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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Reading Groups

In addition to our programme of Events, the Department also hosts a number of reading groups for interested staff and students to come together to discuss a shared topic or author. Contact the relevant organiser for more details about when reading groups are happening. If you organise a reading group that should be added to this page, email

Medieval Latin Reading Group

Open to staff and postgraduate students. An opportunity for researchers to improve their Medieval Latin reading skills in a relaxed environment catering for various levels of ability. Participants are invited to suggest texts from across the medieval period, perhaps pertaining to their current research. Previous texts have included selections from Richard de Bury's Philobiblon, Andreas Capellanus's De amore, and the Carmina Burana. Passages are circulated beforehand and participants may either prepare allocated lines in advance or choose to translate in situ.

Fortnightly meetings are usually held in Professor Archibald's office in Hallgarth House.

For more information contact Laurie Atkinson at

The Bible as Literature Reading Group

Open to staff and all students.

A postgraduate-led reading group for the Bible as Literature. This reading group seeks an improved knowledge of the books of the Bibletheir genres, forms, poetry and prose. We seek to develop a better appreciation of the linguistic texture of the King James Version; as well as considering how its language and phraseology have been absorbed into subsequent literary culture. One to two books of the Bible are set as the reading for each meeting, serving as the starting point for an open-format discussion. No previous familiarity with the King James Bible (or any version) is required.

Fortnightly meetings held in an Elvet Riverside seminar room (room for 2019-20 TBC)

For more information contact Laurie Atkinson and Jake Phipps at

T.S. Eliot Reading Group

The T. S. Eliot reading group is open to staff and postgraduate students at Durham University, although anyone with a particular interest in Eliot is welcome to attend. We meet weekly on Thursdays at 17.00 in Elvet Riverside (room for the 2019/20 academic year TBC), and spend an hour close reading material by Eliot, usually covering one poem per session. Prior to the meeting, an email is sent out detailing the poem(s) we will read, although we always begin by reading the poem aloud, so it’s not a problem if you’re not able to read the material in advance. We may also invite speakers to lead thematic sessions for the 2019/20 academic year. Please contact Suzannah V. Evans ( for more information.