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Research in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Chester focuses on language-based area studies, cultural studies and postcolonial studies, in regions where the languages we teach are spoken. The linguistic cultures that feature in our research are Chinese, French, German and Spanish, in all the parts of the globe where these world languages are in daily use.

Research Areas

While our research is defined in terms of language culture and location, the research topics we are engaged in are very wide-ranging, with an emphasis on historical, cultural and political developments in the societies living in these regions. Our research culture is forward-looking and interdisciplinary, encouraging connections with disciplines in the arts, humanities, social sciences and beyond. The Department actively supports the development of international research networks. At present we are leading and are involved in collaborative research projects with partners in Europe, the French and Hispanic Caribbean, Francophone Africa, Asia and North America.

French and Francophone Studies
The Department has research specialisms across Francophone Area Studies, and has developed a particular strength in the cultural politics of Francophone Africa. Research staff are pleased to supervise postgraduate research projects in any area of French-speaking North and sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Diaspora. With five research-active members of staff publishing in postcolonial francophone area studies, the Department offers an enriching environment for the development of new and innovative research projects in this field.

Staff are currently involved in international collaborative projects in Senegal, in the wider francophone West Africa region, with European partners and with research networks in the North America. Alongside the Department’s innovative research ambitions outlined in the introductory paragraph, it is also engaged in contributing new research methodologies and stabilising new research platforms notably as a partner member of the Faculty of Humanities digital humanities centre.

The Department is happy to provide research supervision at all levels of postgraduate study in French and Francophone historical, postcolonial, visual and literary cultures from the 19th century to the present day.

Hispanic and Iberian Studies
In addition to providing research supervision across a range of historical, political and cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world, staff in the Spanish and Hispano-American team offer our research students a particular expertise in Cuban studies based on their own fieldwork and academic research conducted in the Hispanic Caribbean. Particular areas of interest include contemporary Cuban politics, recent Cuban history, and Cuba’s international relations. We are also able to offer supervision in a range of cultural, visual and literary fields of Latin American studies, Iberian cultural and political studies, Spanish literary culture in 19th century, and more broadly politics and literature in peninsular Spain.

German Studies and Chinese Studies
The Department is continuing to expand into new areas and is able to offer supervision in an increasingly wide range of subjects and language cultures. These include post-reunification German cultural politics, the economy of the new China, the sports economy in China, and contemporary Chinese society.


For further details on opportunities for research in the Department of Modern Languages please contact the director of studies for postgraduate research degrees in Modern Languages, Professor Claire Griffiths. Informal enquiries are welcome.