What is Literature in a World Context?

This is a unique undergraduate programme, unlike any offered by other universities in the UK. It is based on an innovative conception of literary studies that incorporates cross-disciplinary reflection at its core, focussing on the study of literature in the age of globalization, new media, and massive immigration flows.

The programme includes comparative literature courses, but also sets literature in the context of new developments in visual culture and information technologies, new understandings of the political at the national and international levels, and within the framework of intellectual history.

If you are interested in thinking about how literature shapes and challenges our understanding of world historical events, then this is the ideal degree for you.'

Cultural Politics

Everything you can think of can be subjected to political analysis: have you told off your little brother today? Have you gone to war in the name of stopping terror? Did you spend your day surfing the internet? All of those, whatever else they are, are also cultural activities - and even culture-specific activities - that are open to reflection

Intellectual History

Original thinkers are often also innovative writers. Pioneering writers think innovative thoughts.

This programme looks at the way writing and thinking combine, reflecting on the literary philosophy of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and others.


Globalisation, new political formations, and massive immigration flows challenge what we think of when we set out to study literature not in a national but in a world context.

Booker Prize winners such as Salman Rushdie, VS Naipaul, Kiran Desai and Kazuo Ishiguro may write in English, but they do not produce English literature.

New Media

It is said that the literature of our immediate future will be electronic. This means that we have to pay attention to new literary forms, from the blog to hypertext, thinking about their impact on both writers and readers, and how these forms enable us to rethink earlier forms of the literary.

Visual Culture
and Creative Practices

What is a text? What is an image? Where do the boundaries lie between visual culture, music and literature?
Cinema and opera can combine all three, William Blake's poetry was both image and song, the novels of WG Sebald communicate through images as much as words.