Research Themes

Gender, Sexuality and Representation

Led by Dr Daisy Black and Dr Nicola Allen.

This research group brings together staff and postgraduate students whose research and creative work covers gender, sexuality and representation.  This interdisciplinary and cross-period group is particularly committed to supporting and facilitating research into voices, texts and histories which have been neglected by the established canon, as well as to promoting voices from classes that are under-represented.

The forum encourages staff and postgraduate research growth through collaboration, peer mentorship and work-in-progress sessions, as well as promoting its transmission through seminars, research events and public events aiming to bring this important work to a wider audience.


Man and woman with masks in Adam and Eve play


Language, Power and Society

Led by Professor Meena Dhanda and Dr Ola Galasinska.

Language, Power and Society (LPS) brings into conversation practitioners of social theory, philosophical, linguistic and discourse analysis, to understand the construction and manifestation of power relations in society. A guiding theme is the idea that the language of power goes beyond discourse. Power is manifest in social practices, embodied expressions as well as ideologies, and lies hidden within symbolic structures, social and political institutions and hierarchies. In the context of this theme, members of LPS are working on aspects of migration, well-being, diversity, caste, gender, cultural politics, violence, the sacred, and political dogma.

Cultures across Borders

Led by Dr Benjamin Colbert and Dr Aidan Byrne.

The Cultures across Borders (CaB) research group incorporates research that investigates regional and cross-border writing, including an emphasis on the local Black Country linguistic and literary cultures, Welsh writing in English, American literature, travel writing, and ethnography. Border research also includes the psycho-social terrains of consciousness, the links between sensory perception and place, creativity and mental health. 



Countercultural Perspectives

Led by Dr Helen Davies and Professor Sebastian Groes

The cross-disciplinary Countercultural Perspectives research group hosts research expertise in culture that is suppressed, neglected or rejected by the mainstream. Although its work covers many different types of counterculture across periods – ranging from Suffragette writers and avant garde Sixties writing to explorations of gender and sexuality in the medieval period – the group is united by the principle that not only are academics important custodians of the overlooked, but we all also have a responsibility to uncover and protect marginalised voices and cultures.