From Old Norse and Middle English to literature of the twenty-first century
The Department of English Studies at Durham is a centre of excellence for research and teaching in English literary and cultural studies, recognised not only as one of the best English Departments in the United Kingdom, but as one of the best in the world.
We house specialisms in the full historical range of the subject, from Old Norse and Middle English to literature of the twenty-first century, with particular strengths in interdisciplinary literary studies.
The Department is committed to research and teaching in traditional areas of the discipline and to the development of new and emergent sub-fields.
As part of the Durham University Strategy, the Department of English Studies will be undertaking an ambitious programme of expansion of staff and student numbers over the next ten years. We will in the process enhance our reputation as one of the world’s leading Departments of English by renewing our existing strengths and recruiting to areas not currently represented in our profile.
We will also seek to expand our offer in the teaching of Creative Writing at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and encourage the production of literary works within our research environment. From 2022, we expect to be co-located with other Arts and Humanities Department in a purpose-built new development on Durham’s riverside.
Ranked 1st in the UK by the Complete University Guide for the last five years
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English Studies at Durham has an international reputation for the outstanding quality of its research across the full range of English as it is currently conceived, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day, and for its commitment to the development and renewal of the discipline and the generation of new critical methodologies.
Members of staff pursue a notably wide range of research across the historical, geographical and conceptual spectrum of the discipline, including Creative Writing. The Department is home to research groups in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Romantic Dialogues and Legacies, and Modernism to the present day; it has particular strengths in Poetry and Poetics; Epic, Romance, the Novel, and Storytelling; Embodiment, Health, and Well-Being; Literature, Science, and the Environment; Modern Conflicts, Cultures, States; Textual Editing.
We are home to the Centre for Poetry and Poetics and the Centre for Medical Humanities. In addition, members of the Department contribute to a number of the University’s interdisciplinary research groups, including the Centre for Death and Life Studies, the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities, the Centre for the Study of Classical Civilization, the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Institute of Advanced Research Computing, and the University’s pan-Faculty Institute of Advanced Study.
Current major research projects include:
Durham University Library has holdings of over 1.6 million printed items, thousands of manuscripts and incunables, and numerous electronic and online resources. Our Special Collections include the libraries of Bishop John Cosin and of Ushaw College, as well as the archives of Basil Bunting, William Plomer, and the Poetry Book Society.
Following probation (usually one year), academic staff are entitled to apply for one term in seven as research leave. All academic staff in the Department have access to an allowance to support research of £1000 a year; further sources of University funding are available to support impact and interdisciplinary work.
We are a Department of approximately 50 academic staff, including Assistant, Associate and Full Professors, Research Fellows, and Teaching Fellows. All staff on the academic track are expected to engage in teaching across the curriculum, research and academic leadership, and are expected to progress during their career in Durham.