Regular Events

Regular events are a great way to connect with other researchers, sharing ideas and discovering new approaches. These groups meet at different intervals throughout the academic year and are likely to be of interest to postgraduates in English Literature. If you would like to suggest a regular event for inclusion in this list, please contact

For updates on research events in EDACS, follow @EDACS_UOB and check the EDACS Events listing page.

Romance Reading Group


The Romance Reading Group will be running bi-monthly, postgraduate-led sessions. These sessions will all focus on the undervalued yet meaningful popular genre: romance. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between romance and romantic fiction? Or questioned whether a romance novel can be feminist? Or speculated as to whether this genre is sexist, heterosexist or racist? Or pondered about the sexualisation of male predators? All these important considerations will be discussed, and potentially answered, in our free, helpful and fun reading group sessions. Our aim is to debate, analyse and discuss the history of romance and its’ impact on society’s culture today. We are meeting every two months, will provide snacks and, of course, stimulate your mind with thought-provoking, intriguing discussions all relevant to the brilliant genre of romance. So, no matter what stage you are in your academic careers (undergraduates, postgraduates, post-docs and staff) and regardless of your college or school, come along to one of our sessions and debate, analyse and learn about romance fiction, critics and theorists. Texts will range nineteenth-century fiction to contemporary literature and the theories we will discuss include feminism, queer and postcolonial.



Launching with a first session on 7 November, GOTHICA is a new, interdisciplinary, postgraduate-led reading group interested in the ever-present role of the Gothic in popular fiction and culture. Texts will typically range from the nineteenth century to the contemporary as we trace the long history of the genre and its spectral appearance in fantasy, horror, and science fiction. We will meet once per month to discuss some short readings that explore a particular theme, subgenre, or context of the Gothic.

Reading will be circulated via email, please contact to be added to the mailing list. Please also look out for posts on the English blog and follow our Twitter @Gothica_UOB for more information. All staff and students welcome!

Dystopias Reading Group


Launching with a first session on 21 November, this is a postgraduate-led, text-focused reading group centred on the best genre of all literature: dystopian literature! Fascinated by the end of the world? Intrigued by totalitarian regimes? Enchanted by awful societies not too far from our own? Then this reading group is for you!

Please feel free to email the founder of the reading group, Liam, with any questions or queries that you may have. His email address is 

Page Breaks: Postgraduate Research Seminar

This is an informal weekly reading group within the Department of English Literature. We meet at 2pm on Wednesday afternoons to discuss a text we’ve chosen together in advance – usually a short essay, article, or work of fiction. The seminar is an opportunity to explore new ideas, discuss texts you’ve studied or plan to read, and share aspects of your own research. The seminar is open to all and is a chance to meet fellow researchers in English Literature. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits and you are very welcome!

For dates, times, and readings, please see our webpage or email Dorothy Butchard ( and Toria Johnson (

Contemporary Theory Reading Group

Timothy the Octopus

This is a postgraduate-led theory-focused reading group, which typically meets in Arts. ALL PGTs and PGRs are welcome.  If you are interested in contemporary theory, or just sharpening up on secondary reading for upcoming essays, articles, or presentations, we highly encourage you to attend. The group has found that even the most anomalous texts could provide useful new routes into thinking about your own work!

Email for reading list:

Twitter:  @Theory_UoB


Play/Pause was initially born out of a desire from 3 postgraduate students to broaden the academic consideration of videogames and virtual reality across academic disciplines: away from the consideration of them as niche, relatively new technologies, towards mediums that have the capacity to encourage and create academic discourses that reflect the cultures they are created in: just as literature, film, music, drama and other mediums are considered to be academically viable aspects of culture, why can’t VR and videogames be, too?

We understand that new media studies and game studies have been asking (and answering) these questions for a number of years: we now want to bring these discussions to the University of Birmingham. Thus, we devised this new, extracurricular seminar series at the university in order to facilitate the discussion of two relatively new technological mediums.

Study States

Study States hosts regular sessions where you can meet fellow researchers in all areas of American Studies, across literature, art, history, and any other discipline. In a friendly, informal environment, we’ll look at a specific theme or historical movement in American culture and unpack some key writing and art from that period, as well as discuss our own research, conferences, journals, and lots more. Refreshments will be provided! This is open to any postgraduate student, particularly if you’re working on a dissertation or thesis related to American studies!

If you want to know more, please email

DH Lawrence Studies


Research network based at the University of Birmingham. We hold regular events and a monthly reading group. Join our mailing list:

EDACS Postgraduate Seminar

The EDACS Postgraduate Seminar is a postgrad-led initiative with  frequent meetings. To find out more about the EDACS PG Seminar, see their facebook page.

Modern and Contemporary Forum


The MAC forum is part of the Centre for Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Birmingham, and is run by postgraduate researchers from a range of disciplines within the university.
The forum encourages discussion and networking across disciplines, and institutions, for those who have an interest in modern and contemporary history. The events hosted by the MAC forum are an informal space in which research can be discussed and shared – welcoming experienced scholars, early career researchers, and postgraduate students, the forum facilitates interdisciplinary discussion and debate.

Postgrad Papers

These sessions will be opportunities to present a short talk on any aspect of your research in English Literature, and to hear talks from other postgraduates. If you are interested in presenting your research in a friendly, informal and productive setting, please email 

Research Centre Events

Events take place every week within English Literature and EDACS, including visiting speakers, seminars, screenings, and other events organised by departments and Research Centres. For a full list of upcoming events, please see this page.

To find out more about Research Centres in EDACS, browse details of different centres on the EDACS web pages.