School of English


In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment published in December 2014, English has maintained its place in the top twenty-five percent of research-intensive UK universities, with 42 percent of our research deemed to be world leading and 80 percent of our work either world leading or internationally excellent. 

The impact of research in English has been deemed by REF to be truly outstanding – we made the top ten schools in the UK on this key ranking alone. And when the quality of our research is measured against the very high volume of staff we returned in the exercise, English rises to a splendid 6th place in the UK on this score for ‘research intensity’.

The large numbers of monographs with scholarly presses and articles in learned journals testify to our staff's contribution to the international culture of English Studies, as does our growing graduate student population. Every area of English studies is a vibrant presence, from Medieval and Early Modern to Eighteenth Century, Modern, Irish and Language, and this is reflected both in conferences and the major collaborative research projects currently under way. These include the internationally renowned Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, and the Irish Scottish Academic Initiative.

Meet our researchers

Dr Edel Lamb

Dr Edel Lamb

Childhood, Riot and Performance

My book Performing Childhood in the Early Modern Theatre offered a new account of early modern childhood by assessing child performers. Current work explores how textual cultures articulate alternative understandings of childhood. A new project, Shakespeare and Riot, examines Shakespeare as a battleground for cultural, social and national identity

Dr Marilina Cesario

Dr Marilina Cesario

Scientia before Science

The interface between prognostication, magic and science in the Middle Age and the relationship between weather and time are at the heart her research. This study claims that celestial phenomena also acquired a prognosticatory dimension and were considered signs, portending momentous events in the world of men.

Stefanie Lehner

Dr Stefanie Lehner

The Intersections and Crosscurrents of Irish Studies

Subaltern Ethics in Contemporary Scottish and Irish Literature develops a postcolonial approach by galvanizing Emmanuel Levinas’ ethics with the socio-cultural category of the ‘subaltern’. My current work focuses on contemporary Northern Irish fiction, film, drama and photography and explores its engagement with the legacies of the conflict.

Poetry reading


From campus to community

Our research makes a real impact on people's lives

Research Impact

Recent Projects

An Historical Typology of Irish Song: Transmission, Performance and Cultural Memory

Principal Investigator: Professor Edward Larrissy (2012-13); Professor Moyra Haslett (2013-15)
Funding Body: AHRC Large Grant Scheme (2012-15) 

The Signs of the Weather in Anglo-Saxon England

Investigator: Dr Marilina Cesario
Funding Body: Leverhulme Trust, Individual Research Fellowship (2013-15)

Apocalypse and drama, 1400-1642

Principal Investigator: Dr Adrian Streete
Funding Body: Leverhulme Trust, Individual Research Fellowship (2010-12) 

Geographies of Orthodoxy: mapping the late medieval pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ, 1300-1550

Principal Investigator; Co-director: Professor John Thompson; Dr Stephen Kelly
Funding Body: AHRC Large Grant Scheme (2007-2010)

Visit the project website 

Filming and Performing Renaissance History 1500-1660

Principal Investigator: Professor Mark Burnett
Funding Body: AHRC Research Networks Scheme (2007-2009)  

Imagining History: culturally mapping the Middle English Prose Brut

Principal Investigator: Professor John Thompson
Funding Body: AHRB Large Grant Scheme (2002-2005)

Visit the project website

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