MA
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017

Modern and Contemporary Literature, Culture and Thought

Explore how literature has shaped and been shaped by modern and contemporary culture.

You have the opportunity to choose from modules reflecting on:  

  • modernism and postmodernism 
  • theory and practice
  • contemporary history and archives
  • canonicity and avant-gardism
  • aesthetic production
  • globalisation
  • identity politics (sexuality, gender, race, class)
  • conflict (terrorism, war).

English at Sussex enjoys a longstanding, illustrious reputation in modernist and contemporary studies. This MA is associated with the Centre for Modernist Studies, which has been running for over 15 years. Our faculty's research is resonant, original, diverse and internationalist. These are qualities we prioritise in our teaching.

Sussex’s approach to English is intelligent and open minded, with a broad interdisciplinary approach that leads to satisfying illuminations and unexpected areas of study.”Will Long
Modern and Contemporary Literature, Culture and Thought MA

Key facts

  • Our research quality in English and Drama was ranked in the top 10 in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • English at Sussex is ranked in the top 15 in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2018The Complete University Guide 2018 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017) and in the top 100 in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.
  • Your teaching is underpinned by the interdisciplinary research carried out in centres such as the Centre for Modernist Studies and the Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies.

How will I study?

You’ll choose from a wide range of options in the autumn and spring terms. In the summer term, you undertake supervised work on your dissertation.

Modules are assessed through presentations and essays of up to 5,000 words. You also write a 15,000-word dissertation.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to study this course full time or part time. Find the modules for the full-time course below. 

For details about the part-time course structure, contact us at englishpg@sussex.ac.uk

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Dissertation (English MA programmes)

      60 credits
      Summer Teaching, Year 1

      This module gives you the opportunity to undertake supervised work on a dissertation of up to 20,000 words, on a topic of your choice agreed with your supervisor. If you are a part-time student, you will begin your background reading for the dissertation in the first summer term and vacation of your studies.

    Options

    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • American Poetry after Modernism: Retreat? Redirection? Rediscovery?

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      This module explores the development of American poetry and poetics in the wake of British and American Modernist writing. Beginning with Charles Olson's groundbreaking essay 'Projective Verse' (1950), we continue to consider the emergence of chance-generated and collaboratively-produced texts (John Cage, Jackson Mac Low); the tensions between a racialized 'Black Arts' movement (LeRoi Jones / Amiri Baraka) and the quotidian, queer poetics of the New York School (Frank O'Hara, Barbara Guest, John Ashbery); and the work of geographically-based poetic communities such as Black Mountain, Beat, and San Francisco Renaissance 'schools'. The relation of the poets' theories of poetry to their work is a central concern throughout. The final three weeks of the module will be devoted to reading books by contemporary poets such as Harryette Mullen, Linh Dinh, and Kevin Davies for whom postmodern theories of subjectivity play a central concern in terms of addressing poetry's relationship to questions of race, gender, and class.

    • Bearing Witness: Terror and Trauma in Global Literature

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      The module explores the representation of terror, trauma and testimonial address in a range of contemporary international literary texts. Through a textual and contextual study of these works, key issues such as the non-narratability of trauma, the ethics of speaking for the other, the intersection between the politics of reading, writing and bearing witness, the creation of cross-cultural communities in the representation and reading of trauma, and the relationship between gender, intimacy and the representation of the body in pain, will be studied in relation to critical readings from terror and trauma studies.

      The range of literary texts reflects the global cultural reach of the module, from postcolonial texts from a wide range of cultural locations to literatures that engage with critical discourses generated by the Holocaust and the War on Terror. Opening with an emphasis on cross-cultural connections and critical readings, the focus on historical positioning becomes more pronounced as the module proceeds.

    • Blackness, Innocence, Modernity

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

    • British Modernism

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      During this module you explore the achievements and limits of Modernism. Our focus will be on work made in Britain, and there will be a spatial dimension to our discussions. We consider the importance of the metropolis in the development of modernism, as well as modernism's national, regional and local dimensions. We draw on sites in and around Sussex. You study work by Eliot and Woolf among other poets and novelists. The module is interdisciplinary – comparisons will be made between innovations in the visual arts and in writing – and you engage with current and past criticism of modernism.

      You analyse the formal features of modernist works. Modernist experimentation is situated in a historical context, and you consider how modernism intersects with developments in technology, thinking about gender, mass culture, psychoanalysis and philosophy. You also examine modernist responses to key events of the period, including the First and the Second World Wars. The focus is on the early and mid-twentieth century, but you also think about the legacies of modernism and question these temporal perimeters.

    • Critical Issues in Queer Theory

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      Queer theory and/or queer studies, which first emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, brings poststructuralist epistemologies and radical political sensibilities to the social, cultural, and historical study of sexuality – and, indeed, the study of eroticism, relationality, and kinship more broadly.

      This module provides you with the opportunity to gain an overview of key concepts and debates in queer theory and to read important queer theoretical texts in depth. We will discuss some foundational texts in queer theory and will explore some of the intellectual, social, cultural, and political contexts from which queer theory emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

      We will also explore a selection of key issues and approaches in contemporary queer studies, which might include:

      • transgender theories
      • affect studies
      • transnational contexts
      • theorisations of contemporary neoliberalism.

      Throughout this module you will work to build up a theoretical foundation that will allow you to attend in nuanced and informed ways to the politics of sexuality, relationship, and kinship as these politics are manifested and remade in texts and other cultural artefacts.

    • Literature and Society, 1750-1890

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      Literature & Society, 1750-1890 explores the interplay between the nationwide perspectives of social philosophy and the more individualistic concerns of literary culture in the late 18th and 19th centuries. It offers you a chance to make broad connections across the period, at the same time as providing you with in-depth knowledge of principal theoreticians of culture in these decades and their major works. Emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary works can be read in conversation with, and in opposition to, social theory with each seminar structured around close readings of an example of each style of writing.

    • Literature in the Institution: the university and the study of culture

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      We live, work and study in the midst of the large-scale transformation of education at local, national and international levels. A related (but not identicial) development is the growing, although certainly not new, 'crisis' of the humanities characterised by myriad explanations of just what it is that we do and by contentious justifications for just why do we do it. As students and scholars of literature and culture, we may wonder how these two interrelated phenomena came into being and what exactly the study of literatures and cultures can contribute to their resolution. This module will take on these questions through a range of approaches. We will consider the origins of the European research university and its connections to moral philosophy, the relatively recent development of the study of 'English' in the UK and its former colonies, the relationship between higher education and the 20th century welfare state, the uses of literary and cultural study as parts of social movements within and outside of the University, and contemporary debates about the privatisation and market-rationalisation of education.

    • Modernist and Contemporary Fictions

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      This module will explore the terms modernism and postmodernism, and the relationship between the two, by reading a range of novels which engage with issues of artistic form, subjectivity, and modernity. We'll ask a variety of questions including:

      • How has the 20th and 21st century novel represented the attempt to delineate the shape of individual lives through ‘portraits’?
      • What changes to the novel’s terrain have been effected by contemporary history, war, or historical trauma?
      • How useful is the term postmodernism for describing contemporary writing?
      • How have high and mass cultural forms, such as visual art, the cinema, the web, etc. influenced contemporary writing?
      • How do recent novels portray the aesthetic?
      • What different ideas of temporality do we find in modernist and postmodernist writing?
      • What versions of borrowing from the past do we find in modernism and postmodernism and what purposes do these borrowings serve?
      • Is there what the critic Andreas Huyssen has called a ‘great divide’ between modernism and postmodernism?
      • What continuities might we find between modernism and postmodernism (if those terms are still useful)?

      Authors read will include Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Virginia Woolf, Don DeLillo, J.M. Coetzee, Jonathan Coe and Marilynne Robinson.

    • New Configurations in Critical Theory

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      You explore a wide range of contemporary approaches in critical theory. These approaches have emerged from 20th-century philosophy, literary theory and psychoanalysis, as well as a variety of other disciplines.

      Our investigations are loosely mapped to four interrelated topoi—literature, aesthetics, politics, and science—and comprise a number of pressing theoretical issues. These are:

      • affect, biopolitics and 'life'
      • impersonality, animality and the posthuman,
      • the status of conceptual art
      • the earth, political ontology
      • the common and communism
      • new materialisms
      • science and the brain
      • networks and information
      • systems theory and complexity theory.

      Possible readings include the works of Deleuze, Guattari, Agamben, Badiou, Rancière, Esposito, Bennett, Malabou, Smithson, or Luhmann.

    • The Renaissance Body

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In early-modern England the body was a major intellectual preoccupation and a focal metaphor informing and shaping cultural structures and artefacts. This period, too, like the cusp of the 21st century, had a very distinctive conception of the person as a construct or artifice, as the product of social intervention and cultural organization. Engaging with interpretative models from the fascinating interdisciplinary field of cultural theory of the body, you will explore the aesthetics of embodiment through a range of literary and visual texts, unravelling the dense significance of the corporeal imagination of the Renaissance. Key themes include: body borders, the supernatural and society; gendered voices, sex and agency; the medical imagination; diabolic inversions (the witch's body); heroic and monstrous masculinities; transvestitism; mystical monarchy; diseased bodies; revolutionary corporealities; body, soul and mind; consuming bodies and eating communities; the fabricated body; and pornography.

    • Theory in Practice: Readings in Contemporary Theory and Literature

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      What is 'theory'? Although it goes in and out of fashion with the speed of rising or plunging hemlines, the use of theory, literary theory, or literary criticism as a way to read literary texts is always useful. And contrary to popular opinion, it's not the application of an arcane or secret language to garner a secret knowledge. Rather, it is a self-conscious and informed method of analysing the presuppositions behind the apparently natural way we read; indeed, sometimes it's a method of reading in itself, derived from a philosophy or theory of language, as is the case with Bataille or Derrida. Theory sounds dull, but really it's a creative practice, as is reading, which Walter Benjamin likened to telepathy.

      This module seeks, through a number of case studies, to address a number of critical paradigms that have proved significant in the post-war period. In particular, notions of materialism, materiality and historicity will be set in tension with ideas about relativism, deconstruction and 'play' as very different ways of construing some iconic American texts. Alongside the close reading of primary and secondary texts, discussions in class will be directed towards such subjects as: the construction/reflection of subjectivity in language and discourse; the relation of the literary text to sociality; the effects and efficacy of modernist/avant-garde/postmodern literary techniques; and the writing of race, gender and class.

    • American Poetry after Modernism: Retreat? Redirection? Rediscovery?

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module explores the development of American poetry and poetics in the wake of British and American Modernist writing. Beginning with Charles Olson's groundbreaking essay 'Projective Verse' (1950), we continue to consider the emergence of chance-generated and collaboratively-produced texts (John Cage, Jackson Mac Low); the tensions between a racialized 'Black Arts' movement (LeRoi Jones / Amiri Baraka) and the quotidian, queer poetics of the New York School (Frank O'Hara, Barbara Guest, John Ashbery); and the work of geographically-based poetic communities such as Black Mountain, Beat, and San Francisco Renaissance 'schools'. The relation of the poets' theories of poetry to their work is a central concern throughout. The final three weeks of the module will be devoted to reading books by contemporary poets such as Harryette Mullen, Linh Dinh, and Kevin Davies for whom postmodern theories of subjectivity play a central concern in terms of addressing poetry's relationship to questions of race, gender, and class.

    • ImagiNation: The Great American Novel

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      'The Great American Novel' became something of a shibboleth in the 20th century, for American writers and critics alike. Was it possible to capture the essence, as well as the diversity, of the American nation in fiction? And if so, how should this be done – in a novel of panoramic reach, such as John Dos Passos' USA to Don De Lillo's Underworld, or in representation of America's historico-political unconscious, such as Toni Morrison's Beloved or Jayne Anne Phillips' Machine Dreams, or could a topic so ostensibly small as family life come to take on the burden of representative American-ness, as in Jonathan Frantzen's The Corrections?

      In this course you will look at representations of American history in fiction-both film and literature-to discover how American fiction of the 20th and 21st centuries has represented American history, politics, and most of all national identity. Because of this subject matter, you will be taking on big novels, which may also be great –though the definition of 'greatness' will itself be part of your investigation, rather than a foregone conclusion. You will, for example, consider questions of representativeness as well as representation, and this will involve issues of gender, race and ethnicity, mainstream and margin, the local and the cosmopolitan. You will be drawing on cultural theory and historiography to put your reading and viewing into scholarly perspective.

    • International Modernisms, 1840-Present

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module will take a long view of modernism, one inextricable from the development of avant-garde aesthetics.

      Europe is often credited with the inception of experimental, self-reflexive artistic practice. In our reading, we will examine continental authors and aim to take a more global view of avant-gardism. We will attend to influential authors that are not often or readily considered in English-speaking university curricula. These writers – French, Italian, Russian, German, American, Spanish, Chilean, Argentine, and Caribbean – challenge, reinforce, and expand more familiar models of Anglo-American modernism.

      You will go beyond just reading manifestos and overviews of the Dadist movement – we will ask you not only to think about what Futurism is, but to closely read F.T. Marinetti's Mafarka the Futurist: An African Novel. The module encompasses fiction, drama, and poetry. All works will be read in English, and issues of translation and transmission will form part of our discussion.

    • Literature and Society, 1750-1890

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      Literature & Society, 1750-1890 explores the interplay between the nationwide perspectives of social philosophy and the more individualistic concerns of literary culture in the late 18th and 19th centuries. It offers you a chance to make broad connections across the period, at the same time as providing you with in-depth knowledge of principal theoreticians of culture in these decades and their major works. Emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary works can be read in conversation with, and in opposition to, social theory with each seminar structured around close readings of an example of each style of writing.

    • Literature in the Institution: the university and the study of culture

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      We live, work, and study in the midst of the large-scale transformation of education at local, national, and international levels. A related development is the growing "crisis" of the humanities, characterised by myriad explanations of what we do and contentious justifications for why do we do it.

      You may wonder how these two interrelated phenomena came into being – and what the study of literatures and cultures can contribute to their resolution. During this module you take on these questions through a range of approaches. We will consider:

      • the origins of the European research university and its connections to moral philosophy
      • the relatively recent development of the study of "English" in the UK and its former colonies
      • the relationship between higher education and the 20th-century welfare state
      • the uses of literary and cultural study as parts of social movements within and outside of the University
      • contemporary debates about the privatisation and market-rationalisation of education.
    • Modernist and Contemporary Fictions

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module will explore the terms modernism and postmodernism, and the relationship between the two, by reading a range of novels which engage with issues of artistic form, subjectivity, and modernity. We'll ask a variety of questions including: How has the 20th and 21st century novel represented the attempt to delineate the shape of individual lives through 'portraits'? What changes to the novel's terrain have been effected by contemporary history, war, or historical trauma? How useful is the term postmodernism for describing contemporary writing? How have high and mass cultural forms, such as visual art, the cinema, the web, etc. influenced contemporary writing? How do recent novels portray the aesthetic? What different ideas of temporality do we find in modernist and postmodernist writing? What versions of borrowing from the past do we find in modernism and postmodernism and what purposes do these borrowings serve? Is there what the critic Andreas Huyssen has called a 'great divide' between modernism and postmodernism? What continuities might we find between modernism and postmodernism (if those terms are still useful)? Authors read will include Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Virginia Woolf, Don DeLillo, J.M. Coetzee, Jonathan Coe and Marilynne Robinson.

    • New Configurations in Critical Theory

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module will explore a wide range of contemporary critical approaches that have emerged not only out of the influential work of 20th century philosophy, literary theory and psychoanalysis, but also from a variety of disciplinary quarters. Our investigations will be loosely mapped to four interrelated topics of literature, aesthetics, politics and science but comprise a number of pressing theoretical issues. These are: affect, biopolitics, 'life', impersonality, animality, the posthuman, the status of conceptual art, the earth, political ontology, the common and communism, new materialisms, science and the brain, networks and information, systems theory and complexity theory. Possible readings include the work of Deleuze, Guattari, Agamben, Badiou, Rancière, Esposito, Bennett, Malabou, Smithson or Luhmann.

    • The Uncanny

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The uncanny is difficult to define: it is mysterious, eerie, at once strange and familiar. It offers especially productive possibilities for exploring issues of identity and liminality, boundaries and interdisciplinarity. This module will engage with the uncanny across a wide range of texts and contexts, extending from literature (novels, short stories, drama and poetry) to film. Discussion will focus on a number of linked topics, including repetition, doubles, strange coincidences, animism, live burial, telepathy, death and laughter. 

      The module aims to develop your engagement with the notion of the uncanny across a broad range of literary and other texts; to develop your skills of reading and critical analysis, especially insofar as the uncanny by its nature engenders intellectual uncertainty and calls for an unusual critical patience; to enhance your capacity for critical reflection on their experience of the familiar and the strange, the ordinary and the extraordinary.

    • Theory in Practice: Readings in Contemporary Theory and Literature

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      What is 'theory'? Although it goes in and out of fashion with the speed of rising or plunging hemlines, the use of theory, literary theory, or literary criticism as a way to read literary texts is always useful. And contrary to popular opinion, it's not the application of an arcane or secret language to garner a secret knowledge. Rather, it is a self-conscious and informed method of analysing the presuppositions behind the apparently natural way we read; indeed, sometimes it's a method of reading in itself, derived from a philosophy or theory of language, as is the case with Bataille or Derrida. Theory sounds dull, but really it's a creative practice, as is reading, which Walter Benjamin likened to telepathy.

      This module seeks, through a number of case studies, to address a number of critical paradigms that have proved significant in the post-war period. In particular, notions of materialism, materiality and historicity will be set in tension with ideas about relativism, deconstruction and 'play' as very different ways of construing some iconic American texts. Alongside the close reading of primary and secondary texts, discussions in class will be directed towards such subjects as: the construction/reflection of subjectivity in language and discourse; the relation of the literary text to sociality; the effects and efficacy of modernist/avant-garde/postmodern literary techniques; and the writing of race, gender and class.

    • Voices in the Archives: Writing from History

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module you will consider how writers draw on history to shape their creative writing.

      You will think about how different literary genres engage with the past through form, narrative and literary language, and look at the cultural impact of contemporary historical fiction. You will also consider work by poets and film-makers.

      Authors studied may include Sarah Waters, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, Hilary Mantel, David Dabydeen, Mario Petrucci, George Szirtes and Michel Hazanavicius.

      You will take part in creative workshops and develop key research skills, exploring the methodological implications of using physical and virtual archives.

      You will work with historical newspapers, letters, diaries, prints, photographs and other documents to experiment with using language from the past to inflect contemporary voices.

      Topics for discussion include the critical and ethical implications of writing about real historical events and characters. You will consider how contemporary writing is founded on a long tradition of writing from history, often re-visiting the past with a particular political or creative agenda, from Shakespeare and Dickens onwards.

      You'll also explore how recent historical fiction interacts with other genres, for example in the fantasies of Susanna Clarke and Angela Carter and consider theoretical work on memory and nostalgia by critics such as Mieke Bal and Svetlana Boym.

Sussex postgraduate student Vidhi Sheth talks about her Modern and Contemporary Literature, Culture and Thought MA

Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in a subject relevant to the Masters degree

English language requirements

Higher level (IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Home: £7,700 per year

EU: £7,700 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £7,700 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Faculty

Meet the people teaching and supervising on your course.

  • Faculty profiles

    Dr Richard Adelman
    Senior Lecturer
    R.Adelman@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Aestheticism, Critical Theory and Marxism, Dramatic monologue, Eighteenth-century culture, Gothic, Idealist aesthetics, labour, Political economy, Repose, Romanticism, Victorian culture

    View profile

    Dr Sara Jane Bailes
    Reader in Theatre & Performance Studies
    S.J.Bailes@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Theatre and performance studies

    View profile

    Prof Peter Boxall
    Professor of English
    P.Boxall@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Modernist and contemporary writing

    View profile

    Dr Natalia Cecire
    Lecturer in English & American Literature
    N.Cecire@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: American Studies, English and American literature, Feminist theory, History and Philosophy of Science, Modern and contemporary American poetry

    View profile

    Prof Sara Crangle
    Professor of Modernism and the Avant-Garde
    S.Crangle@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Abjection, Affect Studies, Archives and Editing, Avant-Gardism, Bataille, Bathos, Dada, Everydayness, Experimental Poetry, Futurism, Gertrude Stein, Grace Lake/Anna Mendelssohn, High and Late Modernism, James Joyce, Levinas, Mina Loy, Nietzsche, Phenomenology, Satire, Virginia Woolf, Wyndham Lewis

    View profile

    Dr Sue Currell
    Reader in American Literature
    S.Currell@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: American History, American Studies, Cultural History, English and American literature, Twentieth Century Literature

    View profile

    Dr Alistair Davies

    H.A.Davies@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: English

    View profile

    Dr Denise Decaires Narain
    Senior Lecturer in English
    D.Decaires-Narain@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Caribbean women's writing

    View profile

    Prof Matthew Dimmock
    Professor of Early Modern Studies
    M.Dimmock@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: English literature 1500-1700, History, Islam, Otherness, Prophet Muhammad

    View profile

    Prof Andrew Hadfield
    Professor of English
    A.Hadfield@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Travel writing

    View profile

    Dr Andrea Haslanger
    Lecturer in 18th Century English Literature
    A.Haslanger@sussex.ac.uk

    View profile

    Dr Doug Haynes
    Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Visual Culture
    D.E.Haynes@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Affect Theory, American Modernism, American Visual Art, Critical Theory, Economic Theory, Fictions of Threat, Ideas of pornography, Ideas of security, Marxism, Modern and contemporary American literature, Postmodern Literature, Psychic phenomena as types of literature, Thomas Pynchon

    View profile

    Prof Margaret Healy
    Professor of Literature and Culture
    M.J.Healy@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: medical humanities, Renaissance studies, Shakespeare

    View profile

    Prof Tom Healy
    Professor of Renaissance Studies
    T.F.Healy@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Renaissance studies

    View profile

    Dr Michael Jonik
    Lecturer in English and American Literature
    M.Jonik@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: African American literature and culture, American Philosophy, American Studies, Continental Philosophy, Critical Theory, Critical Theory and Marxism, Deleuze, Early American Literature, Emerson, English and American literature, Foucault, Henry James, History of science, Intellectual History, Melville, Nineteenth-Century American Literature, psychoanalysis, systems theory, Systems Theory; Control, The Transatlantic Enlightenment, Theory of mind, Thoreau

    View profile

    Prof Daniel Kane
    Professor
    Daniel.Kane@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Modern and contemporary American poetry, Popular Music, US cinema and popular culture

    View profile

    Prof Maria Lauret
    Professor of American Literature and Culture
    M.Lauret@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: 20th C Americanisation in the US, African American literature and culture, Alice Walker, American feminism, American immigrant literature, American immigration, Bharati Mukherjee, Junot Diaz, multilingual literature, Richard Rodriguez

    View profile

    Prof Vicky Lebeau
    Professor of English
    V.A.Lebeau@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: cinema and childhood, image and text, NHS in literature and culture, psychoanalysis

    View profile

    Dr John Masterson
    Lecturer in World Literatures
    J.E.Masterson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: 20th and 21st Century Literature and Art, African American literature and culture, African diasporas, American immigrant literature, apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, English and American literature, Literary And Cultural Theory, Literature of Exile, Migrant and Diasporic Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Postcolonial Literature and Culture, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, postcolonial studies, South and Southern Africa, World literatures

    View profile

    Dr William McEvoy
    Senior Lecturer in English
    W.J.Mcevoy@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Contemporary Theatre, Playwriting, Site-specific theatre and performance, Theatre and Ethics, Theory and criticism, Writer-director relationship

    View profile

    Dr Rachel O'Connell
    Lecturer In Post 1350 English Literature
    R.C.O-Connell@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: disability, Gender And Sexuality Studies, Queer studies, Queer Theory

    View profile

    Dr Catherine Packham
    Senior Lecturer in English
    C.M.Packham@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Adam Smith, Eighteenth-century culture, Erasmus Darwin, Gender and Sexuality, History of political economy, History of science, Mary Wollstonecraft, Political economy, Scottish Enlightenment, Vitalism

    View profile

    Dr Chloe Porter
    Lecturer in English Literature
    C.Porter@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Art Theory & Aesthetics, Early modern drama, Early modern material culture, English literature 1500-1700, John Lyly, Materiality, Renaissance studies, Renaissance visual culture, Shakespeare, word and image debates

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    Dr Jason Price
    Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre and Performance
    J.Price@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Activist Performance, Aesthetics and Politics, Comedy, Contemporary Theatre, Dramaturgy, Marxism, Performance Histories, popular culture, Popular Theatre, Puppet Forms, Site-Specific and Public Art, Theatre and Community

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    Prof Nicholas Royle
    Professor of English
    N.W.O.Royle@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: English and American literature

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    Mr Martin Ryle
    Reader in English
    M.H.Ryle@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Modernism in late nineteenth century fiction

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    Dr Minoli Salgado
    Reader in English
    K.M.Salgado@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Biopolitics, Creative Writing, Human Rights Discourse, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, Salman Rushdie, South Asian Literature in English, Terror and Transnational Writing, Trauma studies

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    Prof Lindsay Smith
    Professor of English
    L.J.Smith@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Visual perception in the 19th century

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    Dr Samuel Solomon
    Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing
    Samuel.Solomon@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Contemporary Poetry, Creative and critical writing, Feminist theory, Gender and Sexuality, Literary And Cultural Theory, Marxism, Modernist and contemporary writing, Print Culture

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    Dr Bethan Stevens
    Lecturer in English and Creative & Critical Writing
    B.K.Stevens@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Book Illustration, Creative and critical writing, Historical Fiction, Modernism, Museum Studies, popular culture, The History of Printmaking, The Long Nineteenth Century, The Novel, The Short Story, Victorian culture, Word and Image Theory

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    Prof Keston Sutherland
    Professor of Poetics
    K.Sutherland@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Contemporary Poetry, Critical Theory, Marx, Philosophy, Poetics, psychoanalysis, Romanticism, Samuel Beckett, Wordsworth

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    Dr Pam Thurschwell
    Reader
    P.Thurschwell@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: adolescence in literature, English and American literature, Henry James, Literary And Cultural Theory, psychoanalysis, The supernatural (19th/20th century)

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    Dr Katie Walter
    Senior Lecturer in Medieval English Literature
    K.L.Walter@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Medieval English literature, Medieval literary theory, Medieval medicine, Reading practices, Reginald Pecock, The body, The senses, Vernacular theology, William Langland

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    Prof Marcus Wood
    Professor of English
    M.M.G.Wood@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Medical, Religious and literary traditions in late medieval England

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    Dr Tom Wright
    Senior Lecturer in English
    Tom.Wright@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: American History, American Studies, Cultural History, English and American literature, Media & Communication Studies, Multimedia - sound, Nineteenth century literature and culture, Victorian literature

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Careers

Graduate destinations

93% of students from the School of English were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our students have gone on to jobs including:

  • publications controller, Oxford University Press
  • web content developer, The British Library
  • bookshop manager, Waterstones.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

During your Literature and Philosophy MA your academic and research abilities improve as you become confident in written communication, independent thought and critical assessment. Your self-awareness grows, and you also develop practical skills in teamwork, flexibility and problem-solving.

Our graduates have gone on to careers in:

  • media production, advertising, marketing and PR
  • journalism, publishing and writing
  • libraries, archives, museums and teaching
  • charities, NGOs, the Civil Service and law.

A number of our graduates go on to further study and careers in academia. Some of our MA students have taken up funded doctoral study at universities including Cambridge, Bristol, Johns Hopkins, Pennsylvania, Yale and Sussex, among many others.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Contact us