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Durham University

Department of English Studies

April 2014 Prospective Postgraduate Newsletter

Spring conferences

The Department of English Studies plays host to a number of conferences every year, reflecting our diverse interests and research expertise. Conferences that took place in March include:

Postgraduates play a key role in co-organising, contributing to, and attending the many conferences that run each year. You can keep track of all forthcoming events and conferences on our Department website

Spotlight on our research groups

Whilst working on their individual projects, our postgraduates and academic staff also come together in larger research groups. These draw together scholars for conferences, seminars, and teaching.

Our current Departmental research groups include:

Postgraduates are very welcome to engage in the various events and activities organised under the umbrella of these groups.

In addition to research groups within the Department, you can also become involved with interdisciplinary networks across the University, such as the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies,Institute of Advanced Study, and Centre for Medical Humanities.

People news

The revelations of Edward Snowden may have hit the headlines recently, but Dr James Smithhas been delving into the archives to discover how the state influenced literature throughout the twentieth century.

His recent book, British Writers and MI5 Surveillance, 1930-1960, examines how leading figures in Britain’s literary scene fell under MI5 and Special Branch surveillance. Surprisingly, many writers were willing participants in the world of covert intelligence and propaganda.

Dr Smith has helped to establish a new research group into Modern Cultures, Conflicts, States, highlighting the Department's research strength in this unique but important area.

International student support

If you are an international student, you may want to take a look at the University's dedicated web pages, which have lots of advice to help you to plan your arrival and settle into a new country and university. 

Withdrawing your application

If you no longer plan to come to Durham this October, we would be grateful if you could contact Marie Caygill ( and let us know.

Follow us on social media

If you want to keep track of the Department's activities before you come to Durham, please follow our Twitter feed, Facebook page, or research blog.