Skip to main content

News and Events

Doctoral Successes

Congratulations to PhD students Lizzie Scott, Joe Lines and Andy Eaton for successfully passing their viva voce examinations:  

  • Lizzie Scott: "Monologue to Dialogue: Linguistic factors affecting the interactive conversation of children with Autism"
  • Joe Lines: "Rogues and the Picaresque in Early Irish Fiction, 1660-1790"
  • Andy Eaton: Creative component: "Two Camps"; Critical Component: "The American Family Elegy After 1995"

The School wishes Lizzie, Joe and Andy the best for the future.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Sheila Llewellyn

Congratulations are due to our PhD Creative Writing student, Sheila Llewellyn. In addition to two consecutive shortlistings for the Costa Short Story Prize, Sheila has now also been shortlisted for the Hilary Mantel International Short Story Award with her story "The Thousand Yard Memory", which is a part of the creative component of her PhD. Many congratulations to Sheila, yet again!

Top of Page

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences:

Family Open Evenings

Want to discover how studying exceptional subjects can lead to exceptional results?

Bring your family and we’ll show you how to get your career on course with the world-class university that’s right on your doorstep.

Thursday 13 November 2014 6.15pm – 8.45pm
Whitla Hall | Queen’s University Belfast

Thursday 20 November 2014 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Canal Court Hotel | Newry

Thursday 27 November 2014 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Everglades Hotel | Derry/Londonderry 

Download the  AHSS Family Open Evenings Flyer

Top of Page

4th Annual ILinC Conference 2014 (Interdisciplinary Linguistics Conference)

Saturday, 1st November 2014

This year’s conference theme is ‘Making a difference: language and social impact’. With this theme, we seek to explore the  effects of language research and its value in implementing change in policy and informing individuals in areas such as justice, health, education and community development. We encourage the presentation of diverse methodologies, collaborative projects and research into previously neglected subject areas. 

For more information and to register, please visit:

Top of Page

MA and PhD Funding for Autumn 2015 Entry

MA studentships

Home/EU Applicants

There will be TEN fee-only awards for September 2015 entry, 5 awards each of £5,000 and 5 awards each of £2,500.  Applications submitted between now and 30 June 2015 will be considered.

International Applicants

There will be TWO fee-only awards for September 2015 entry, each worth £12,500.  Applications submitted between now and 2nd February 2015 will be considered.


Postgraduate Research

The School of English invites applications for its funded PhD Awards. These PhD studentships – funded by the AHRC and by DEL – will offer fees and maintenance (c.£17,5000) per annum, for the 3 years of PhD study. The number of these awards will be determined in early 2012.

Applications are invited in all aspects of English studies: literary studies, language and linguistics, and creative writing. Please see the School’s web-pages for further details of staff research interests.

Applicants must submit a sample piece of writing (3,000 words maximum); a thesis proposal (consisting of a description of the project, 1500 words maximum, an indicative bibliography and a summary of 250 words maximum); and the names and contact details of two referees.

International Applicants

The School offers ONE three-year studentship for September 2015 entry, worth £24,500 annually, £12,500 in fees and £12,000 in maintenance.  Applications submitted between now and 2nd February 2015 will be considered.

Students from outside the UK/EU who wish to undertake doctoral study with the School of English should apply through the university’s Prospective Student Portal by 2 February 2015 in order to be considered for this funding.

How to Apply

Students should apply on-line via the university’s Prospective Student Portal.

For further queries, contact Linda Drain.

The deadline for self-funded places is Friday 4th June.

Top of Page

Irish Song Symposium

18-19 September, 2014

Queen's University Belfast

This symposium is organised in association with the AHRC-funded research project on Irish song, which is based in the School of English Queen’s University Belfast, and which aims to develop an historical typology of Irish Song, from the earliest examples through to c.1800. The project is wide-ranging in its scope, encompassing song texts written in Irish, English, French and Latin, and in a wide variety of forms and types (caoine, chant, hymns, as well as work songs, nursery rhymes, drinking songs, love songs and many more). Evidence for the songs is drawn from manuscripts, song-sheets and early printed books in libraries in Ireland and Britain but also from what we might learn from the transmission, performance and cultural memory of song. The symposium consists of a range of invited papers which represent the diversity of these traditions. It is anticipated that conversations and songs exchanged at the symposium will contribute towards the project’s aims of mapping and tracing the history and development of varieties of song tradition and practice in Ireland.

For full details and on-line registration, please visit the symposium web-site. Download:  Irish Song Symposium programme

The event is free of charge, but we would appreciate early registration (before Monday 15th September 2014), for catering purposes. 

Professor Moyra Haslett
Dr Ann Buckley
Dr Conor Caldwell
Sheila Rooney

Top of Page

Postgraduate Handbooks 2014-15

The 2014-15 handbooks for students undertaking postgraduate taught and postgraduate research degrees are now available to download on the Information for Postgraduates homepage.  

There is also information on MA pathway modules and preliminary readings lists.

Top of Page

The School of English Newsletter

The July 2014 issue of the School of English newsletter is now available for downloading.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Paul Murphy

Congratulations to Paul, who successfully defended his PhD,  'A Cultural History of Gesture: England, c.1380-1559', at viva last Friday.  Paul will be graduating with an unprecedented number of successful doctoral candidates from the School in July.  The School wishes him, and his peers, all the best for the future.

Top of Page

Poetry for Peace and Reconciliation

A performance of poetry on the theme of peace and reconciliation produced in specially convened workshops, by community groups from across Northern Ireland, to coincide with the celebration of the centenary of the Peace Palace at The Hague will take place on Friday (June 20). The event will also feature readings by Belfast poet Ciaran Carson, who has written about the conflict and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The participants’ poems - written by ex fire fighters, a nurse who worked with the injured during the Troubles and others who simply wanted to share thoughts on building peace post-conflict - will be read by well-known actors.

The project has been arranged by Dr Leon Litvack from the School of English at Queen’s University.

June 20, Brian Friel Theatre, 20 University Square, Belfast. Performance begins at 7pm


Top of Page

Reading and Writing for Peace - Closing Event

Dr Leon Litvack has been running a poetry project called 'Reading and Writing for Peace', funded by the Community Relations Council. The first phase of this project concludes with a performance event on 20 June, in which selected participants will read from their own work. They will be joined by Ciaran Carson, Leontia Flynn, and Moyra Donaldson, who will also read. Participants can download the application form here: Reading and Writing for Peace - Application Form

Top of Page

2013 Urban Culture Lecture: The curious case of Mademoiselle de Choiseul

The Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies (QUB) warmly invites you to the 2014 Urban Culture lecture, which will be given by Professor Catriona Seth (Universite de Lorraine) on Tuesday 6 May 2014, 6pm (12 University Square, 101):
The Curious Case of Mademoiselle de Choiseul
In the 1720s, all Paris was awash with rumours about the true identity of Mlle de Saint-Cyr. She claimed to be the hidden daughter of the duc and duchesse de Choiseul. The marks on her skin, medical records, the family's fortune, her mother's reputation were all discussed in private conversations and in the law-courts. Her case offers a fascinating insight into Ancien Régime mores and will allow us to address questions which are still of interest today.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Maaz Bilal

A Passage to Ireland? International student Maaz Bilal shortlisted for the NUS International Student of the Year Award.

Prizes will be awarded in Birmingham on 6 May.

As Secretary of the South Asian Student’s Society (SASS) of Queen’s University Belfast in 2013, Maaz Bilal has played an exceptional role in welcoming students from that region to Belfast, organizing cultural programs, mediating Asian culture to Northern Ireland, and acculturating Asian students (and staff) to academic life in the UK. During his tenure as Secretary, SASS organized a great many events over the last year, including celebration of South Asian festivals such as Eid and Diwali (in collaboration with the Malaysian society); a ‘desi’ (national) night to which people of all nationalities were invited; film screenings; local travel expeditions; discussion groups; dance classes; and sporting events (football and bowling). For the Diwali celebration at the Students Union, Bilal wrote, directed and choreographed a new dramatic version of the great Indian epic Ramayana involving student actors. Located in India, Sri Lanka, and Belfast, his innovative work of drama rendered afresh the ancient mythology of South Asia for its Belfast audience. As a PhD student and Teaching Assistant, he helped popularize South Asian literature and films with Northern Irish students. He also collaborated very successfully with Prof Mark Burnett in the School of English to introduce and discuss a unique screening of Karmayogi, a Malayalam film version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for a mixed group of students and staff at the Student’s Union in Queen’s University Belfast. Film screenings at SASS included a mix of films representing various regions and languages followed by discussions. Bilal’s commitment to cultural exchange and diversity is intimately linked with his own research project on the British writer, E.M. Forster, whose famous novel A Passage to India explores the difficulties of inter-racial and inter-faith relations during the Raj. During Bilal’s tenure as Secretary, the South Asian Society celebrated and embraced not only Asian culture but also reached out to other cultures. It was heartening to see not only Asian students but also students of other nationalities and cultures, British, Irish, American, African, and European, attending SASS functions and joining its celebrations at the Student’s Union here, benefiting the entire student body. Not only students, but also Queen’s staff and their families, and people from the local communities were made to feel welcome at these events, bringing in record numbers of participants to these events in recent years in collaboration with local community groups such as Indian Community Centre and Arts Ekta. Vice-chancellor and President Peter Gregson and PVC Tony Gallagher were chief guests at the Desi and Diwali nights respectively. In a city too often associated with sectarian divisions and conflict, Bilal has made internationalization at Queen’s a two-way process for both Asian and British/Irish students, challenging the stereotypes associated with nationality, race, ethnicity and religious belief. His impact will continue to be felt through the legacy of cultural tolerance and harmony which he inculcated so successfully through the South Asian Student’s Society at Queen’s.

Top of Page

Seamus Heaney’s work commemorated in four day event at Queen’s

Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s, Professor Ciaran Carson and Belfast’s Poet Laureate, and Reader in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre at the School of English at Queen’s, Dr Sinead Morrissey launch the four day commemoration of Seamus Heaney at Queen's University.

A major commemoration of Seamus Heaney’s work is being launched at Queen’s University Belfast. Seamus Heaney was both an undergraduate at Queen’s (1957-61) and a lecturer in the School of English (1963-72).

The four day event, organised by the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at the School of English at Queen’s, coincides with Heaney’s 75th birthday and the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Centre.

Seamus Heaney: a Conference and Commemoration, which is the first of a series of activities to mark Seamus Heaney’s legacy at Queen’s, will be a celebration of his work and provide an opportunity for an extended discussion both of his contribution to literature, and of his legacy for future generations of poets, critics and general readers.

As well as a full academic programme, the conference will feature a series of readings, two of which are open to the public.  These events, which take place in the Ulster Hall and the Lyric Theatre, see some of our finest poets, including Medbh McGuckian and Michael Longley, read their own work and as well as their favourite Heaney poems.

Top of Page

MA in Broadcast Literacy nominated in Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards 2014

The School of English’s MA in Broadcast Literacy has been shortlisted for the Best New Course award at the postgradireland Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards 2014. The MA combines practical and theoretical work to provide students with a rounded understanding of the ways that radio and television are created, used and interpreted. Currently only in its third year, students from the MA are already working in broadcasting, including at the BBC, and undertaking postgraduate study. The final winner of the award will be announced on 30 April.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Joanne Burns

Congratulations to Joanne Burns who is the recipient of £1,000 William and Betty MacQuitty travel scholarship to present a paper at the Romantic Connections conference in Tokyo in July 2014. Joanne will be presenting a paper on her research on the Irish Melodies of Thomas Moore. 

Top of Page

Recent Doctoral Successes

Congratulations to the following PGR students who have successfully defended their theses at Viva since December:

  • Adam Bargroff, ‘John McGahern and the American Connection: Intertextuality and Masculinity’
  • Megan Minogue, ‘‘Performing Protestantism: The Representations of Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist Identities in selected Northern Irish Drama’
  • Eamon Byers, ‘‘“Folk kan synge hit bet than I”: The Medievalism of English Folk music, 1750-2013’
  • Kevin Murray, ‘Shakespeare and Auteur Cinema’
  • Deepthi Sebastian, ‘The Vigilante Strain and the Spaces of the State in Contemporary Fiction’
  • Cat McGurren, ‘Representations of prostitution in contemporary Irish literature and culture’
  • Kate Walls, ‘Muriel Spark and Catholicism’
  • John Heaney, 'Schopenhauer and the Unconscious Origins of Literary Modernism'
  • Helen Ringrow (née Morrow), ‘A cross-comparison study of English and French cosmetic advertisements‘

Top of Page

Postgraduate Careers Event 

The School is hosting a Postgraduate Careers Event open to both MA and PhD students from the School of English on Thursday 13th March in the PFC room 02/018 at 5pm.

Former students of Queen's will give a short talk about their experiences of finding a job and how the skills developed during their PG studies helped them in their career.

This will be followed by a question and answer session and a drinks reception.

Top of Page

QUB Postgraduate Scholarships worth £2500 available for the MA in Broadcast Literacy and the MA in Creative Writing

Queen's University Belfast offers a full range of scholarships including awards of £2,500 available for full-time postgraduate courses commencing in September 2014

Queen's is looking to attract the brightest and the best postgraduate taught students. If you want to maximise your career opportunities, postgraduate study allows you to achieve your academic ambitions in a stimulating learning environment.

As part of our new Postgraduate Taught Scholarships initiative, we are now offering awards of £2,500 for those applying for a PGT programme that contributes to Northern Ireland’s economic competitiveness and prosperity in global markets.

See here for details.  The deadline is May 30th, 2014.

Top of Page

Poetry for Peace

Reading and Writing for Peace is a poetry-based project, originated by the School of English's Leon Litvack, which has received funding from the Community Relations Council. Its core aim is to use the reading and writing of poetry to engage citizens – that is, us -- with ideas about peace-building and reconciliation processes, and to get us to articulate these through poetry which explores our own views and feelings on these important matters. Participants will be involved in two related activities: reading and writing workshops and performance events.

Local blogger and writer Claire Savage has written on the impact of the project on her own writing and understanding of poetry.

Top of Page

The Lifeboat Poetry readings

Yet another successful Lifeboat Reading was held on the 4th February in Belfast city centre, organised by students of poetry at Queen's but reaching out to a broad audience across the city. For this event, the Sunflower Bar hosted Conor O'Callghan reading from his wonderful new collection, The Sun King, published in 2013 by the Gallery Press. Conor was accompanied by QUB PhD student, Joe Lines, editor of the student poetry magazine The Open Ear and a talented poet in his own right. Thanks to QUB PhD poetry student Stephen Connolly, and all his dedicated team, for hosting such a memorable event!

The next Lifeboat reading features Paula Cunningham and Padraig Regan (a final-year student in the School) on Wednesday March 5th in the Sunflower.

Follow the Lifeboat on Twitter (@The_Lifeboat) for news of future events.

Top of Page

BBC’s World War One at Home project – BBC Nations researchers announced

Congratulations to Professor Fran Brearton, who has been appointed as one of the researchers selected to support the BBC's prestigious World War One at Home project.  Fran will be Principal Investigator alongside Marie Coleman from the Institute for Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, who will be Co-Investigator.  The project will tell the story of the First World War through the people whose lives were transformed - in their homes, schools, churches, theatres, streets, factories, and so on – by the conflict.



Top of Page

Postgraduate Open Days

Are you interested in MA study, or continuing to a PhD? There are a couple of events coming up that offer the opportunity to ask questions about the options open to you and what further study would be like, and to discuss your ideas informally with members of staff and current postgraduates.

On Friday 7th February the School of English will be holding an MA Open Day in the Postgraduate and International Students Centre, Seminar Room 1 from 2-5pm.

On Thursday 27th February there will be a general Postgraduate Open Day covering options across Queen’s University, in Whitla Hall from 11am-3pm. Feel free to stop by the School of English stall and ask questions about the MA or PhD programmes. Details and a registration form are available at here.

Other information about postgraduate study in the School of English can be found on our web pages. This includes information about funding available for MA and PhD study.

Please note: applications for funded PhD places must be in by 17th February. Applications for the AHRC funded MA must be in by 17th February, while applications for our ten MA studentships in English must be in by 20th June.

If you have any queries about MA study, they can be directed to Moyra Haslett. If you want to know more about PhD study, please contact Adrian Streete.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Ciaran Carson

Professor Ciaran Carson, director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry and one of Ireland's leading writers, has just been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.  Ciaran joins other Irish and Northern Irish writers such as Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, Enda O'Brien, Bernard O'Donoghue, Julia O'Faolain, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, among others, as Fellow.

Congratulations Ciaran!

Top of Page

PhD student Sheila Llewellyn nominated for Costa short story award

Sheila Llewellyn, a PhD student in Creative Writing at the Heaney Centre, has been shortlisted for this year's Costa Short Story Award. There are only six finalists, out of thousands of entries. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London later this month. This is Sheila's second shortlisting for the Costa Short Story Award - she was also a finalist last year.  Her nomination is further indication of the high standing of creative writing at the School and the Heaney Centre.

Congratulations Sheila!

Top of Page

Reading for Life at QUB is delighted to be collaborating with Queen’s University to bring a unique literary project to the School of English in 2014.

The project, the first of its kind in Ireland, promotes reading for pleasure and is twofold, comprising both a community and an academic strand. Innovative shared reading groups, ‘Reading For Life’, will bring people together from across the campus and the community to read and respond to a varied treasure-house of literature from a range of cultural and historical contexts.

These will be small, dynamic groups, in which an experienced shared reading facilitator will read aloud from both prose and poetry, stopping often to give time to respond to the text. Groups will be friendly, engaging and informal – there will be no preparatory reading, no wrong answers, and no pre-requisites.

Groups are led by Dr Patricia Canning.  

The project is open to everyone - come along from week one (Seamus Heaney Centre, ground floor, Tuesdays 2.15 – 3.45pm, with more groups to follow) and enjoy the readings.

Please download her flyer for more information:  Reading for Life 2014

Top of Page

School of English Newsletter

The January 2014 issue of the School of English Newsletter is now available to download here.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Sinéad Morrissey

Sinéad Morrissey, Reader in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre and Belfast's inaugural Poet Laureate, has been awarded the 2013 T.S. Eliot Prize for her collection Parallax. The most prestigious award in British poetry, Morrissey follows poets such as Derek Walcott, Les Murray, Ted Hughes, Anne Carson, as well as fellow Northern Irish poets Seamus Heaney, Ciaran Carson, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon, in winning the award for Best Collection. 

Chair of the final judging panel, Ian Duhig said: “In a year of brilliantly themed collections, the judges were unanimous in choosing Sinéad Morrissey’s Parallax as the winner [...] Politically, historically and personally ambitious, expressed in beautifully turned language, her book is as many-angled and any-angled as its title suggests."

Congratulations Sinéad!

Top of Page

PhD studentships available for 2014 entry

The School of English invites PhD applications for both funded studentships and self-funded places. There will be range of funded studentships available in 2014-15:

  • AHRC 'Northern Bridge' consortium awards (which invites proposals of the students' own devising)
  • DEL 'open' awards (for proposals of the students' own devising)
  • DEL 'themed' awards (for specific projects, details to be released shortly)

Information on the application process, deadlines and the nature of the themed awards is now available on our postgraduate students pages.

There will be an Open Day for those interested in applying for PhD study on Thursday 19th December, starting at 2pm in the Postgraduate and International Student Centre, Seminar Room 2.

  • AHRC: The deadline for applications is: 5pm, Monday 17th February, 2014. Successful applicants will be informed of the outcome by the Consortium on Tuesday 15th April, 2014.

    !! Applicants should complete the  AHRC BGP2 Nomination Form and submitt to the School by 17th February 2014 

  • DEL: The deadline for applications is: 5pm, Monday 17th February, 2014. Applications for the DEL awards will then be ranked in the School and successful candidates notified in April 2014.
  • Self-funding deadline: The deadline for self-funded PhD study will be 1 August 2014.

Top of Page

‘Seamus Heaney: a Conference and Commemoration’

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast is hosting a major international conference to honour Seamus Heaney from 10th-13th April 2014. ‘Seamus Heaney: a Conference and Commemoration’ will coincide with Seamus’s 75th birthday and the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Centre. The conference will be a celebration of Seamus’s work, and will provide an opportunity for an extended discussion both of his contribution to literature, and of his legacy for future generations of poets, critics and general readers.

Visit the conference website for further details.

Top of Page

AHRC MA Studentship

In addition to 10 School fees bursaries (£4,900), the School is permitted to nominate a candidate for an AHRC MA studentship. This highly prestigious studentship would comprise payment of MA fees (£4,900) and a maintenance stipend. The successful applicant should intend to continue postgraduate study into a doctorate.  

Visit our Postgraduate Students pages for more details.

Top of Page

Time and Space in Early Modern Literature and Culture, 1500-1700

The programme for Time and Space in Early Modern Literature and Culture, 1500-1700, hosted by the School of English on January 17th and 18th, is now available to download:  Time and Space - Final programme

Top of Page

Congratulations to Glenn Patterson

Glenn Patterson, novelist and Lecturer in Creative Writing in the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, has been nominated, with his co-writer Colin Carberry, in the category of 'Outstanding Debut by a Writer, Director or Producer' in this year's BAFTAs. Patterson and Carbery have been nominated for their work on the film, Good Vibrations, the story of Belfast music impresario Terry Hooley.

Congratulations Glenn and Colin! 

Top of Page

DEL Themed and International PhD studentships

Information is now available on the DEL Themed and International PhD studentships for 2014 entry.  Download the information brochure:  DEL Themed and International PhD details

Visit our Postgraduate Studies pages for further details.

Top of Page

Ciaran Carson nominated for the 2013 Popescu Prize (formerly the European Poetry Translation Prize)

Congratulations to Professor Ciaran Carson for being shortlisted for the 2013 Popescu Prize for for In the Light of: after Illuminations, Arthur Rimbaud, (from French):

"What the judges say: Among the different meanings of Rimbaud’s title, Illuminations, is a book of coloured plates. An illuminated manuscript for the modernist age, the Illuminations shine in Ciaran Carson’s translation."

Visit the Popescu Prize page for further information. Professor Carson's nomination follows recent news of Dr Sinéad Morrissey's shortlisting for the 2013 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

Top of Page

Sinéad Morrissey nominated for the T.S. Eliot Prize

Congratulations to Reader in Creative Writing at the Heaney Centre and Belfast's inaugural poet laureate Sinéad Morrissey, whose latest collection Parallax has been nominated for the Poetry Book Society's T.S. Eliot Prize.  The winner of the 2013 Prize will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Monday 13 January 2014, when the winner will be presented with a cheque for £15,000, donated by the T S Eliot Trustees, following on in the tradition of Mrs Valerie Eliot, who generously gave the prize money from the inception of the Prize. Other nominees are listed on the Poetry Book Society's website.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Sheila Llewellyn

Sheila has been awarded an Arts Council of Northern Ireland Individual Artist Award for a special project to write creative pieces on artefacts, paintings, ephemera, etc.,  found in museums, archives, libraries and 'quirky collections'.


Top of Page

MA Studentships in English

The School of English invites applications for the following MA awards:

  • TEN home/ EU fee scholarships for MA study (fee-only award)

Bursaries must be applied for by 20 June 2014. 

Top of Page

PhD Student Successes

Staff and students in the School of English congratulate the following for successfully passing their Viva Voce examinations and attaining their PhD degrees this week (11-14th November):

  • William Liddle, 'The Virtue of Place in Late Medieval Lynn'
  • Ben Maier, 'Radio Poetry'
  • Matthew Reznicek, 'Money and the European Metropolis: the novels of Sydney Owenson, Maria Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Kate O’Brien'

Congratulations and best wishes for the future!

Top of Page

Reading and Writing for Peace: A Celebration of the Centenary of the Piece Palace

Dr Leon Litvack  has received a substantial grant from the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, for a project entitled “Reading and Writing for Peace: A Celebration of the Centenary of the Piece Palace". Read his article on the Peace Palace, and its relevance for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

Top of Page

Distinguished Fulbright Scholars Join the School in 2014

In January 2014, Professor Liz Rosenberg, Distinguished Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing, and Professor Elisabeth Ann Sheffield, Distinguished Fulbright Scholar in Anglophone Irish Writing, join the School for six months. Liz Rosenberg is Professor of Comparative Literature and Creative Writing in the Department of English and Creative Writing, College of Arts and Sciences, State University of New York at Binghampton.  Elisabeth Sheffield is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing in the Department of English and Creative Writing, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder.  Click here for profiles of Professors Rosenberg and Sheffield.

For further information about these two Distinguished Fulbright Scholars and their residence in the school of English at Queen’s in 2014, please contact Professor Brian Caraher.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Amy Burnside

Congratulations to Amy Burnside, who is starting her MA in Irish Writing with us this month, on her Irish Undergraduate Award 2013. Her winning paper is entitled 'An Examination of Gender Relations in James Joyce's Ulysses' .

Top of Page

BBC Louis MacNeice Week

Join School of English writers and critics, including Fran Brearton, Sinéad Morrissey and Glenn Patterson, for a series of screenings, talks and event to celebrate the life of Louis MacNeice. Events will be explore his varied career as a poet, playwright and BBC programme-maker and the continued relevance of his work. These events coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of MacNeice’s death in September 1963 and will be accompanied by a special series of programmes and features on BBC Radio Ulster.

BBC MacNeice Week - programme

Top of Page

TOEBI Annual Meeting to be Held at Queen's

TOEBI, the organisation for Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland, aims to promote and support the teaching of Old English in British and Irish Universities, and to raise the profile of the Old English language, Old English literature and Anglo-Saxon England in the public eye. The organisation consists of some 100 professionals, students and other enthusiasts; it produces its own newsletter, holds an annual meeting and an AGM.

This year's annual meeting will take place at Queen's on October 24th.  For more details see here.

Top of Page

Seamus Heaney

Staff and students of the School of English convey their condolences to the family of Seamus Heaney, who has died aged 74. A former student of and lecturer in the School, and patron of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Heaney's stature can be measured by the global reaction to his passing. As Heaney Centre director Professor Ciaran Carson has put it, "Seamus Heaney's death will leave a void in all our lives. But his words have become part of our lives, and he endures in them. There is no poet in Ireland who has not been influenced by his example, and is in his debt; but so is everyone who has been touched by his poetry, and they are innumerable."


Top of Page

ILinC 2013 - Interdisciplinary Linguistics Conference

Evolving perspectives: Innovative approaches to language studies

Saturday 2nd November 2013

Queen’s University Belfast: Schools of English, Modern Languages and Education 

Queen’s University Belfast is pleased to announce its Interdisciplinary Linguistics Conference 2013 (ILinC 2013), a student-led venture co-organised by the Schools of English, Education and Modern Languages. This one-day conference will give researchers studying language in all academic disciplines the opportunity to exchange information about their research practice in the presence of distinguished and esteemed academics in the field of linguistics. In addition, the event aims to bring together researchers from different academic divisions carrying out language studies in order to foster cross-disciplinary contact. 

Further details, here.


Top of Page

The School of English is pleased to be involved in the following forthcoming event:
7 November 2013
Postgraduate Centre, QUB
All MA and PhD students are warmly invited to attend.

Top of Page

Sinéad Morrissey and Lord Mayor of Belfast Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Congratulations to Sinéad Morrissey, appointed the first 'Poet-Laureate' of Belfast

Dr Sinead Morrissey of the School of English and Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry has been appointed by the Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as Belfast's first Poet Laureate for a period of one year. She will work with residents and write a series of poems about the city. The Lord Mayor has asked her to focus on the "hidden Belfast'', by working with ethnic minority groups and with the young and the vulnerable, helping to demonstrate how together they join in making one city.

Further information: 

Lord Mayor reveals his Vision for Belfast (Belfast City Council) | Arts Council of Northern Ireland | BBC News | QUB

Top of Page

Congratulations to Sinéad Morrissey

Congratulations to Sinéad Morrissey, whose new collection, Parallax, is one of five poetry collections shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection. The winner will be announced on 1st October.

The Forward Prizes for Poetry were created in 1991 by William Sieghart with the aim of extending poetry's audience, raising poetry's profile and linking poetry to people in new ways. The prizes do this by identifying and honouring talent.

The awards are among the most coveted poetry prizes in Britain: previous winners include Seamus Heaney Centre director Ciaran Carson, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney himself, Alice Oswald, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Kathleen Jamie.

Top of Page

Publication of Results, Summer 2013

Results for all undergraduate modules will be published on the afternoon of Wednesday June 19th.  Results will appear on QSIS, with module feedback available via module homepages on QOL.

Degree results for Stage Three students will be published on Thursday June 20th, via QSIS.

MA module results will also be published on Thursday June 20th.

Top of Page

Common Ground IV Postgraduate conference

The School of English’s annual postgraduate symposium is now in its fourth year.  Run by and for our own MA and PhD students, this year’s event takes place this coming Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th June in the PG Centre, 18 College Green. The Common Ground IV programme  is now available, comprising an exciting mixture of panels, workshops, creative writing readings and a wine reception on both evenings. 

Top of Page

QS World University Rankings Global 100 status for the School of English

The recently published QS World University Rankings for 2013 sees English at Queen's ranked in the Global 100 of top universities undertaking teaching and research in English Language and Literature.

English is one of five subjects at QUB to be ranked in the QS Global 100.

Top of Page

Romantic Lacunae: Silences, Gaps, and Empty Spaces

Queen’s University Belfast

2nd August 2013

Keynote Speaker: Dr Fiona Price

Call for Papers:

We invite paper and panel proposals on topics related to silences, disjunctions, and absences in Romantic-era texts, for a one-day conference hosted by the School of English and the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Queen’s University Belfast on 2 August, 2013. The keynote speaker will be Dr Fiona Price, Reader in English Literature at the University of Chichester. 

For further information, visit the conference homepage

Top of Page

Congratulations to Leontia Flynn

Congratulations to Leontia Flynn for winning the 2013 Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, presented last week at the University of St Thomas, Minnesota. The $5,000 O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, established in 1997, honours Irish poets.

The award is named for Lawrence O’Shaughnessy, who taught English at St. Thomas from 1948 to 1950, formerly served on the university’s Board of Trustees, and has recently retired as head of the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation.

Top of Page

International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures Annual Conference 2013

The School of English is delighted to host the

International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures Annual Conference


School of English, Queen's University Belfast
22-26 July 2013

The conference website is now live.
UPDATE: We have had an extremely good response to the initial Call for Papers and would like to thank everyone who has submitted an abstract. We have decided to extend the deadline with a Second and Final Call for Papers.

The final deadline will be Friday 19 April 2013.

Top of Page

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Showcase

Wednesday April 17th - a day of events will showcase some of the leading research from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen’s. Download the  AHSS flyer for information.

Top of Page

Latest Issue of the School Newsletter

The School of English Newsletter - Feb 2013 is now available for download, featuring profiles of new staff, reminiscences from recent and former graduates and news from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry.       

Top of Page

Claiming a Place - International Women's Day 2013

In association with the Queens Gender Initiative, Moyra Haslett (School of English) will give an illustrated talk - 'Claiming a place: group portraits of women, 1779-2003' - on Wednesday 6th March, 12.30-1.30 in the Council Chamber, QUB.

Top of Page

New Crops, Old Fields: (Re)Imagining Irish Folklore

5th - 7th September 2013 Queen's University Belfast

This conference aims at exploring the rich traditions of Irish folklore, and looking at the various ways it is being, has been or indeed was, re-purposed and reinvented. We hope to bring together researchers at various stages of their careers, both professional and postgraduate, working on any and every aspect of the folklore of Ireland, its reappropriation and dissemination up to the present day or indeed the reuse of traditions. 

Confirmed keynote speaker:

Prof. Diarmuid Ó Giolláin (University of Notre-Dame).

Please submit proposals of 300 words and a short biography to by 1st May 2013.

Visit the conference website for more information.

Top of Page

McGahern Conference - Registration

Registration is now open for A Way of Seeing: 50 Years of John McGahern in Print to be hosted at the School on March 15th and 16th.  Please visit the conference page or register directly here

Top of Page

QUB Medieval

The second issue of the QUB Medieval Newsletter is now available to download.  The newsletter represents staff and student activities across the Schools of English, History, and Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology.  Congratulations and thanks to editors, Natalie Calder, Aisling Reid and Craig Wallace.

Medieval QUB Newsletter Sem 1 2013  

Medieval Studies at Queen's is also on Twitter, with nearly 1100 followers!  See:


Top of Page

Themed PhD studentship awards, commencing September 2013

The School of English, Queen’s University Belfast, is pleased to announce THREE PhD studentship awards, for designated topics, commencing in September 2013.

Further details of these awards follow below. In summary form, these studentships are as follows:

1.) A DEL doctoral studentship in Geography and National Identity in Anglo-Saxon England’ 

Supervisors: Dr Marilina Cesario and Dr Keith Lilley
Eligibility: UK residents


2.) A DEL Creative Writing doctoral studentship in ‘Radical Crime Fiction’

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Pepper and Dr Dominique Jeannerod
Eligibility: UK residents


3.) An international doctoral studentship in ‘Anglo-Dutch-Spanish Politics in Early Modern Literary Culture’

Supervisors: Dr Adrian Streete and Prof Isabel Torres
Eligibility: EU and International students

Further information on the projects Themed PhD projects, 2013  

Applications for these awards must be submitted through the Queen’s online application system (on the prospective students’ portal) before the closing date of FRIDAY 22nd February, 2013. Applications are similar to those invited for ‘open’ PhD studentships, but applicants are not required to upload a description of the intended thesis.

Applicants for these ‘themed’ awards should indicate the title of the award to which they are applying in the application form and should supply, instead of the thesis description, a personal statement (maximum 1500 words) outlining the distinctive contribution they could make to the research for the thesis.

Informal enquiries are very welcome and should be directed to the relevant supervisors named here or to the School’s Director of PG Education: Dr Adrian Streete (


Top of Page

Congratulations to Kelly McCaughrain

Kelly, a part-time Stage Two student in the School who is on the Creative Writing pathway, has had her novel for teenagers shortlisted in the Times Chicken House Children's Fiction Award.  The School wishes Kelly the best of luck for the award!

Top of Page

Congratulations to Sheila Llewellyn

Congratulations to Sheila Llewellyn, a PhD student in the School of English, who is a finalist in this year's Costa Short Story Award.  From the Costa press release:


A painting in an Irish art gallery triggers off painful memories for one of the art gallery attendants originally from East Germany.

Sheila had two careers before turning to creative writing - firstly working for the British Council in Iran, Africa and Singapore, before retraining as a psychologist specialising in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She now lives in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland and recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Queen's University, Seamus Heaney Centre. In 2011, her radio play The House on Shareni Street won the PJ O' Connor Radio Drama Award and in 2012, Sheila was shortlisted for the Seán Ó 'Faoláin International Short Story Prize and for the Bridport Prize. She is currently studying for a PhD and writing a historical novel. 


Top of Page

Postgraduate Open Days 2013

The School will be hosting Open Days for prospective MA and PhD applicants in January.  The PhD Open Day will take place on Monday 21th January, 2013, 11.00-1.30 in the Old Staff Common Room, Lanyon Building and School of English.  The Open Day for prospective MA applicants will be held the following Monday, January 28th, 11.00-1.30 in the Old Staff Common Room, Lanyon Building and School of English.  

Visit the School's page for prospective postgraduate applicants for further details.

Top of Page

2013 Schools Programme

The schedule for this year's School Programme, lectures for students and teachers of the A-level English curriculum, is now online.  The lectures are free, although a refundable deposit is required in order to book attendance.  The programme is available here.  In order to book attendance, please email Sandra McMillan.  For further information on the programme, contact the Schools Liaison Officer, Dr Malte Urban.

Top of Page

Applying for PhD study commencing 2013

Information has just been posted on the School's Postgraduate Studies pages on the application process for prospective students intending to undertake doctoral research at the School of English.  Applicants should contact Dr Ramona Wray or Dr Adrian Streete in the first instance.  There is a small number of awards available for doctoral study and application must be made by February 22nd in order to be considered for funding.

Top of Page

Recent Doctoral Successes

Congratulations to the following students who successfully passed their viva voce examinations in recent weeks:

  • Mary Ellen DonaghyGender, Nation and the Sacred in the Writings of Eva Gore-Booth
  • Peter FerryMasculinity in Manhattan: Reading Hegemonic Masculinity in Selected Novels of Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, Bret Easton Ellis and Jed Reubenfield
  • Laura GallagherThe Virgin Mary in the Early Modern Literary Imagination
  • Claire HeaneyEthics and Imagination in J M Coetzee
  • Milena MendesHumourous texts in coursebooks: an Investigation of Pedagogical Tasks and Readers Reactions
  • Jane LugeaBuilding a Narrative Text-World Through Deixis and Modality: A Contrastive Study of Spanish and English
  • Elizabeth Switaj – “The fame of an English Teacher”: James Joyce, Language and Pedagogy
  • Vander VianaDisciplinary variation in academic writing: A corpus study of PhD theses in English Language and Literature

Top of Page

Conference: A Way of Seeing - Fifty Years of John McGahern in Print

Deadline for submissions extended until Friday 11 January 2013.

2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of McGahern’s first novel, The Barracks, for which he was awarded the Æ Memorial Medal and Macaulay Fellowship. It announced the emergence of a unique literary vision, his ‘way of seeing’ the world. With the publication and subsequent censorship of The Dark two years later, McGahern became a cause célèbre. Like so many Irish writers, he embarked on a period of self-imposed exile; however, he returned to his native soil in the 1970s as a writer and farmer.

The School of English will host a conference on McGahern on 15-16 March 2013. Please visit our conference page for more details.

Top of Page

Postgraduate Funding 2013-14

Applications are invited for any of the School's MA programmes and for PhD study in all aspects of English Studies. 

Please note that the university has imposed a new application deadline of February 22nd, 2012.

MA Studentships in English

The School of English invites applications for the following MA awards:

  • TEN home/ EU fee scholarships for MA study (fee-only award)
  • Up to ONE AHRC MA award (fees and maintenance)


PhD studentships in English 2013-14

The School fo English invites applications for the following PhD awards:

  • Up to TWO AHRC PhD awards (fees and maintenance for three years)
  • ONE DEL PhD award (fees and maintenance for three years)


Deadline for Applications for Funding: February 22nd, 2013

(Deadline for self-funded places: June 3rd, 2013).

See the School's Prospective Students pages for more information.


Top of Page

Commemorative reading for Michael Allen and launch of The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry

On Thursday 6th December, Crescent Arts Centre, at 8pm the School hosts a reading to commemorate the late Dr Michael Allen, by poets Michael Longley, Ciaran Carson, Frank Ormsby, Medbh McGuckian and Alan Gillis.  The readining will be followed by a reception in the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at 9pm to mark the publication of The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry, ed. Fran Brearton & Alan Gillis.

Top of Page

Louis MacNeice Memorial Lecture 2012

The BBC Louis MacNeice Memorial Lecture 2012 will be given by Sir Peter Stothard in The Great Hall, Queen's University, Belfast at 6pm on Wednesday 28 November, 2012.  His title is 'Louis MacNeice and the Man Booker Judge.

Sir Peter Stothard is the editor of the Times Literary Supplement and will be talking about the influence of Louis MacNeice's writing and poetry on his own career as a journalist, author and newspaper editor. His lecture will also include reflections on the importance of the Classics and the state of contemporary fiction, drawing on his recent experiences as Chair of the Man Booker Prize 2012.

This annual lecture is an established and popular feature of the BBC's cultural calendar in Northern Ireland. It celebrates the contribution which Louis MacNeice made to broadcasting and the arts and is a joint initiative with Queen's University.

Top of Page

The School of English Newsletter

The November issue of the School of English Newsletter is now available and can be downloaded here: School of English Newsletter - Nov 2012

Top of Page

Shakespeare, Performance, Place

2-3 November 2012 Queen’s University, Belfast

Registration has now closed.

This two-day conference investigates Shakespearean performance and its relationship to place, location and geography. The themes are chosen to coincide with the first Shakespearean production to be staged at Belfast’s new Lyric Theatre and performance is defined broadly to encompass theatrical event, film, television and mass media. Plenary speakers include Dr Patrick Lonergan (Galway), Dr Lucy Munro (Keele), Prof. Stuart Hampton-Reeves (University of Central Lancashire) and Prof. Mark Thornton Burnett (QUB). The conference is a collaboration between the School of English, Queen’s University, the British Shakespeare Association and the Irish Renaissance Seminar. The conference fee is £30, which includes a tour of the new Lyric Theatre, a ticket to see Macbeth (directed by Lynne Parker), a new Shakespeare film showing, coffee, lunches and reception.

If you are interested in offering a paper or just attending the conference please contact Dr Ramona Wray before 28 September 2012. A number of postgraduate bursaries have been generously provided by the BSA – again please contact Dr Ramona Wray for details.

UPDATE: Registration has now closed.

Top of Page

The Annual Belfast Book Fair

The annual Belfast Book Fair takes place on Saturday 13th October, in the Wellington Park Hotel, Malone Road. 10.00am to 5.00pm.

There will be thousands of Antiquarian, Secondhand & Out-of-Print books on offer on a wide variety of subjects. Further details of some of the highlights can be found by visiting the website  -

Top of Page

Peer Mentors' Halloween SPOOKtacular

The Peer Mentors are hosting a Halloween party on October 29th, from 7.00pm in the Social Space.

Peer Mentors Halloween Party  

Top of Page

Autumn Events at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry

The programme for Autumn at the Heaney Centre is available here.  All events are free and unticketed unless otherwise stated.

Presented in collaboration with the Crescent Arts Centre. 

Top of Page

Macmillian Coffee Morning at the School of English

This Friday, 28th September, Macmillan Cancer Support is having their 'World's largest Coffee Morning' in aid of sufferers of cancer and their families all over the UK. Last year, coffee mornings raised over £10,000,000 for this worthy cause.

Staff and students are encouraged to support Macmillan coming along to the Coffee Morning in the Social Space in the School of English from 9.30 to 10.45 on Friday. You can help by making a donation, baking some cakes or just coming along to support! If you cannot make it to the event, you can text CUP 112J to 70550 to donate £5 from your phone to this event.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Erin Halliday

Many congratulations to Erin Halliday (PhD: Creative Writing), who has won a 'Templar Poetry Pamphlet and Collection Award' for 2012, the prize for which is the publication of her first short collection, 'Chrysalis'. This will be launched at the Derwent Poetry Festival 16-18 November 2012.

Top of Page

Welcome to New and Returning Students

The School welcomes new undergraduate students to their first semester at university and returning students at all levels. Lectures and tutorials for most modules commence this week.  The introductory lectures for Stage Two and Stage Three take place on Monday September 24th, in PFC G/07, at 3.00pm for Stage Three and 4.00pm for Stage Two.  There will be visits from staff in the library, the Learning Development Centre and the Careers Service.

Top of Page

Stage One Handbook 2012-13

The Stage One Handbook for students commencing their degree in English in September can now be downloaded as a PDF file here.  Students will receive printed copies at the Induction lectures during Welcome Week.

Top of Page

The University's Open Days take place on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th of September.  Staff and students from the School of English look forward to meeting prospective students and their parents at the English desk in the Open Day marquee.  

The School will also host two talks on each day, at 11.00am and 12 noon, in the Emeleus Lecture Theatre where staff will describe the distinctiveness of the English programme at Queen's; discuss the content of programmes in English Literature and Language and Creative Writing; describe the value of an English degree for future careers; and answer questions students and parents might have about English at Queen's. 

For further information, see the University's Open Days portal here.

Top of Page

ILinC 2012 - Interdisciplinary Linguistics Conference - Exploring contexts: language at crossroads of society and culture

Queen’s University Belfast is pleased to announce its Interdisciplinary Linguistics Conference 2012 (ILinC 2012), a student-led venture co-organised by the Schools of Education, English, and Modern Languages. Given the success of the last ILinC, this two-day conference will give researchers studying language in all academic disciplines the opportunity to exchange information about their research practice in the presence of distinguished and esteemed academics in the field of linguistics.  

Conference details | conference website | Facebook | Twitter

Top of Page

MA Handbook and Reading Lists for Incoming MA students

Reading lists for first semester modules on the School's MA programmes will be available here until the end of September (and here indefinitely).  MA convenors will be adding reading lists over the next few weeks.

The MA Handbook for 2012-13 is also available here

Top of Page

Volunteer for Speech Research

Volunteers are sought for speech research.  See the Speech Research Volunteer for further details. 

Top of Page

Congratulations to Joanne Burns

The School would like to congratulate Joanne Burns on being granted a 'Stephen Copley Postgraduate Research Award' by the British Association of Romantic Studies. This will allow Joanne to conduct archival research on the poetry of Thomas Moore in the University of Reading.

Top of Page

A Symposium in Honour of Siobhán Kilfeather

A symposium in honour of our former colleague Dr Siobhán Kilfeather will be held this weekend.  

The programme is now available here:  Kilfeather Symposium - Programme  

Top of Page

Saints and Scholars: New Perspectives on Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture in Honour of Hugh Magennis

Friends, colleagues and former students of Professor Hugh Magennis gathered in No Alibis bookstore on Botanic Avenue on Friday June 15th to celebrate the publication of a festschrift in Hugh's honour.  Edited by Dr Stuart McWilliams, now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh whose QUB thesis was co-supervised by Hugh, the book contains contributions from leading scholars of Anglo-Saxon literature and culture globally. Contibutors include, from Queen's, Prof Ciaran Carson, Dr Marilina Cesario, Dr Ivan Herbison, Medbh McGuckian and Prof John Thompson and more widely, Prof Mary Clayton (University College Dublin), Prof Joyce Hill (Leeds), Prof Malcolm Godden (Oxford), Dr Chris Jones (St Andrews), Dr Christina Lee (Nottingham), Dr Stuart McWilliams (Edinburgh), Dr Juliet Mullins and Dr Elisabeth Okasha (University College Cork), Prof Jane Roberts (London), Prof Donald Scragg (Manchester), Dr Mary Swan (Leeds), Prof Elaine Treharne (Florida State), Dr Robert Upchurch (North Texas), Professor Gordon Whatley (City University of New York), and Dr Jonathan Wilcox (Iowa).


Dr Stuart McWilliams and Professor Hugh Magennis

Anglo-Saxon literature and culture, and their subsequent appropriations, unite the essays in the volume. They offer fresh and exciting perspectives on a variety of issues, from gender to religion and the afterlives of old English texts, from reconsiderations of neglected works to reflections on the place of Anglo-Saxon in the classroom. As is appropriate, they draw especially on Hugh Magennis’s own interests in hagiography and issues of community and reception. Taken together, they provide a ‘state of the discipline’ account of the present, and future, of Anglo-Saxon studies. The volume includes contributions from Heaney Centre staff and leading Irish poets Ciaran Carson and Medbh McGuckian. 

Top of Page

Postgraduate Conference: Common Ground III

The third iteration of the School's 'Common Ground' postgraduate conference takes place on June 11th and 12th, with papers ranging from Anglo-Saxon concepts of geography, Robert Lowell and the American family, the representation of the new media in late Troubles fiction to 'wierd medievalism' in the fiction of M.R. James and music in the poetry of John Berryman.  

Common Ground III - programme  

Top of Page

The Literatures of Belfast

Monday 11th June, 1pm, Crescent Arts Centre

This illustrated lecture by Dr Eamonn Hughes will consider some of the lesser known and more unusual writing about Belfast with the aim of letting us look again at the city around us.

Dr Eamonn Hughes teaches in the School of English at Queen's University. He specialises in Irish History and Cultural Studies. His short history of Irish Literature was broadcast by BBC NI in 50 episodes in 2009. He is also a contributor to the website and accompanying iPhone app.

Tickets are £3 and can be purchased from or in person from Crescent Arts Centre.
Twitter: @BelfastBookFest
Hashtag: #belfastbook

Top of Page

Congratulations to Erin Halliday

Many congratulations to Erin Halliday who has successfully defended her PhD thesis in Creative Writing entitled:

Chrysalis: Cuncta Fluunt: The Georgics and The Metamorphoses in Contemporary Flux

Top of Page

English students bring medieval play to streets of Belfast

The latest issue of Queen's Now reports on the efforts of students at the School of English to bring medieval drama to life on the streets of Belfast and around the Queen's campus, as part of practice-based research on a final year module. Congratulations to all the students involved!  Read more

Top of Page

Congratulations to Yvonne McGivern and Elizabeth Scott

Congratulation to Yvonne McGivern on successfully passing her PhD viva.  Her thesis was entitled: 'A novel, Buried: an historical forensic analysis of contested letters in the Forrest Reid Collection.'

And congratulations to Elizabeth Scott (PGR student in English) who has won the postgraduate ‘Research with Impact’ competition for the Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences Faculty. The competition required Lizzie to write a 500-word article on why her research is important, explaining this to a non-specialist audience. Lizzie’s piece was on her PhD project: ‘Monologue to dialogue: linguistic factors affecting the interactive conversation of children with autism’.

Top of Page

Post-Feminism and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland

Professor Sarah Edge from the University of Ulster will be speaking on Friday 27 April on Post-Feminism and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland as part of the Ireland & Modernity seminar series. The seminar will take place at 1pm in the Senate Room, Lanyon Building. It will be followed by a workshop at 2.30pm in which postgraduate students will have the opportunity to discuss their research with Professor Edge and their peers.

All staff and students are welcome to attend Professor Edge's lecture. Any students interested in coming along to the PG workshop should register their interest by emailing

Top of Page

Farewell to Dr Michael McAteer

The School is very sorry to have to part ways with Dr Michael McAteer who is leaving us to take up a post at Péter Pázmány University in Hungary. He has been a Lecturer in Irish Literature here since 2002, but his connection with us goes back considerably further than that. Michael read for his BA and MA at Maynooth, but came to the School in the early 90s to study for his PhD. While at Queen’s, Michael has come to be recognised as a major figure in his field. His recent Cambridge monograph, Yeats and European Drama (2010), is an extraordinarily learned, subtle and intellectually distinguished work: a field-defining work. A distinctive agenda, to do with the wider topic of the European connections of Irish Literature, is indicated by this title. He will be well placed to develop this agenda with his new colleagues.

Michael has contributed to the School in very many ways, often beyond the call of duty. By their research students ye shall know them? Michael’s former research students are making their way in academe in a manner that is eloquent of the quality of supervision they received. As Examinations Officer he introduced the moderating system for marking at Stage 2.

But there is another contribution that he has made, and that is to foster a spirit of tolerance, forebearance, good will and good humour. These qualities, which I know we all rightly admire, can be hard to maintain in the pressurised life of a modern academic department, and I think we should be grateful to Michael for sustaining them with such grace.

If we will have fond recollections of Michael, it’s worth bearing in mind his own regrets at leaving, which it was characteristic of him to convey to me in the most unaffected and affecting manner. He tells me that he feels that his years here have been extraordinary, and remembers, for instance, attending a poetry reading in what used to be the Common Room while President Bill Clinton was greeting crowds across the road in front of the main Queen’s building. I suppose Yeats must have left his mark on our most refreshingly un-Yeatsian colleague, for there is something Yeatsian about a memory thus struck by a chance encounter with history.

The School wishes Michael every happiness and success in his new life in Hungary. They will certainly be richly deserved.

Professor Ed Larrissy, Head of School

March 1st, 2012

Top of Page

Heaney Centre graduate Miriam Gamble in Culture Northern Ireland Profile


'The Heaney Centre has probably the most impressive group of poets in Ireland.' So says Heaney Centre graduate Miriam Gamble, who is profiled by Culture Northern Ireland on the challenges of a move to Edinburgh following her debut collection The Squirrels Are Dead (2010), which won the Somerset Maughan Prize for first collection.

Top of Page

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize For First Collection 2012

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry has announced its 2012 Prize for First Full Collection, in association with the Glucksman Ireland House at New York University:

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry invites submissions for the Heaney Centre Prize for First Full Collection 2012. As part of the prize the winner will be invited to give a reading at the Glucksman Ireland House in New York, including travel expenses, three nights’ accommodation and an honorarium of $1000.

Click here for further information about the prize.

Poetry Summer School 2012

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry offers an intense week of creative practice in the Poetry Summer School 2012 which runs from June 25-29.

The week comprises a variety of sessions with seminars, group workshops and one-to-one tutorials with creative writing tutors. There will also be staff and student poetry readings. This year sessions are being offered by our own poets, Ciaran Carson, Leontia Flynn and Sineád Morrissey as well as by Gerald Dawe from the Oscar Wilde Centre in Trinity College Dublin and Jeff Thomson, a visiting Fulbright Fellow from the USA.

For further information, visit the Heaney Centre website.

Top of Page

The National Student Survey 2012

The National Student Survey is now in its seventh year and enables final-year students from across the UK to provide an assessment of their undergraduate experience, both for the benefit of prospective students, and for their own departments. From the NSS website:

What is the National Student Survey (NSS)?

The NSS is a national initiative, conducted annually since 2005. The survey runs across all publicly funded Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the majority of HEIs in Scotland. Additionally, Further Education Colleges (FECs) in England and Further Education Institutions (FEIs) in Wales with directly funded higher education students are eligible to participate.

The survey asks final year undergraduates to provide feedback on their courses in a nationally recognised format, students on flexible courses will be asked to participate as they near the end of their course but not necessarily in their final year. There are 23 core questions, relating to the following aspects of the student learning experience:

  • Teaching on my Course 
  • Assessment and Feedback 
  • Academic Support 
  • Organisation and Management 
  • Learning Resources 
  • Personal Development 
  • Overall Satisfaction 
  • Students' Union (Association or Guild)

Students are also given the opportunity to give positive and/or negative comments on their student learning experience as a whole at their university/college. If you provide comments at the end of the questionnaire, we may pass these on, anonymously, to your institution to help them identify how they can make improvements.

We will shortly report on how the School has made a positive and proactive response to last year's NSS on our Education pages. To complete the Survey, click here.

Top of Page

Upcoming Postgraduate Events

Queer Sisterhood in Contemporary Women's Writing Symposium
Wednesday 29th February
2012 Guest speaker: Dr. Tina O'Toole
Full information available at

Women and Media Conference: Representations Past and Present
A two-day conference to celebrate International Women's Day
Friday 9th - Saturday 10th March 2012
Full information available at:

New Voices in Irish Criticism: Legitimate Ireland Conference
A three-day postgraduate conference in Irish Studies
Thursday 19th-Saturday 21st April 2012
Full information available at:

Top of Page

"Armagh novelist celebrates highs and lows of first book"

The BBC profiles Darran McCann, who graduated from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in 2010 with a PhD, on the publication of his first novel, After the Lockout. Congratulations to Darran.

Top of Page

Themed PhD studentship awards, commencing September 2012

The School of English, Queens University Belfast, is pleased to announce 4 PhD studentship awards, for designated topics, commencing in September 2012.

In summary form, these studentships are as follows:

  • 1.) An AHRC doctoral studentship in ‘An Historical Typology of Irish Song, from early beginnings to 1800’
    Supervisor: Prof Ed Larrissy
    Eligibility: UK residents (full award) / EU residents (fees-only award)
  • 2.) A DEL doctoral studentship in ‘An interdisciplinary study of song, poetry and opera in the early eighteenth century’
    Supervisors: Dr Moyra Haslett and Dr Sarah McCleave
    Eligibility: UK residents
  • 3.) A DEL Creative Writing doctoral studentship in ‘Contemporary Fiction and Historical Fact’
    Supervisors: Dr Ian Sansom and Prof Keith Jeffrey
    Eligibility: UK residents
  • 4.) An International doctoral studentship in ‘Shakespeare and the Soundtrack’
    Supervisors: Prof Mark Burnett and Dr Ramona Wray
    Eligibility: International students

Download the further particulars for more information:  Themed PhD Studentships  

Top of Page

New School Website

We are currently completing updates to the new School website and ask that visitors who cannot find information they expect to see contact us at:

We expect to complete the transition to the new site by the end of January.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Rebecka Gronstedt

January 23rd, 2012:

Congratulations to Rebecka Gronstedt on successfully defending her PhD thesis, 'The rise of the female critic, 1673-1754'.

Top of Page

Conference: Polytropical Joyce

On February 2-4 2012, the School will host the Fifth Joyce Postgraduate Conference, entitled 'Polytropic(al) Joyce: North, South, and Beyond'.  The programme is now available:

Polytropical Joyce - Final programme  

Top of Page

Postgraduate Entry and Funding Opportunities 2012-13


The School of English will host two postgraduate open days on February 3rd and February 10th, 2012.  The February 3rd event will introduce prospective students to the School's MA programmes and they will be able to meet staff and talk to students currently enrolled on the School's MAs.  The February 10th event will be directed at students considering doctoral research.  At both meetings, staff will explain application procedures and opportunities for funding. 

Postgraduate Funding 2012-13

The School has a number of awards to offer students applying for postgraduate studies in 2012-13. The awards are highly competitive and must be applied for by March 2nd, 2012.

Guidelines for Creative Writing Applicants

Please note that applicants to the MA in Creative Writing for entry in 2012-13 must comply with the following  MA Creative Writing - Guidelines 2012-13  

Top of Page

Congratulations to Megan Minogue

Congratulations to Megan Minogue who is this year's recipient of the Margaret Frazer Bursary, awarded annually to a PGR student studying some aspects of Northern Irish writing.

Top of Page

Doctoral student successes: congratulations

Congratulations to the following PhD students who have successfully defended their theses at recent viva examinations:

Richard Barlow, 'Scotographic Joys: Joyce and Scottish Literature, History and Philosophy'.

Amy Kieran, 'Modalities of Reform in late Medieval England'

Clara Neary, 'Gandhi’s ‘Style’: Autobiography, Language and Identity in The Story of My Experiments with Truth'

Top of Page

The Postgraduate Research Students Handbook

The Postgraduate Research Students Handbook is now available to download here:

PG Research Students Handbook 1415  

Top of Page

1st Interdisciplinary Linguistics Conference (ILinC) 14-15 October 2011

Queen’s University Belfast is pleased to announce its 1st Interdisciplinary Linguistics Conference (ILinC), a student-led initiative co-organized by the Schools of Education, English, and Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts.  This two-day conference is designed to offer participants a stimulating and friendly forum in which they may present and discuss their research findings.  Additionally, the event aims at bringing together researchers from different academic divisions carrying out language studies in order to foster cross-disciplinary contact......>>>>read more  >>>>Registration is now open

Top of Page

Collaboration, Authorship and the Renaissance: Early Modern and Postmodern Perspectives - January 13-14 2012
This conference seeks to initiate a dialogue between these two crucial schools of thought. It will investigate potential cross-fertilizations between early modern constructions of authors and collaborators and postmodern paradigms of auteurs and ‘digital Shakespeares’; in so doing, further areas of interest will be illuminated, and fresh understandings of texts and their producers will be facilitated. click here for conference website

Top of Page

Research trip to University of Hyderabad, India - August 2011
In August 2011, five students from Queen's University went to India for 4 weeks to study at the University of Hyderabad.  This trip was part funded under the British Council administered scheme, PMI 2: Strategic Alliances and Partnerships (international mobility of students).  One of the students, Jonathan Evans, wrote a blog while he was there, click here to see how he got on.

Top of Page

MA Handbook 2011-12

The MA Handbook 2011-12, for all incoming MA students commencing their degrees in September 2011, is now available to download:

MA Handbook 2011-12

Top of Page

Like and follow

We have now arrived on facebook and twitter so please like and follow us to keep up to date with all that is going on in the School of English.....

School of English, Queens University Belfast


Top of Page

Fulbright Distinguised Scholar Awards for Queen’s

The School of English and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry have secured their second round of UK/US Fulbright Commission Distinguished Scholar Awards.  Three awards have been offered and accepted, building upon the two inaugural awards made last year.  Last year’s winners, Don Bogen of the University of Cincinnati and Rebecca Black of the University of North Carolina, have been in post at Queen’s since January; but the School of English has been permitted to release the names and profiles of next year’s cohort of visiting Fulbrighters. read more>>>>

Top of Page

Information on the new MA on Broadcast Literacy is now available: NEW - MA in Broadcast Literacy

Top of Page

Recent PhD Viva Successes

The School of English would like to congratulate the following PhD students on their recent viva successes:

  • Kathrin Preitzel whose thesis title was 'Anglo-Saxon Authorities: Constructions of Kingship and Concepts of Power'
  • Paul Frazer whose thesis title was 'The Geography of Vagrancy in Early Modern Language and Culture'
  • Clare Gill whose thesis title was 'Olive Schreiner and the Literary Marketplace, 1883-1914'


Top of Page


The School of English would like to congratulate;

Congratulations to Sheila Llewellyn (MA in Creative Writing), who has won joint First Prize in the RTE  P J O'Connor Radio Drama Awards for 2011 with her play @The House on Shareni Street'.   The play is set against the backdrop of  the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79 and Sheila has been developing it since starting the MA  in Creative Writing at the Centre  last year.   The play will be produced and broadcast sometime in July  in the RTE Radio One Drama slot on Sunday evenings. For more information go to 

Peter Ferry has been awarded £2500.00 from the Helen Ramsey Turtle Fund to research aspects of his Ph.D on 'Masculinities in Manhattan' at SUNY Stonybrook and Columbia.

Yi-peng Lai has been awarded at €4000.00 grant from the Zurich Joyce Foundation and £1000.00 from the William and Betty McQuitty Fund to fund doctoral study at the Joyce Research Centre in Zurich.  She has also been awarded a major Taiwanese State Educational Grant to complete her doctoral studies in the School of English, QUB.

Congratulations to Clare Gill, who has been awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment at the Harry Ransom Center, Texas, to continue aspects of her doctoral study on Oliver Schreiner.

Congratulations to Paul Maddern, whose first collection, The Beachcomber’s Report (Templar Poetry, 2010), has been shortlisted for the 2011 Rupert and Eithne Strong Award, which recognises first collections published in English or Irish by Irish poets in the previous year.

The School of English would like to congratulate the following research students for successfully completing their Ph.Ds: 

Peter Eakin on successfully passing his Ph.D. Peter's thesis was on the topic, ‘The Kingdom of Man? Models of Nature and Society in the Fiction of HG Wells’.

Clare Clarke, ‘Shadows of Sherlock: British Crime Fiction, 1886-1900’ 

Anna Dillon, 'Toward a Supreme Poetry: The Ecstatic Self in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens and Sylvia Plath' 

David Falls, ‘Love’s Mirror before Arundel: Audiences and Early Readers of Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ’. 

Lisa Keogh, 'Ahab’s Daughter: Towards a Unified Approach to Dialogue' 

Tammy Moore, A novel, 'Carny Queen', and a critical dissertation on 'The Development of the Outsider in Detective Fiction'. 

Elizabeth Scarborough, 'Continental Drift: the reception of European Visionary Writing in Medieval England' 

Kath Stevenson, '"Of the holy londe of Irlande": A reconsideration of some Middle English texts in late medieval Ireland.' 

Congratulations too to Clare Gill, who is the 2011-12 recipient of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment at the Harry Ransom Center, Texas. Clare will pursue postdoctoral study there on Olive Schreiner.

Top of Page

The School of English is pleased to annouce that Cat McGurren has been awarded this year's prize of the Margaret Frazer Bursary, for her research at Postgraduate level on Northern Irish Women's writing.

Top of Page

RAE 2008 Results

English Language and Literature has performed outstandingly well in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, the preliminary results of which were published on 18 December 2008.  These results show overall quality profiles per unit of assessment (UOA), to be followed in January 2009 by a subject overview report for each UoA, and in spring 2009 by the sub-profiles themselves.  

For more information please click here

Top of Page


Congratulations to Naomi Frisby, a 2010 graduate of Creative Writing in the School, and Neil Vallelly, currently completing the MA in English (Reconceiving the Renaissance).


Naomi Frisby, a graduate of Creative Writing MA program in 2010 has won the Coffee and Roses short story competition: "It is my great pleasure to announce that the winner of the 2011 New Rose Short Story Prize is: NAOMI FRISBY with her story Because I Was Too Much. This story was a unanimous choices of the judges because of its fantastic sense of place, great tension, pace and excellent composition. Of all the entries submitted, Because I Was Too Much remained in our minds the longest after we had read it - the proof of a truly special story. Massive congratulations to Naomi, who wins a place on one of Ruth Saberton's writing weekends in beautiful Polperro, signed goodies and the title of New Rose Short Story Prize 2011 Winner!"


Neil Vallelly has been awarded a four-year Commonwealth Scholarship to study for a PhD in Renaissance Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He will be commencing his studies in January next year.  Congratulations, Neil and Naomi.

Top of Page

Congratulations to Victoria Brownlee on passing the viva voce examination of her PhD, on the topic of 'Reforming Figures: Biblical Interpretations and Literature in early modern England'.

Top of Page