Postgraduate Research

Why would you study towards a research degree in North American literature and culture at the University of Exeter? We can offer world-leading expertise in a broad spectrum of subjects and periods and Exeter has some great resources for your project. We know how important it is to share your research with – and learn from – other academics, which is why we’ll help you connect with other Americanists and transatlanticists via scholarly organizations such as BAAS (British Association for American Studies), BrANCA (British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists), and TSA (Transatlantic Studies Association). Exeter regularly hosts research events related to associations such as these, giving postgraduate students the chance to contribute to conference organization and to hear about cutting edge scholarship in the field.

Once you’ve started your research degree, we’ll offer you advice on applying for travel grants, entering essay prizes, and completing your project to the highest possible standard. Whether you want to pursue an MRes, MPhil, or PhD in North American and/or transatlantic culture, our dedicated and experienced academic team will develop, challenge, and support you along the way.

We have a wide variety of expertise covering North American and Atlantic literature and culture since the nineteenth century, with particular specialisms in:

  • US poetry
  • US cinema
  • US modernism
  • US and Canadian women’s writing
  • US literature and critical theory
  • Countercultures and the American Left
  • The epic tradition in American literature
  • Magazines and periodicals
  • Science fiction
  • Comics and graphic novels
  • Literature and fashion
  • Race and ethnicity
  • History of broadcasting and sound recording
  • Transatlantic literary relations
  • Diasporic literature and culture, especially the Irish Atlantic and Black Atlantic

Research students at Exeter often go on to publish parts of their degrees as chapters or articles. Some even turn their PhD thesis into a monograph! Based on their doctoral research, recent monographs by former students include:

If you have an idea for a project and would like feedback on how to develop it into a proposal for a research degree, please reach out to one of us via the contact details on our individual staff webpages. We can’t wait for you to get in touch – because we’re as passionate about North American and Atlantic cultures as you are.

“The PhD program at Exeter gave me the time, resources, and guidance to really focus on my research. Writing a thesis can sometimes feel like a test of endurance and self-discipline, but the support and mentorship provided by my supervisors helped me to concentrate on what was important for my academic and career ambitions. My supervisors were engaged in interdisciplinary research with a lot of points of contact with the field of my thesis, and our meetings were invaluable for introducing me to a breadth of ideas that helped direct my studies and hone my writing.” Robert Yeates, PhD in English (2013-16)

You can find further details about our MRes, MPhil, and PhD programmes here.