About our Research

Research areas and themes

In Modern Languages and Cultures (MLC), our research is characterised by an interest in the global dimensions of language-based study, including Hispanic, Lusophone and Francophone cultures and societies outside of Europe; migrant and transnational cultures in Europe; multilingualism; sociolinguistics; world cinema; the cultural impacts of European expansion and colonialism; global Black Studies; and the processes of translation and transculturation implicit in all those encounters.

We equally have significant research strengths in histories and memories, specifically in themes relating to representations of war and conflict in different international contexts. Several colleagues are developing engagement with digital transformations in research practices and themes, employing new technologies in the presentation of their research on periods from the Middle Ages to the contemporary world. Our Research Projects page showcases some of this research.

The Department is also at the forefront of open-access developments, with three colleagues working as editors for Modern Languages Open, the new open-access platform for modern languages research.

More detailed information on our research areas and themes can be found on the different subject research pages.

Research groups and research centres

Most research-active colleagues are affiliated to one or more of our MLC research groups:

  • Image, Sound and Performance and Conflict
  • Memory and Heritage
  • Language, Place and Belonging
  • Media Histories: From Manuscript to Digital

MLC colleagues are also closely involved in the following research centres:

Public engagement activities

Each year, we offer a range of public engagement activities. Members of the public are welcome to attend our annual keynote lectures in French, German, Hispanic, Italian and Film Studies, and to attend events as part of our highly popular annual Iberian Week. We speak on radio, and publish in wider-access history and literary magazines.

We host public discussions; we welcome artists in residence and writers in residence, who offer public readings and talks; we organise film screenings and exhibitions (some online) in conjunction with cultural institutions, care homes for the elderly, or with community media and art organisations in Liverpool and abroad. We also run annual workshops in translation, and on careers in translation and interpreting.


We engage with cultural institutions locally (e.g. Tate Liverpool, FACT, International Slavery Museum, Museum of Liverpool, International Independents Liverpool), nationally (e.g. British Library, V&A Museum, BBC) and internationally (e.g. Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, Mémorial de l’abolition de l’esclavage, Nantes).

Colleagues collaborate with academic peers worldwide, working on smaller- and larger-scale research projects, joint funding bids and publishing ventures, and the organisation of academic conferences. MLC colleagues also provide impressive service to their disciplines, as academic editors, members of peer review colleges, advisors to funding councils, and research theme leaders nationally.

Our engagement with the AHRC, for example, is substantial. In 2012, Professor Charles Forsdick was appointed as AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow for ‘Translating Cultures’, a position he will hold until 2018, while Professor Claire Taylor is an AHRC Advisory Board member. In total, seven colleagues serve as members of the AHRC Peer Review College.