Humanities research

Internationally Renowned Research

Over 95% of History and English research internationally renowned in REF 2021

Our research explores topics including English, creative writing, history, politics, and theology. 68% of our History research and 66% of our English research was rated internationally excellent or world-leading in REF 2021.

Our members include historians, writers, literary critics, and political scientists who work together to enrich our understanding of the world. All of our scholars publish with major academic journals and University presses.

As a team we are committed to engaging with academic and non-academic audiences to explore, analyse and explain social, cultural, and political change. As a department we connect our students to an international research network stretching from Vancouver to Beijing.

Research Centres and Groups

Explore our humanities research

Iris Murdoch Research Centre

Exploring and developing work into major twentieth century writer Iris Murdoch.

South Coast Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Research Group (SCERRG)

Promoting academic research into all aspects of the eighteenth century.

Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales Fantasy and Speculative Fiction

A forum to explore folk narratives, fairy tales and fantasy.

Chichester and D-Day

Discover Chichester's role in D-Day and our 75th anniversary events.

South Coast Creative Writing Hub

Celebrating the vibrant literature scene in the South of England.

History Matters

A research group of concerned black historians and teachers led by Professor Hakim Adi.

Interdisciplinary Research

Pulp Avant-Garde - Cult 60s to the Present

Snippet of black and white comic strip

Public humanities at Chichester includes a significant amount of teaching and research in the broad area of TV, Cult, Avant-Garde, and much in between.

The team includes graphic narrative specialist, Professor Hugo Frey who has written extensively on the graphic novel and has recently been publishing on the 1960s comic, Barbarella (as referenced in the Ariana Grande video) and Professor Benjamin Noys whose work is known across the European theory and art scene, including addressing questions of speed, technology, music, and politics.

Alwyn Turner adds to this vibrant mix including his widely read book on the father of the Daleks, Terry Nation, as well as a widely followed discursive blog.

Sport, music, graffiti and world politics form further areas for debate and enquiry. Recent guest speakers and collaborators include European graphic novelist, Benoit Peeters, and Len Deighton (SS-GB)-specialist, Edward-Milward Oliver. The department is also sponsored a previous Blakefest to celebrate our links to the famous poet, William Blake.

Not unsurprising Chichester is a cross-roads for pulp and avant garde cultural history and politics. Off-Brighton, the city and its environs was home to figures as different as MP Shiel (sci-fi), MacLaren-Ross (an inspiration to Bob Dylan) and was site of the famous Redlands raid on the Rolling Stones.

Philosophy, Ethics and Critical Thinking

Everyday we make judgments: true or false, right or wrong, beautiful or ugly. Politicians make declarations about freedom and justice, while advertisers and entertainment try to sell us a vision of the good life.

Philosophy questions these basic ideas. Is there such a thing as truth? How can a society be free? And what does it mean to lead a good life? Each of these concepts has a rich history; philosophers have debated their meanings throughout history and around the world. Studying this history of ideas allows us to think more carefully and critically about the present.

The Department has particular expertise in the area of extremism and contemporary politics. Dr Tommy Lynch and Dr Hannah Strømmen hosted a conference on this theme with representatives from the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary, Australia, and Iran. They also recently received a grant from the American Academy of Religion to investigate discussions of Islam in early liberal political philosophy and theology. In addition to this specialism, Dr Strømmen has written on the relationship between humans and animals, while Dr Lynch has published on climate change, race and materialist philosophy.

These issues are at the heart of many of the world’s most pressing problems. Thinking critically about the ideas that shape our view of the world is essential to developing a response to these challenges.

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