Consistently ranked in the UK top five
This is one of the largest and most successful Schools of Modern Languages in the UK bringing together research in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hispanic, Italian, Japanese and Russian Studies. It is consistently ranked in the top five in national league tables, and as part of Durham University’s renowned Faculty of Arts and Humanities, lies in the world’s top 50 in the QS World University Rankings.
The School’s reach spans Europe, the Arab world, Russophone Eurasia, Hispanic America, East Asia, and their mutual socio-cultural, intellectual and linguistic relations. The School federates expertise to generate innovative research practices and activities that cross historical, geographical and methodological boundaries.
Our vision is for the School to be known internationally for exercising disciplinary leadership and establishing an integrated intellectual approach to studying and researching in Modern Languages and Cultures in the 21st century. To achieve this vision, we are developing a strong ethos of collaboration based on the idea of translation and transculturality in its widest sense - transmission, interpretation and sharing of languages, ideas and histories.
In April 2018 we established and hosted the inaugural International Conference, ‘Our Uncommon Ground’, a platform from which to establish a regular UK-based gathering of the Modern Languages and Cultures research community to promote the productive exchange of ideas across existing subject boundaries.
We are undertaking a full review of our undergraduate curriculum with the aim of further strengthening our flagship BA in Modern Languages and Cultures and are also developing a new BA in Visual Arts and Film. From 2018/2019, we will be offering a new taught MA in Languages, Literatures and Cultures, which will run alongside our successful MAs in Translation, and in Visual Arts and Culture.
The School of Modern Languages and Cultures is ranked second in the country in most areas in the Complete University Guide and features in the top 5 in all major national league tables.
The School is a key contributor to one of four major research programmes to which the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) awarded funding in 2016 as part of its Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). It is part of a consortium headed by the University of Manchester, which was awarded c. £4 million to develop a large interdisciplinary research programme titled “Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community” (2016 – 2020). The Transnational Communities Strand of the initiative is led by Durham University.
To help us deliver our strategic vision, we are seeking to recruit to a number of positions by September 2019. To further strengthen academic leadership in the School, we are looking for an outstanding senior figure for a Grade 9/10 (Associate Professor / Professor level) appointment in Hispanic Studies to produce world-leading research, provide excellent teaching and carry out service in the School and the wider University as appropriate. We welcome applications from exceptional scholars with research specialisms in any area of Hispanic and Latin American Studies that complements the research strengths of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.
We are also seeking to appoint four Assistant Professors, two in German, one in Hispanic Studies and one in Japanese Studies. For these posts, we welcome applications from candidates in any area of the respective discipline that fits with the research strengths of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.
For all these posts, we will also consider candidates with expertise in comparative literary or visual studies.
Finally, we wish to appoint an Assistant Professor on the Teaching Track to provide leadership in the teaching of Italian language to our undergraduates. We welcome applications from candidates with experience and pedagogical interests in this area.
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The School's reach spans Europe, the Arab world, Russophone Eurasia, Hispanic America, East Asia, and their mutual socio-cultural, intellectual and linguistic relations. The School federates expertise to generate innovative research practices and activities that cross historical, geographical and methodological boundaries. The School’s research culture is based around particular strengths in:
- Medieval and Early Modern Studies
- Visual and Performance Studies
- The Sciences and the Humanities
Much research in the School is interdisciplinary, involving areas such as literary study, cultural history, translation studies, philosophy, and film and visual culture. This is facilitated by the university-wide research infrastructure which is particularly supportive of interdisciplinary enquiry. In the School, there are currently seven research groups active or in development: Digital Studies, Ecology and the Arts, Justice and the Arts, Translation, The Life of Texts, Performance and Performativity, and World Cinema and Cosmopolitics
The School plays a leading role in Faculty and University-wide research groups, including the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Cultural Ecologies, the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, and the Centre for Medical Humanities, and plays an important role in the University’s prestigious Institute of Advanced Study, which promotes world-class research across the Faculties.
The School is a key contributor to one of four major research programmes to which the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) awarded funding in 2016 as part of its Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). It is part of a consortium headed by the University of Manchester, which was awarded c. £4 million to develop a large interdisciplinary research programme titled "Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community" (2016 – 2020).
As part of its commitment to local regeneration through internationalisation, the School is engaged in collaborative activities with Auckland Castle Trust around the Spanish Art in County Durham initiative (https://www.aucklandcastle.org/spanish-gallery/)
There are currently just under 50 active researchers in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, across eight language areas. They are supported by approximately 40 specialist language teachers and 12 members of professional support staff.
Every research active member of staff is supported by a long-term research advisor who, for instance, offers guidance on funding opportunities and collaborators, comments on draft papers or book proposals, and acts as a sounding board to develop new ideas and research themes.
Learn More: durham.ac.uk/mlac/staff