Our Research

When you study with us, you will be part of a teaching and learning environment that is driven by world-class research. All our staff are active researchers in their fields and throughout your studies you will be taught by some of the UK’s leading scholars in creative writing and literary studies.

Our research forms the basis of our teaching and our research interests are as broad and dynamic as our curriculum. You will be taught by the people who write the books on the subjects you are learning about, by the people who wrote the poetry, novels, short stories, non-fiction, scripts, and graphic novels that you read, and by the scholars who analyse and interrogate such works.

We draw upon an extensive network of national and global connections and collaborations, working with academics and creative practitioners from around the world on exciting and innovative projects. Click on the tabs below to find out more.


Our research themes and current projects

Our research is organised under two broad thematic strands out of which a diverse array of innovative projects emerge.

Place and Belonging builds on the Leverhulme-funded Devolved Voices project and our research activity in the area of Welsh Writing in English. This activity includes literary production in contemporary poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction as well as critical analysis, collaboration with relevant external stakeholders, and interdisciplinary enquiry. Researchers are working on the diverse ways in which literature and writing emerge out of/sits within real and imagined locations and raises questions of belonging. Such questions are understood variously in terms of memory, geographical rootedness/rootlessness, and real or imagined communities, including communities of interest and expertise, age, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.

Emotional Lives showcases innovation in areas pertaining to points of contact between STEMM/Social Sciences and diverse areas of critical and creative enquiry: literary history, textual production, memory studies, gender studies, life writing, and translation Researchers are working across critical and creative responses to an array of issues connected with inner and private lives, as well as the crossover between inner lives and the public sphere. Our sense of private and personal space, and the psychoanalytic theories and interpretations that underpin such readings, has prompted significant work examining the relationship between health, pain, and creativity. This thematic focus has been particularly successful in generating opportunities for dynamic public engagement and pathways to impact underpinned by diverse research activity: communicating physical and psychological pain; sustainable communities; agricultural, economic, and future security.

You can find out more about specific ongoing work via our projects videos.



Our Research Centres

The Centre for Contemporary Poetry (ContemPo)
‘ContemPo’, which was founded in 2006, is the everyday or ‘working’ title of the Centre for Contemporary Poetry, which is a collaborative research centre co-ordinated by the English Departments of Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Plymouth University and the Universities of Brighton and Surrey. ContemPo is a ‘critical/creative’ grouping devoted to the interests of poets who are also academics, academics who are also poets, and those who are ‘merely’ one or the other. ContemPo has a special (but not exclusive) interest in investigating experimental and performance poetries and their poetics. The Centre's core-activity is a programme of video-linked papers, seminars, and performances by academics, postgraduate students, and invitees of the three full-member institutions. For further information visit the ContemPo web site.

The David Jones Centre
The David Jones Centre supports research on the history and impact of Modernism in Wales and, more broadly, on the creative interaction of word and image, the textual and the visual. The Centre hosts an annual conference and seminar, and seeks to promote the exciting possibilities for new research offered by the literary and artistic archives at the National Library of Wales. If you would like more information, please contact Luke Thurston.

The Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)
The Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) is part of the research and enterprise partnership between Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities. It was launched in 2006 and is a collaborative interdisciplinary research institute. IMEMS brings together researchers and postgraduate students from both Universities working in the fields of history, literature, music, theology and Celtic studies, in the period 500-1800.

Its core activities include a fortnightly video-link research seminar which is broadcast live across Wales. IMEMS also organises conferences, workshops and colloquia, which are attended by scholars from around the world. IMEMS provides a lively research environment for postgraduate students, whether at Masters or PhD level. With the regular programme of research seminars, student-led workshops and postgraduate training sessions, IMEMS offers a supportive and stimulating context for postgraduate work in medieval and early modern studies. For further information visit the IMEMS web site.

National Library of Wales Collections

The National Library of Wales (NLW) is one of the UK's major copyright libraries and, with its site adjoining the campus, it's a short and pleasant stroll from the Department to access a wealth of published and manuscript material. The National Library is a major asset to all of our students and they will receive a warm welcome there.

If you are interested in applying to one of our Postgraduate Research programmes then the National Library might well become your new home and we strongly recommend that you take a look at the collections your research could benefit from. Some select highlights include the Welsh Writers in English archive which includes personal papers and manuscripts belonging to Dylan Thomas, Raymond Williams, Jan Morris, and Brenda Chamberlain (amongst others); the Archives of Literary Organisations, Journals, and Publishers; and the largest archival collection of Berta Ruck manuscripts and papers (including drafts of her 1972 autobiographical work Ancestral Voices after which one of our core first year modules is named). Learn more about NLW's holdings.