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Research and Impact

The department of English Studies is one of Europe’s leading centres for research in literary studies. It fosters important and influential research by staff, post-doctoral fellows and postgraduates across historical, cultural, generic and thematic ranges.
Research groups and centres
Photograph of a castle with words in white projected onto it. The words read: 'Autumnal evenings are a second spring'

Research Culture 

We work collaboratively along particular themes and periods, while we are also involved in a number of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research centres and institutes. A number of visiting academics and other external partners contribute to the research environment of the Department, sometimes as Fellows of the Institute of Advanced Study. 

Our department regularly hosts international conferences, workshops, and public lecture series. Typically, in any one year we organise or co-organise around 80 different events. 

Recent conferences have ranged from Humour and Satire in British Romanticism to Consent: Histories, Representations, and Frameworks for the Future to Thatcher and Thatcherism. We organise research seminars for all staff and postgraduates to engage with visiting speakers, as well as a variety of regular reading groups. Our Late Summer Lectures Series brings the best of postgraduate research to a public audience each year. 

Our department hosts one of the longest-running online postgraduate journals in literary studies, Postgraduate English, which is edited by two PhD students each year. 


Upcoming events

What's new?


QS World University Rankings for English Studies 2024

We are ranked 29th in the prestigious QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024.
QS World Rankings for English Studies 2024, 29th in the world, with an image of a hand pulling a book from a shelf

New interdisciplinary health research awarded £9m grant

Our cutting-edge Institute for Medical Humanities (IMH) has been awarded a £9m Discovery Research Platform Award to develop a new Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities (DRP-MH).
Wellcome trust grant

Strengthened connections with the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

We are delighted to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras).
A group of people standing in front of a sign that says Indian Institute of Technology Madras

‘Something that speaks to you in the quiet of the night’: Horror writing with Naomi Booth

This Halloween, Dr Naomi Booth, Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies and award-winning fiction writer tells us about horror writing and the Boggart, a forgotten folklore monster.
Farmhouse on open moorland

Recognition for the Department’s Research Excellence

Our outstanding research environment and our impact on public life, community, and culture have been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
Photograph of a castle standing above a river. The text REF20201 Research Excellence Framework is on the front of the image.

International Dance Day: Looking at literature’s relationship to dance in 19th and 20th century modernism

On International Dance Day (Monday, 29 April) Dr Megan Girdwood from our Department of English explains how her research concentrates on late nineteenth and twentieth-century modernism, with a particular focus on literature’s relationship to performance, dance and the human body.
The dancer Vaslav Nijinsky in the ballet Le spectre de la rose as performed at the Royal Opera House in 1911.

Exploring Shakespeare through the art of dance

Professor David Fuller, from our Department of English Studies, discusses his passions for music, ballet and Shakespeare. His latest research explores how ballet can provide new insights into The Bard’s work.
Two ballet dancers performing, in black and white with dark background
Transformative Humanities

Transformative Humanities

Discover the Faculty of Arts and Humanities' new Transformative Humanities framework which brings together distinctive approaches to humanities research and education within the academy and across a wide range of partners and communities.

Visit Transformative Humanities website