English and American literary studies rank among long-established disciplines at the Faculty of Arts: the origins can be traced back to the 1880s. International recognition came in the 1920s with the development of the Prague School of Structuralism. In the present day, the Department combines this heritage and traditional literary historiography with contemporary theoretical approaches utilised in an interdisciplinary context.
The Department consists of five research units:
Our study programmes in Anglophone literatures and cultures feature courses covering eras from the Middle Ages to the present and a wide range of scholarly projects and activities. Members of the Department specialise in fields as diverse as Shakespeare studies and translation, Romanticism, contemporary poetics, modernism, critical and cultural theory, drama and performance studies, or Irish studies. For more detailed information on our research, teaching and activities please see the profiles of individual Sections and Centres.
We promote rigorous study of English-language literatures and cultures along with a commitment to developing advanced skills in writing, analysis and critical thinking among students at BA, MA and PhD levels. Consequently, we welcome students who are intellectually curious, have strong linguistic skills and are keen to engage with the richly varied literatures and cultures in the Anglophone world. We aim to provide students with a challenging, but stimulating and enjoyable environment for learning and development. Lectures and seminars are complemented by regular guest speakers, special workshops and colloquia, study abroad programmes, as well as literary and artistic events.
The Department has hosted various major conferences including the European Association for American Studies conference (2004), the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures conference (2005), the Prague School and Theories of Structure conference (2007), the International James Joyce Symposium (2010), the World Shakespeare Congress (2011), Metamorphoses: The III International Flann O’Brien Conference (2015), AR AN IMEALL I LÁR AN DOMHAIN: An tairseachúlacht i litríocht agus i gcultúr na hÉireann agus na hEorpa (2017), and Samuel Beckett and Technology conference (2018).
We have been the proud hosts of talks and readings by writers from around the world such as Joseph Heller, Seamus Heaney, Muriel Spark, John Tranter, Derek Mahon, Janet Turner-Hospital, David Lodge, Michael Longley, Gail Jones, Tom McCarthy, Medbh McGuckian, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Alan Titley, Biddy Jenkinson, and Alan Spence.
We have also received a wide variety of guest lecturers including Wolfgang Iser, J. Hillis Miller, Sacvan Bercovitch, Derek Attridge, Robert J.C. Young, Carlo Ginzburg, R.F. Foster, Luke Gibbons, Jerome McGann, Christoph Bode, Aleks Sierz, Murray Pittock, Christopher Innes, Bonnie Kime Scott, Elisabeth Archibald, Edna Longley, Joep Leerssen, Margaret Kelleher, Patricia Coughlan, Claire Connolly, Michael Cronin, David Cowart, Margery Palmer McCulloch, Christopher Whyte, Hugh J. Silverman, Matthew Roudané, Declan Kiberd, and David Duff.
We participate actively in the Erasmus+ programme, with links to universities in Budapest, Brighton, Canterbury, Dublin, Durham, Edinburgh, Galway, Geneva, Lausanne, Leicester, Leuven, Limerick, Ljubljana, Louvain, Málaga, Manchester, Nicosia, Oslo, Paris, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Stirling, Strathclyde and Winchester, while students also have the opportunity to apply to study in the USA and Canada. Visiting students come to us from all around the globe including the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Finland, Spain, France, Denmark and Austria.