literature; the Chicago cityscape; Philip K Dick and Alain Badiou 
  • Creative projects in fantasy literature and tragedy; fantasy literature and meta-fiction; regional drama

How the Masters by Research works: 

  • You will be appointed a director of studies, who will be a specialist in the subject area. Your director will help you through the process, including the research methods that you will need to complete your project successfully. Your director will help you construct your literature review and develop an enhanced understanding of relevant critical and theoretical frameworks for your study.
  • You will also be assigned a supervisory team, which will include scholars with interests in your area of research. 
  • You will be provided with a practical study structure through seminars and workshops to enhance research methods, postgraduate writing, and knowledge of important critical theories, creative practice and the application of project-specific skills such as archival research.
  •  The main outcome from your studies will be your dissertation/project, an extended study of your chosen topic of approx. 25,000 words (or equivalent for creative writing projects).

The Study Structure: 

  • We run a regular series of seminars addressing the methodologies and subject-specific theoretical practices relevant to your chosen area of study. The seminars provide a sense of group identity with other researchers as you undertake your individual research project and allow you to share your progress, experience the work of other students and introduce you to potential interdisciplinary perspectives that may enhance your own work.
  • You will also receive training on developing your own career, with support from our established researchers.
  • You will be guided in the preparation of conference paper proposals and delivery and encouraged to consider publication outlets from the earliest stages of your study.
  • Subject-specific seminars are complimented by a series of training sessions aimed to develop your research potential and help you get the most out of your research degree experience.


Dr Robert Duggan, Senior Lecturer in English

Dr Will Kaufman, FRSA, FHEA, Professor of American Literature and Culture

Dr Yvonne Reddick, Senior Research Fellow in English

Dr Alan Rice, National Teaching Fellow and Professor of English and American Studies

Dr Theresa Saxon, FHEA, Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Dr Naomi Kruger

Dr Raphael Hoermann

Dr Robin Purves

Dr Philip Braithwaite