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Who are we?

We are a vibrant and growing team of researchers working on a range of topics exploring modern languages and their global cultures across areas of the world where our languages (French, German, Mandarin, Spanish) are spoken. We offer supervision in a wide variety of subjects with opportunities to pursue your own academic interests through three research degree programmes.

What degrees do we offer?

The part-time two-year masters level MRes (essentially a research-orientated version of a taught Masters programme) begins with training in research skills in year 1 preparing you to undertake an extensive piece of research in an area of particular interest to you for the remainder of year 1 and the whole of year 2.  In addition to the MRes, we also offer the standard MPhil/PhD routes for those students wishing to undertake full-time research degrees.

What are our research fields?

We work across a number of disciplines which collectively are called Area Studies. This exciting and interdisciplinary research space accommodates a range of research interests at the frontiers of our disciplines.

What projects are we exploring?

Current Research in Modern Languages and Area Studies

Current research projects include French popular musical genres, Chinese contemporary cultural studies, Francophone African story-telling, contemporary Belgian cinema, Cuban visual cultures, Latin American literary networks, French Caribbean visual cultures, German memory studies, political culture in Africa after the departure of the French, transnational and postcolonial cultural studies. Furthermore, we also have specialisms in French and Francophone gender studies examined through the prism of literature, film and culture and political history. 

What is special about our research field?

One of the particular features of Area Studies research is its ability to accommodate non-traditional and ‘non-canonical’ texts, these are primary sources that usually do not feature among the set written texts that for decades, and in some cases centuries before us, have defined the frontiers of our disciplines. This is one of the reasons you find researchers at Chester exploring such a wide variety of subjects, using a range of cultural media and drawing from written and visual source texts.

Publications and REF success

In our publications and research activities, we adopt a critical approach to analysing texts, both written and non-written, in ways that dig deeply into the cultures of the areas where our languages are used. Members of our research team are all published authors. Our research outputs were entered into the Research excellence framework for the first time in 2014 achieving a creditable 16th place in our field in the Times Higher Education research intensity ranking (Times Higher, January 2015).

How to contact us

We are happy to receive informal enquiries regarding supervision for research degrees in Modern languages in any of the above fields and related areas.

You may wish to go to our departmental webpages, explore our profiles and publications and contact any one of us directly if our research looks of particular interest to you.

Please feel free to send an informal enquiry in any field to the director of studies Professor Claire Griffiths at