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Many of the Department’s research activities have ramifications far beyond their immediate theoretical and educational value, offering genuine, varied expressions of the ‘impact’ of arts and humanities research on the wider world.

Projects include the creation of a consortium of cultural and creative organisations to mark the Shakespeare Quatercentenary in 2016; a study of the value of dance as a global phenomenon attesting to human resilience; a celebration of melancholia as a creative and resistant force in European culture; and an account of cultural responses to genocide in Rwanda focussing on the role of photography in processes of witnessing, mourning and memory.

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The Colour of War Memory: Decolonising the Memory of the First World

The First World War is often referred to as an all-white European combat on the Western Front but King’s research now highlights the contribution of over 4 million non-white troops around the world. Addressing the European Parliament in January 2020 about Brexit, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt Noted, ‘Sad to see a nation leaving, a great nation that has given us all so much […] even its own blood in two world wars.’ Yet the ‘British’ blood spilled in the two world wars is often used to promote a white triumphalist nationalist narrative.


Digital Victorians

King’s researchers across Literature, Art History and Engineering found new ways of bringing alive the past by using innovative interdisciplinary techniques with a four-year programme that created an argument against the idea of digital culture as purely technical and modern. By locating the shift into digital culture in the mid-19th century, we offered artists and material scientists new contexts for understanding political concerns about coding and security of information in our era of deep connectivity and big data, which helped transform artistic practice. In demonstrating the cultural, historical and artistic importance of communications technology to major London cultural institutions, we inspired museum and gallery programming teams to work more creatively across the Art/Science divide.


Foregrounding Rwandan Voices: Supporting Artists and Survivors to Change Public Perceptions of Past and Present

Rwandan government figures state that over a million people died during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Given the sensitive political context, King’s research shows artistic testimony plays a key role in opening up new ways to remember genocide victims and explore post-conflict identities. Foregrounding Rwandan Voices built on eight years of research into Rwandan agency and artistic practice to foreground Rwandan voices and assist Rwandan photographers, writers and survivors in reaching new audiences. The projects focus on photography (the most underdeveloped post-genocide art) and survivor testimonies (where there were significant gaps in circulation). All are grounded in collaborations with institutions in Rwanda (Kigali Center for Photography, Huza Press) and the UK (Autograph ABP, Ishami Foundation).

3_Human Rights Cultures Workshop_Jacques Nkinzingabo

Shakespeare400: Collaborating with London’s Cultural Sector to Create New Understanding of Shakespeare in Contemporary Culture

Shakespeare400 (S400) was a five-year cultural partnership project created by Gordon McMullan and led by King’s to mark the Shakespeare Quatercentenary in London in 2016. In coordinating a shared season of public exhibitions, performances and creative projects created collaboratively with a consortium of 23 major cultural partners, we reinvigorated engagement with Shakespeare. The S400 season – underpinned by King’s research on textual and theatrical contexts, poetic form and cultural afterlives – created new knowledge for a wide, diverse set of audiences, representing a significant instance of focused, large-scale, collaborative cultural/creative impact informed by the sustained work of a collective of researchers.

Bus Impact CS Shakespear 400

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Career Paths

Career Paths

Hear about the career paths from former Undergraduate English students at King's College London



Our international partners include institutions across Asia, Europe and North America

Widening Participation

Widening Participation

The Department has launched a number of exciting initiatives to widen participation in the study of…



Areas of particular academic expertise represented within the King's Department of English