If you’re passionate about exploring North American and Atlantic literature and culture, the University of Exeter is the place for you. Whether you’re thinking about an undergraduate degree or committed to studying towards a PhD, we have a wealth of resources available to all our students.
Our on-campus museum for cinema and popular culture is a great resource for teaching and research. The items in its archive cover more than 200 years of the moving image and include magic lantern slides, zoetropes, stereoscopes and stereoscope cards, diorama, panaroma, and a treasure trove of items relating to film production, exhibition, and fandom.
The University of Exeter houses one of the largest collections of US popular music in Europe and, separately, we hold the 1899 diary of William Lynd, a London-based phonograph enthusiast who made recordings for the Edison Bell company.
Writer, abolitionist, and orator Frederick Douglass visited Exeter in 1846 and the university holds extensive papers on the Gale and Morant family’s slave plantations in Jamaica as well as correspondence from the leader of the Garrison party in Britain, John Bishop Estlin.
Exeter boasts several archival collections relating to nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary figures, some with notable North American links. Our holdings include manuscripts by Daphne du Maurier (whose novels were adapted into Hollywood films), Agatha Christie’s business papers (Christie closely corresponded with her US publishers), and items relating to the Powys family: John Cowper Powys lived, lectured, and wrote in the United States between the 1900s and 1930s and his brother Llewelyn joined him in the 1920s.
Students can also access a plethora of useful digital databases via the University of Exeter Library, including:
- American Drama, 1714-1915
- American Film Institute Catalog
- American National Biography Online
- Bibliography of American Literature
- Early American Fiction 1789-1875
- Early American Newspapers, 1870-1922
- Foreign Relations of the United States
- LGBT Magazine Archive
- Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law
- Twentieth-Century African American Poetry
- Twentieth-Century American Poetry
- Underground and Independent Comics
- Women’s Magazine Archive
…as well as having access to twentieth-century US newspapers and periodicals – so many I can’t list them all here!
Undergraduates can choose from our wide selection of modules focused on North American or transatlantic topics. In the second year we offer:
- Crossing the Water: Transatlantic Literary Relations
- Empire of Liberty: American Literature, 1776-Present
The third-year undergraduate modules we offer in the Department of English and Film vary from year to year, but in terms of modules dedicated to North American literature and culture or containing a substantial proportion of related material, we are running the following in 2021/22:
- American Independent Film
- Against the Mainstream: Alternative Comics, Politics, and US Society
- Harlem and After: African-American Literature 1925-Present
- Something to See: War and Visual Media
- The Death of the Novel
- American Modern
Many of our degrees offer the chance to focus on North American literature and culture: