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Research in Comparative Literature and Culture

All our lecturers and professors graduated from top universities worldwide, have international reputations and combine excellence in teaching with the cutting-edge research which informs the courses  we design for our students. We win prizes for our books, publish widely, collaborate with Research Councils, write blogs and appear in the media. Our research in Comparative Literature and Culture is impressively interdisciplinary, spanning literature, cinema, visual arts and thought, and a huge variety of places, periods and genres, always adopting innovative critical perspectives. With seminars, grant-attracting collaborative research networks and guest lectures at Royal Holloway, our vibrant research environment encourages collaboration and exchange across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Our world-leading research strengths were confirmed by the results of the most recent, nationally-conducted Research Excellence Framework (2014), which singled out our 'outstanding' or 'very considerable' impact  (defined as 'reach and significance'), and saw us ranked 9th in the country among Modern Languages departments, and top in London. All of our areas of expertise were also ranked in the top 10 for research quality in the Complete University Guide 2016.

What is more, as well as working together and with academics worldwide, we have a wide range of other partners (literary prize panels, art galleries, film councils). Royal Holloway is also the lead member of the TECHNE London and South-East Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) awards. TECHNE comprises seven universities and is one of the 11 AHRC Doctoral Training Partnerships. TECHNE's vision is to produce scholars who are highly motivated and prepared for academic, public or professional life. Its students will benefit from a diverse range of training workshops and opportunities to engage with partners in the arts and cultural sector. If you are interested in applying for a TECHNE award, the first step is to speak to a prospective supervisor or the Director of Graduate Studies. There are around 50 awards per annum for students who are applying to undertake PhD study. Students who apply for a TECHNE award will be considered automatically for a College Scholarship but you must apply concurrently to the relevant institution. For more information, visit, https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/researchdegrees/feesandfunding/scholarships/ahrc.aspx and http://www.techne.ac.uk//

Our postgraduates play a vital and active role in our research culture, and we run an annual Postgraduate Colloquium showcasing the work of our MA by Research and PhD students. Academics and students alike benefit form the active role we play in LINKS (London Intercollegiate Network of Comparative studies) with its vibrant and inclusive seminar series bringing together academics and students from across the University of London to discuss the latest developments in Comparative Literature and Culture and to enjoy talks, roundtables and panels by world-renowned speakers.

We are always delighted to talk about our research, collaboration and postgraduate supervision, so please do get in touch with the team!

Professor Colin Davis - Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Culture
Dr Ruth Cruickshank - Senior Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature and Culture
Dr Danielle Sands - Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Thought
Professor Eric Robertson - Professor of Modern French Literary and Visual Culture
Professor James Williams - Professor of Modern French Literature and Film
Professor Sarah Wright  - Reader in Hispanic Studies 
Professor Giuliana Pieri - Reader in Italian and Visual Arts
Dr Joe Harris - Reader in Early Modern Studies
Dr Emily Jeremiah - Senior Lecturer in German and Gender Studies
Dr Jon Hughes – Senior Lecturer in German and Comparative Literature and Culture

Dr James Kent - Lecturer in Hispanic Studies

Here you can explore some of our many research activities, projects, publications and events.

Research in French

Godard stencil

Explore our research in French Studies.

Research in German

Portrait of Goethe by Tischbein

Explore our research in German studies.

Research in Hispanic Studies

Spanish National Library Madrid

Explore our research in Hispanic Studies


Research in Italian


Explore our research in Italian Studies.

Trauma Fiction History

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin

Our interdisciplinary seminar series. 

The Italian Academies


The successful AHRC- funded project on the world's first intellectual networks.


The Cult of the Duce

Catalogue Cover - Against Mussolini

The AHRC-funded project on Mussolini and his legacy.

Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2015


A new project funded by an AHRC networking grant.

Making Space for Art


HARC Fellowship 2014-15 




Our one-day symposium on the work of the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni

The Flâneur


A podcast archive of our 2012 seminar series on The Flâneur.

Lynne Segal, 'The Age of Desire, the Desires of Aging'


Each year a distinguished speaker delivers a keynote address at the SMLLC postgraduate colloquium. In 2014 the speaker was Professor Lynne Segal.






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