Research in the School spans twelve languages (Catalan, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Occitan, Portuguese, Russian, Scots, Slovak and Spanish). It extends from the Medieval period to the contemporary, reaching beyond the linguistic ‘home-lands’ of Eastern and Western Europe to large areas of Latin America and Africa (Francophone, Lusophone and Italian-colonial).

The School leads the Faculty’s Centre for Material Texts (co-directed by Rhiannon Daniels in the Italian Department) and Centre for Medieval Studies (co-directed by Marianne Ailes in the French Department).

We participate in the Centre for Black Humanities, the Centre for Health, Humanities and Science, and the Centre for Environmental Humanities, as well as University Research Institutes: Brigstow Institute, Cabot Institute, Institute for Migration and Mobility Studies, and Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research.

Colleagues also work across disciplinary boundaries through Faculty research clusters, exploring subjects including screen research, oceanic cultures, transnational theatre, transnational modernisms, decolonisation, and colonial and postcolonial societies.

Within the School, our areas of cross-disciplinary focus are:

  • Transcultural encounters (within and beyond Europe; colonial, pre-colonial, post-colonial)
  • Intermediality (word and image studies, film, auditory culture, theatre, video games, graphic novels, manga, art in galleries, on the street and online, the media)
  • Material and digital texts (from medieval manuscripts to contemporary photobooks)
  • Translation, adaptation and reception
  • Literary, cultural, social and political histories (including gender and sexuality, race, mental health, the environment, sport, heritage, political parties, intellectuals, religion, and integration policy)
  • Linguistics and Language Variation (sociolinguistic projects on local and transnational language varieties, with a focus on minority languages)
  • Connecting research and practice (exploring co-production with artists, industries and institutions)

Faculty Research Centres

The School of Modern Languages participates in all the Research Centres of the Faculty. Members of the School are part of the organizing committees of the Centres for Black Humanities, for Health, Humanities and Science, and for Material Texts. Researchers from the School are strongly linked to the Centres for Environmental Humanities and for Medieval Studies.


We collaborate with a range of international partners to foster societal improvement. We respond to local and global challenges, through work on political reconciliation, exile and migration, cultural heritage, mental health, and environmental sustainability.

For an example, see Professor Matthew Brown’s work on peace and reconciliation in Colombia:

See Departmental Research Pages for recent and ongoing collaborations.

University of Bristol Institutes

Researchers within the School play an active role within the following University of Bristol Research Institutes:

Interested in being a visiting researcher?

If you would like to be a visiting researcher at the University of Bristol, please see the School of Modern Languages guidelines for visiting researchers, where you will also find an application form.

Collaborative highlights

Our researchers are involved with numerous collaborative and interdisciplinary projects and events. For more information, please see recent examples.

How our research rates

67% of our research is considered to be 'world-leading' (4*), or 'internationally excellent' (3*).

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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