The Department of Modern Languages unites staff from a range of specialisms, including the history, literature and politics of Europe and beyond, as well as the technicalities of language.

The combination of subject areas – Comparative Literature, French, German, Hispanic Studies, and Italian – ensures a dynamic research community, covering all the major aspects of European literature and culture. 

We host the Centre for Modern European Literature, which provides an active programme of events. Our staff participate in a number of research centres across the University.

All of our subject areas offer research programmes at doctoral level.

Modern Languages and Linguistics was ranked 3rd in the UK, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, with 85% of published research graded ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.


World-leading experts

Our international lecturers are highly respected in their fields. All are active researchers who contribute to contemporary debates through their publications.

Lecturer Dr Mathilde Poizant-Amar against a black background

Travel literature opens our minds to new worlds

A tap on a screen can reveal just about anywhere on earth, so why do we still read travel literature

research excellence

The high ranking achieved in the most recent Research Excellence Framework demonstrates the strength of our research. We continue to build on our success across all areas in Modern Languages.

Our research: Making a difference

We conduct high-quality research projects that engage wider communities both at home and abroad.

Our staff have won major funding awards from the Alexander von Humbolt Foundation, the British Academy, the Deutsches Literaturarchiv, the Leverhulme Trust, the Society for French Studies, and the Wellcome Trust. 

Our research covers a range of areas, including:

  • 19th and 20th-century literature
  • the avant-garde
  • modernism
  • realism
  • aesthetics
  • history
  • art
  • cinema
  • social media. 

We have ongoing research projects on the nation state in Peru, Italian psychiatry, and Spanish cinema.

Our interdisciplinary research often intersects and draws upon staff expertise in the departments of Comparative Literature and English Language and Linguistics. 

Visit our People page to discover more about our academic staff, their interests and activities, and how to contact them.