Skip to content Exit mobile menu

English and Creative and Professional Writing

As befits a university located next to Strawberry Hill House (where Horace Walpole authored the first Gothic novel), English and Creative and Professional Writing (ECPW) is a dynamic area of research and publication at St Mary’s.

The team produced an excellent submission in REF2014, with 61% of outputs judged in the highest 3* and 4* categories.

ECPW’s research strengths and interests embrace a broad range of topics, texts and authors. These include questions of travel, translation and transculturation; textual editing; Joseph Conrad studies; Gothic studies and the aesthetics of the sublime; eighteenth-century and Romantic literature; Anglo-Irish writers; in linguistics, second language acquisition.

In Creative and Professional Writing, staff publish in the genres of literary fiction, fantasy and creative non-fiction, as well as contributing research in Creative Writing pedagogy.

Centre for Joseph Conrad Studies

The department hosts the Centre for Joseph Conrad Studies, led by Prof Allan Simmons. This is the focus for international research into the life and works of one of the leading authors in English literature.

Prof Simmons is also chief editor on the Cambridge Collected Works of Joseph Conrad, an award-winning series producing the most up-to-date and authoritative scholarly texts of Conrad’s publications.

London Second Language Acquisition Research Forum

In linguistics, St Mary’s ECPW is part of the London Second Language Acquisition Research Forum (L-SLARF), which includes researchers from a variety of universities in the London area, including Kings College, University College, Birkbeck, Kingston and Reading.




PhD students

All research degree students at St Mary’s are part of the Doctoral College. If you would like to discuss your proposal please email  mark.addis@stmarys.ac.uk.


Selected publications

Critical and scholarly work

  • Kim Salmons. Food in the Novels of Joseph Conrad: Eating as Narrative. London: Palgrave, 2017
  • Joseph Conrad. An Outcast of the Islands. Ed. Allan H. Simmons. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.  Awarded the Seal of the Committee on Scholarly Editions, Modern Language Association of America
  • Pauline Foster, with P. Skehan and S. Shum. ‘Ladders and Snakes in Second Language Fluency’. International Review of Applied Linguistics 54.2 (2016)
  • Pauline Foster and G. Wigglesworth. ‘Measuring Accuracy in Second Language Performance: the Case for a Weighted Clause Ratio’. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 36 (2016)
  • Allan H. Simmons and Susan Jones (eds). Centennial Essays on Joseph Conrad’s Chance. Leiden, Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill BV, 2015
  • Allan H. Simmons, ‘Reading Heart of Darkness’ in The New Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad, ed. J. H. Stape. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015
  • Pauline Foster, C. Bolibaugh, and A. Kotula. ‘Knowledge of Nativelike Selections in an L2: The Influence of Exposure, Memory, Age of Onset, and Motivation in Foreign Language and Immersion Settings’. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 36.1 (2014)
  • Joseph Conrad. The Shadow-Line. Ed. J. H. Stape and Allan H. Simmons. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Awarded the Seal of the Committee on Scholarly Editions, Modern Language Association of America
  • Peter Howell, Cian Duffy and Caroline Ruddell (eds). Romantic Adaptations: Essays in Mediation and Remediation. Abingdon and New York: Ashgate, 2013
  • Pauline Foster and P. Skehan. ‘The Effects of Post-Task Activities on the Accuracy of Language During Task Performance’. Canadian Modern Language Review 69.3 (2013)
  • Allan H. Simmons (ed.). Joseph Conrad: Contemporary Reviews, Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012
  • Joseph Conrad. Tales of Unrest. Ed. Allan H. Simmons and J. H. Stape. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.  Awarded the Seal of the Committee on Scholarly Editions, Modern Language Association of America 
  • Allan H. Simmons, Jeremy Hawthorn and J.H. Stape (eds). Under Western Eyes: Centennial Essays. Rodopi: Amsterdam, 2011
  • Peter Howell and Cian Duffy (eds). Cultures of the Sublime: Selected Readings, 1750-1830. London: Palgrave, 2011
  • Allan H. Simmons (ed.). Conrad in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009
  • Pauline Foster. ‘Task-Based Language Learning Research: Expecting Too Much or Too Little?’ International Journal of Applied Linguistics 19.3 (2009)

Fiction and memoir

  • Christie Watson. The Language of Kindness [memoir]. London: Chatto and Windus, forthcoming
  • Christie Watson. Where Women are Kings [novel]. London: Quercus, 2014
  • Jonathan Gibbs. Randall, or the Painted Grape [novel]. Norwich: Galley Beggar Press, 2014
  • Christie Watson. Tiny Sunbirds Far Away [novel]. London: Quercus, 2011. Winner of the Costa First Novel Award