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Our research

English, Theatre and Creative Writing at Birkbeck is first in London and second nationally for its 100% four star research environment and impact in REF2021, the national research excellence framework.

Our researchers look back to the Middle Ages and forward to the future. From local to global, our research is transforming cultural study, criticism and creative practice.

Our work bridges creative writing, cultural history, literary studies and theatre studies. We have particular strengths in archival literary and historical study, critical ‘race’ studies and work with displaced people, digital publishing and editing; gender and sexuality studies; material and visual cultures; medical humanities; performance studies and theatre directing; science fiction and science writing; and creative writing in all genres. We are home to the pioneering open-access journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, the Open Library of the Humanities, and the digital Creative Writing Hub, MIROnline.

We support one of the largest postgraduate communities in the country, with a portfolio of specialist MAs, MFAs, and an MPhil/PhD programme. Postgraduate study is energised by innovative doctoral training events and courses and internship opportunities. Our purpose-built facilities include the Peltz GalleryBirkbeck Cinema, and a theatre and performance space.

Sample, participate and find out more at our free annual arts festival: Arts Week.

Key information

Research institutes and centres

Our academics and researchers work together via a wide range of networks, groups and societies. These cut across departments, subjects and areas of expertise, to encourage and enable innovative, interdisciplinary research. 

Open access publications 

Research projects 

Our staff are engaged in a wide range of research projects, including:

Other recent staff research projects and books 

Explore recent staff research projects: Animate AssemblyConceiving HistoriesA Violent World of Difference.

The newest books from our staff include: Settlements and Strongholds in Early Medieval BritainModernism and Physical IllnessSick BooksRadical AttentionJonathan Lethem and the Galaxy of WritingTomorrow Sex Will be Good Again.


We have formed a number of key collaborations and partnerships to support our research.

Key partners that we have worked with recently are the ICANational GalleryWellcome Collection and Camden People's Theatre.

We have also networked with CHASEBloomsbury Colleges GroupOpen Society University Network and The University of London/School of Advanced Study.

Additional information