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Doctoral Studies

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Doctoral Studies

We welcome applications for MPhil/PhD research in any of the subject fields and research specialisms covered within the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

These include many aspects of Comparative Literature and Culture, Critical Theory, French, German, Hispanic and Italian Studies, and the Visual Arts.


As well as specialist one-to-one tuition for the duration of your PhD, you will enjoy the additional support of a dedicated Research Advisor. You will also have access to all of our facilities and postgraduate support, including exciting Research Forum events, our postgraduate reading group #Glossa and skills training designed to ensure that you will be successful both during and after your PhD.

What’s more, Royal Holloway is ideally situated for the libraries, talks and facilities that London has to offer, including the British Library and the Institute of Modern Languages Research.

Our Research expertise

  • French and Francophone literature, film, culture and visual arts.
  • German literature, film, culture and visual arts.
  • History of art and visual culture.
  • Italian literature, film, culture and visual arts.
  • Spanish and Latin American literature, film, culture and visual arts.
  • Translation Studies
  • Comparative Literature and Culture, focusing on literature, film, critical theory and visual arts as well as across media, genres, geographies, periods and languages, from the early modern to the twenty-first century.
  • Critical Theory including: animal studies, ethics, consumer culture, disability studies, ecocriticism and the Anthropocene, gender, globalization, post-colonialism, queer theory, memory and trauma, and transnationalism.

We strongly encourage interdisciplinary projects.

Current and recent PhD research

  • The Origins of Italian Crime Fiction
  • The Problem of Rape in France, 1789-1914
  • Houellebecq and Zola: Writing at the Tipping Points of Capitalism
  • Women Wordsmiths of the Historical Avant-Garde
  • States of Mind: Madness, Gender and the Postcolonial Condition
  • Art, Femicide and Space in Contemporary Mexico
  • German-Soviet Relations and Inter-War Film
  • Power, Violence and Representation 2006-2012
  • The Acousmatic Spectator in the work of Jean-Luc Godard
  • Humanity’s Wake? A Sketch of the Historical Spectacle of the Anthropocene
  • History and Education in Fascist Italy
  • Food and Thought, Words and Images: A Comparative Study
  • Otherness in German Cinema of the Weimar Republic
  • Rewriting Myths: The Figure of Penelope in Italian Literature
  • Telling Memory: Narrative and the Trauma of Fascism in the Contemporary Spanish Novel

For more information, including funding opportunities, contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Danielle Sands

Or the School Office

Our postgraduate colloquium

This is an annual event, run by and for our community of postgraduate students. It features a keynote address by a distinguished visiting speaker.   

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